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Happy Feet Two

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Happy Feet Two
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGeorge Miller
Written by
Produced by
  • David Dulac
  • David Peers
Edited byChristian Gazal
Music byJohn Powell
Distributed by
Release dates
  • November 13, 2011 (2011-11-13) (Grauman's Chinese Theatre)
  • November 18, 2011 (2011-11-18) (United States)
  • December 26, 2011 (2011-12-26) (Australia)
Running time
99 minutes
  • Australia
  • United States
Budget$135 million[2]
Box office$159.2 million[3]

Happy Feet Two is a 2011 animated jukebox musical comedy film directed, produced and co-written by George Miller. It is the sequel to the 2006 film Happy Feet. It stars Elijah Wood, Robin Williams (in his final animated feature), Hank Azaria, Alecia Moore (P!nk), Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Sofia Vergara, Common, Hugo Weaving, Richard Carter, Magda Szubanski and Anthony LaPaglia. Wood, Williams, Weaving, Szubanski and LaPaglia reprised their roles, with Moore and Common replacing the late Brittany Murphy and Fat Joe, respectively. In addition, E.G. Daily returned in different roles. In the film, Erik (Ava Acres), the son of Mumble (Wood) and Gloria (Moore), and who is reluctant to dance, runs away from home and encounters the Mighty Sven (Azaria), a tufted puffin. When the penguins are trapped by a giant wall of ice and snow, they must save Antarctica.

An international co-production between the United States and Australia, Kennedy Miller Mitchell and Dr. D Studios[4] from Sydney, Australia, produced the film, which premiered in North American theaters on November 18, 2011, and in Australia on December 26, 2011, in Digital 3D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D formats. The film was released with an attached 3D Looney Tunes short titled I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat.[5] The film received mixed reviews, with critics praising its animation, music and voice acting, but criticizing its story. The film underperformed at the box office; not counting marketing costs, it grossed $150.4 million against its $135 million budget. This resulted in the closure of Miller's Dr. D Studios, making this their only animated film.[6]



Erik, the son of Mumble and Gloria, cannot dance like the other penguins of Emperor-Land. He and his friends Bo and Atticus follow one of Mumble's friends, Ramón, the leader of the Amigos, to Adélie-Land. There, they meet its leader, the flying penguin con artist Sven, who, after surviving the loss of his native fishing grounds because of his ability to fly, partnered with Mumble's friend Lovelace, who was fired from his job as Guru. They tell the others that they were rescued by humans but fled to Antarctica after believing that they would be eaten. There, Sven performs his first miracles by revealing moss to the locals and using his power of "Sven Think" to help Ramón to find his potential mate Carmen, who is uninterested. Mumble finds the kids and tells them to return to Emperor-Land, with encouragement from Sven.

Meanwhile, Will, an adventurous and existentialist krill, is determined to discover life beyond the swarm, with his best friend, Bill, following him to ensure his safety. After being separated from the swarm, they realize that they are at the bottom of the food chain, and Will tries to move up, with Bill reluctantly joining him. Mumble tells Erik that he is unique and will one day find his calling, but he is still enthralled with Sven. While trying to cross an ice bridge, Bryan the elephant seal and his two sons refuse to let the penguins pass. An argument results with Bryan falling off the bridge and being trapped, but Mumble lures a leopard seal to chase him into the ice, freeing Bryan and earning his respect. However, Erik attributes the rescue to his attempt to use "Sven Think", much to Mumble's dismay.

On returning to Emperor-Land, the penguins discover that a large iceberg has trapped the emperor penguins in a pit surrounded by ice walls. While Mumble, Erik and Atticus deliver their supply of fish to the stranded penguins, Bo returns to Adélie-Land to seek help. The next morning, a large flock of skua attack the emperor penguins, and although Noah the Elder encourages them to fight back, all hope seems lost until Bo returns with Sven, who begins a cooperative effort to feed the emperor penguins by hunting fish.

The humans who rescued Sven and Lovelace return to Antarctica to help, but a blizzard causes them to flee. Erik urges Sven to teach the penguins how to fly, but Sven reveals that he is not really a penguin, but a tufted puffin. Mumble begins to tap dance, leading the penguins in a dance that weakens the ice, but several chunks break loose, sending Bo, Atticus and several other penguins into the crevice. Ramón realizes that Carmen is trapped and jumps down to be with her, finally winning her love. Sven proves himself as a worthy dancer and leads the Adélies in a dance while Erik and Mumble go to seek Bryan's help. Meanwhile, a reformed Will reunites with Bill and their flock, and Bill reveals that they are now legends because of their journey.

Mumble and Erik arrive at Elephant Seal Beach, where Bryan is in the middle of a dominance fight. Mumble pleads for help, but Bryan declines because of his Beach Master duties. Using his singing abilities, Erik praises Mumble for his bravery and condemns Bryan for refusing to help after Mumble rescued him. The elephant seals travel en-masse to Emperor-Land, where Mumble, Gloria, Erik, the emperor penguins, the elephant seals, Will, Bill, their krill swarm and Sven work together to destroy the iceberg, after which Mumble and Erik reunite with Gloria.


Robin Williams, who voiced Ramon and Lovelace, at the film's Australian premiere in Sydney

The live-action cast includes Septimus Caton as the guitarist and Ivan Vunich as the beanie man.


