Have you seen the movie "Happy Feet?" We borrowed it from the local library. Given all the hype and toy merchandising, I thought this film had been a huge blockbuster with streams of loyal fans around the globe. Apparently not.
Here's the guts of the story: Mumble is born to Elvis and Marilyn Monroe impersonators, who also happen to be Emperor penguins. These penguins find their true love by singing, so imagine their shock when their son cannot sing, but he can make his feet spasm in such a way that it kinda looks like tap dancing. He is ostracized, not just because he still has his baby feathers and twitches like a freak, with the Elders implying that his strangeness is the reason the fish are disappearing. Determined to find the cause of the fish depletion (believed to be aliens, conveniently explained by some fishing birds who are trying to eat him). Instead he meets a group of illegal immigrants who look like Adelie penguins. Together, they try to find the aliens. Surprise, surprise: humans are the aliens. We are taking all their fish. Mumble ends up in a zoo exhibit, where his tap dancing catches the humans' attention and he is released...after being strapped to a GPS locator. Of course, he hurries back home and tries to explain that the aliens will give them back their food if they all learn to dance. Sure enough, the helicopter lands, the "aliens" emerge and the penguins start dancing, causing a worldwide sensation and ending the over-harvesting of fish from the local oceans.
Moral of the story: You're only worth feeding if you can dance.
I watched it with my kids. Kinda dumb, I thought, but then again it was a kids' movie and those are directed to entertain kids who can't quite tie their shoelaces. So thinking that they would be swooning over the adorable penguins, I asked the kids what they thought. The Boy hadn't watched a good portion of the movie, opting instead to rotate among watching, playing with his train set, and throwing fits. He didn't have much to say. Da Boo was quite vocal.
Boo: It was kinda boring.
Me: Boring? Really?
Boo: Yeah, not very fun.
Me: Didn't you like the penguins?
Boo: I liked the funny little ones.
Me: What about the dancing?
Boo: I can dance better than that. (said with big rolling of eyes)
Wow. I guess Hollywood's thinly disguised environmental message wasn't the bombshell they planned. Usually, when we get a movie from the library, it's all they want to watch for the next three days. Not this time, not even when I offered.
Boo wants to know if the next time we go to the library, if we can get "High School Musical" instead.
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