If anything could tempt an adult to go see a dancing-penguin movie, it's the phrase "from the director of Babe." That movie got everything right about talking animals, but, alas, George Miller does not live up to his earlier work here. Happy Feet starts out well enough on an iceberg, where penguins sing until they find another penguin whose tune matches theirs. (It's clear that the filmmakers, along with the rest of the world, saw March of the Penguins.) Memphis (voiced by Hugh Jackman) and Norma Jean (Nicole Kidman) link up over a Prince duet and have a chick named Mumbles (Elijah Wood). Chick can't sing, but he was born with the gift of tap (provided by Savion Glover), thus everything's on track for a cute story about being yourself. But then there's Robin Williams. Children, young and innocent as they are, may not yet have grown to loathe the actor's shtick, but you might like to know that he has two -- yes, two -- roles in this film. And even the wee ones may start to notice something's amiss when the movie's theme goes from "Be yourself" to "We must regulate the overfishing of the Antarctic oceans." No, for real.
Director: George Miller
Writer: Warren Coleman and John Collee
Producer: George Miller and Doug Mitchell
Cast: Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving, Anthony LaPaglia, E.G. Daily, Magda Szubanski, Miriam Margolyes, Carlos Alazraqui, Michael Cornacchia, Steve Irwin, Jeff Garcia, Lombardo Boyar and Johnny Sanchez