Thursday, April 19, 2007

it just ain't penguin

This is a completely biased movie review, of the DVD "Happy Feet". Let me just say that at the beginning....I have held off on this for weeks because I really wanted to think about it.
But I didn't like this movie.

How many of you gasped? Probably quite a few....

Here's why:

1) too much Robin Williams. He's uber-talented, but too much is just too much.
2) WAY OVER sexualized images of penguins dancing. My daughter was a bit confused by that. You didn't see that on "March of the Penguins"
3) uh...could it be more left-leaning? I mean, come on.....the hard-core enviromental message is delivered as softly as with a sledgehammer. Oil=bad, humans=bad....

But most of all, I didn't like it because they treated Mumbo so poorly because he was different. Disney is fond of shunning characters that are "different" (Dumbo, anyone?) They cast Mumbo out because he's not like them. I cringed when I heard that line "it just ain't penguin".... My opinion is rooted in the fact that I have three children with special needs, each of them a bit different and we have personally felt the shunning from others, who think it's totally okay to act like that when you're "different"....

In "Dumbo", he's only welcomed back after he's found to be of use. In "Happy Feet", it's the same tired theme...Makes me sad. Kids see this stuff and they imitate. This is why I pre-screened the movie without the kids. I let them watch it after I had seen it through. And we talked about kids with differences.

I felt like the music and the dancing were almost obscene.
I didn't like the underlying agenda.
And I did not like the shunning of Mumbo. Welcoming him back at the end does not make up for how they treated him.

You might be thinking, "hey it's just a movie...don't get all riled up."
I do get riled up. Things like this do bother me. Because it's a message, a giant marketable message and it has merchandising and lots of goodies for kids......Too powerful.


rennratt said...

Thank you for the heads up. IF Nooze watches this, it will be with Chachi and me.

We plan on having a similar conversation with her, as we are trying to expose her to the fact that "different" does NOT equal "bad". We feel that it equals VARIETY.

For the record, I felt the same way about "Home on the Range". It was very left leaning, and included cross dressing characters. One could argue that they were 'acting' on stage, but REALLY. It was a cartoon. They could have left that out. It also featured sexualized characters, which thankfully went over Noozes' head. I sat through it with her, trying not to yell at the tv or say anything until it was over. After it ended, we had a conversation about how not all cartoons are always funny, and how treating others poorly is never acceptable. Even in a cartoon.

Sonya said...

I did not like Happy Feet either..I couldnt stand all the singing and then the whole message behind it left a bad taste in my mouth. My two boys who are 8 and 6 got bored with it right away..i should of just rented this one instead of buying it.