Director George Miller at the film's Australian premiere in Sydney

Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Magda Szubanski and Hugo Weaving reprised their previous roles as Mumble, Ramón, Lovelace, Ms. Viola and Noah. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman make a brief cameo as Norma Jean and Memphis. Also returning for the film are Carlos Alazraqui, Johnny A. Sanchez, Lombardo Boyar and Jeffrey Garcia as Nestor, Lombardo, Raul, and Rinaldo, respectively.[14] Fat Joe was replaced by Common as Seymour.

Brittany Murphy, who originally voiced Mumble's love interest Gloria, was set to reprise her role and scheduled to begin recording sometime in 2010,[15] but died from pneumonia on December 20, 2009. Steve Irwin, who voiced Trev the elephant seal and an albatross, died of a stingray injury on September 4, 2006. P!nk replaced Murphy (P!nk had already contributed a song "Tell Me Something Good" to the soundtrack of the first film). Brad Pitt and Matt Damon voiced the tiny krill, Will and Bill.[16][17] Hank Azaria also signed on to voice The Mighty Sven.[18] E.G. Daily, who played young Mumble in the previous film, played the vocals for Mumble's choreophobic son Erik and the daughter of Miss Viola, Boadicea, as well as additional voices. Sofía Vergara appears in the film as a new character, Carmen.[19] There is a live-action scene in the movie, as was in Happy Feet.[20] Mitchell Hicks signed up as the movie's choreographer.[21]



Home media


The DVD, Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray releases of Happy Feet Two were released on March 13, 2012, from Warner Home Video.[22]



Box office


The film grossed $64 million in the United States, along with $86 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $150.4 million.[3] Produced on a budget of $135 million,[2] the film ended up losing around $40 million for the studio.[23]

In its opening weekend, Happy Feet Two earned $21,237,068 while playing on 3,606 screens.[3] This was barely half of the $41,533,432 that the first Happy Feet made in its opening weekend in November 2006. Approximately 50% of Happy Feet Two's box-office take came from the 2,825 screens that showed it in 3D.[24] Thus, when adjusted for ticket price inflation, Happy Feet Two achieved less than 45% of the attendance figures of its predecessor. Major box-office prediction websites were almost unanimously predicting an opening weekend of $35 million – $45 million, so Happy Feet Two's box-office performance was underwhelming. Among 2011's animated films, Happy Feet Two's opening weekend ranks eighth. Kurt Orzeck of the Vancouver Sun reported that "due to the poor performance of Happy Feet Two, 600 of the 700 employees at the Sydney-based Dr. D. Studios, the digital production studio behind the animated movie, have reportedly received their walking papers".[25]

Critical response


On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 45% of 121 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.50/10. The website's consensus reads: "The animation is as eye-popping as ever, but Happy Feet Two's narrative is too noisily incoherent to recapture the Oscar-winning charm of its predecessor."[26] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 50 out of 100 based on reviews from 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[27] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on a scale of A+ to F.[28]

Richard Corliss of Time gave the film a positive review and said that Miller is "not content to duplicate the pleasures of his first penguin film; he dares to go bigger, deeper, higher — happier".[29]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two and a half stars out of four. He wrote, "The animation is bright and attractive, the music gives the characters something to do, but the movie has too much dialogue in the areas of philosophy and analysis."[30]

British newspaper The Telegraph named Happy Feet Two one of the ten worst films of 2011, saying, "Happy Feet Two is an appalling 3D animated sequel about a colony of all‑singin', all-dancin', all-infuriatin' penguins."[31]


Award Category Recipient Result
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards Actor of the Year Brad Pitt (also for The Tree of Life and Moneyball) Nominated
Houston Film Critics Society Awards Best Animated Film Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Animated Film Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Original Song "Bridge of Light" by P!nk and Billy Mann Nominated

Video game


Happy Feet Two: The Video Game, released on November 8, 2011, was developed by KMM Games for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii. WayForward Technologies developed the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS versions,[32] published by Warner Bros.



The soundtrack album for the film was released by WaterTower Music on CD on November 21, 2011, and on iTunes on November 15, 2011. Unlike the previous film's two album releases—one for its songs and one for its score—both the songs and John Powell's score are included on this album. The songs "Happy Feet Two Opening Medley", "Bridge of Light" and "Under Pressure/Rhythm Nation" are led by P!nk, who lends her vocals to the character Gloria, taking the place of Brittany Murphy from the first film.

The deluxe edition of the album contains an additional 5 songs performed by Ozomatli. These and other songs can also be found on the soundtrack for the video game, which was released on iTunes on November 8, 2011.

Possible sequel


When director George Miller was asked if he had any plans for Happy Feet Three:[33]

If you put a gun to my head and said, "You have to come up with a story for Happy Feet Three", I'd say shoot me. I would have no idea. I really would have no idea. The stories creep up on you. You just have to allow the stories to come, and then they get in like little ear worms in your head and they won't go away. If that happens and we've got the energy, we'll do it is a fantastic movie a third one. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. That's the only way you can do it. It has to be authentic. I really wanted to make this film better than the first one. Otherwise, at my age, what's the point? You really want to make it better. If something comes up that's really exciting and I can convey that enthusiasm to other people, then there would be a third one.

— George Miller.


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