Moviehole gets a sneak peek at Happy Feet

With director George Miller in Hollywood

It was a gleeful media that gathered en masse at the Pacific Design Centre in West Hollywood for a sneak peek at one of the year’s most anticipated films: “Happy Feet”.

With real penguins in attendance, and the opportunity to have photos taken with these exquisite creatures, we were invited to check out about 15 minutes of footage, hosted, on film, by the film’s writer/director, Australia’s George Miller. We’re invited into this comic, dazzling world of the Emperor penguins who all have one thing in common – they can sing. Well all that is, except poor Mumbles, who can tap dance his heart out, but that’s not the way of the penguin. Elijah Wood is the vocal lead, but Robin Williams displays his mastery of vocal brilliance as a Latino penguin whose Spanish rendition of Frank Sinatra’s My Way, is amazing. Speaking of amazing, Brittany Murphy, who plays Gloria, the object of Mumble’s love, belts out the Queen classic Someone to Love with a vibrant energy I didn’t know she had.

The film looks stunning with the majestic Arctic background and the realistic penguins that move, waddle and dance to gay abandon. It hasn’t been a great year for animation, but George Miller, who created Babe on film, brings audiences what may well be the happiest and most visually striking piece of animation to come along since Shrek. I can hardly wait to see the film in its entirety. No wonder the footage we saw was greeted with boisterous applause. “Happy Feet” opens nationwide in November and I predict it will be justifiably huge.

-Paul Fischer

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