The penguins rule the roost nowadays in Hollywood.
They walked miles across the brutal snow to win an Oscar in "March of the Penguins," and they enlivened "Madagascar" so much that they earned their own cartoon on the DVD release. Now we have "Happy Feet," a feature cartoon in which a penguin dances his way to glory.
I suspect that we soon will discover other animals making a run on Hollywood's tuxedo rental shops.
"Happy Feet" offers a fun-filled variation on the classic Ugly Duckling saga. That's the tale of a duck that looks nothing like his siblings, and has to prove his worth until he fits the "bill." (Sorry; couldn't resist.)
In "Happy Feet," Mumble is born into a colony of Emperor penguins that specialize in singing.
Every Emperor worth his ice can carry a tune. Mumble can't sing at all. However, he's a fabulous dancer, in the tradition of Fred Astaire.
"Happy Feet" is the latest offering from Australian filmmaker George Miller, whose diverse resume includes "Babe" (the talking pig) and the "Mad Max" films.
The first-rate voice work includes Elijah Wood as Mumble, with Robin Williams, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman as other prominent characters.
The music is amusing, the dancing is entertaining, and the jokes offer laughs for both the youngsters and the adults.
All in all, "Happy Feet" is a happy feat.