x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Happy Feet 2

Happy Feet 2 has its heart on the right place, yet still disappoints.

Director: George Miller
Starring: Elijah Wood, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams
**

The fluffy little penguins that can warble and bust a move return in this so-so sequel to the 2006 smash hit Happy Feet. There's a lot less singing and dancing as Mumble's son Erik (Ava Acres) wanders off in a sulk, forcing his dad (Wood) to leave the penguin colony and go after him.

After an adventure with a grumpy elephant seal and an encounter with a penguin that can fly (it's actually a puffin), they return home only to discover that climate change has shifted the ice and trapped all the other penguins so they can't get down to the sea for food.

It's all perfectly acceptable viewing and it has its heart in the right place, but with only one memorable musical number (the Queen/Bowie song Under Pressure) and very little comedy, it's just not as fresh and fun as the first film.

Matt Damon and Brad Pitt raise a smile voicing two little krill that break free from their swarm to find themselves (and you'll chortle when they sing Wake Me Up Before You Go Go), but their story feels tacked on as some light relief, maybe when someone realised that the main plot was just a bit dull. Cute but disappointing.