Happy Feet was released in 2006. It tells the story of Mumble (voiced by Elizabeth Daily as Baby Mumble and Elijah Wood as adult Mumble), an Emperor Penguin who is supposed to be born with an innate instinct where it is commonly known as Heartsong in the colony. This Heartsong is vital to all Emperor Penguins, they must be able to learn how to express their love and emotions as it would be essential for them to use it to find their soul mates when they become adults.
However, through an unexpected twist of fate, Memphis (voiced by Hugh Jackman) who is Mumble's father dropped the egg containing Mumble when the colony was migrating to a better location in search of ample supply of food. It is a taboo among Emperor Penguins that the fathers looking after the eggs containing their unborn offspring should not allow any negative influence to happen to the eggs being looked after by them.
When Memphis finally meet Mumble's mother Norma Jean (voiced by Nicole Kidman) with the egg with Mumble in it, he told her he had dropped the egg while crossing the blizzard-battered land to reach their meeting point. Norma Jean was aghast to find out that Memphis had dropped the egg when travelling to meet her.
When the time came for Mumble to hatch from the egg, Memphis and Norma Jean waited anxiously, wanting to find out if there is something wrong with Mumble. Mumble hatched from his egg a little late, and he looked not much different from the other chicks who had hatched about the same time. However, Mumble was indeed different from his peers.
When Mumble started formal education, he found out that he is completely tone deaf, unable to sing the basic notes to the Heartsong, much to the horror of his teacher and classmates. However, he has excellent sense of rhythm that he is able to move to any imaginable rhythm with his feet. Unfortunately, Mumble's talent for being able to dance was scorned upon by the other penguins, especially the elders who are the leaders in the colony. The elders of the colony of Emperor Penguins are not able to accept Mumble's special innate talent of dancing as tradition has dictated for many generations that Emperor Penguins are to have the innate ability to sing the Heartsong.
Mumble has had an extremely difficult time growing up and fitting into in the colony. Being so different from the penguins in the colony, Mumble set out to venture away from his parents and the colony to try to find his real identity and to determine if he actually fit into the colony of those Emperor Penguins. During the time Mumble spent venturing away from his colony, he met five penguins of a different species and thus, an adventure of a lifetime began for him. There is also a food shortage in the colony at the same time, thus, the elders blamed Mumble for it because they thought his different ability to dance instead of to sing the Heartsong had brought about the shortage of food. Mumble was also wondering if Gloria (voiced by the late Brittany Murphy), his childhood sweetheart is also his soul mate.
This movie highlighted the fact that being different from the norm is not a bad thing to experience in life. The ultimate challenge of being very different is to fit into the norm and at the same time trying to convince other people to accept the unique person one is born and destined to be. Not only that, Happy Feet also focuses on keeping strong family ties and loving one another unconditionally.
I would give Happy Feet double thumbs-up for a great story and voice-overs from a stellar cast. Not to mention the beautiful scenes created for the story. I am actually looking forward to the sequel Happy Feet 2 to be released in November this year. I think the sequel will be as good as the first, if not better.