Happy Feet at Hoyts, Broadway

I was pretty much unmoved by Happy Feet. Yes, the animation was great, and the singing was kind of cute, and the environmental message was important (if done a bit heavy-handedly). But at the end of the day, I didn’t care that much about Mumble. I think the main problem was that he didn’t really interact with anyone much. The scenes with his parents, and even with Gloria, were pretty minimalist. And Ramón and co were comic relief caricatures – they were quite funny, but they didn’t really have enough depth to be the main ongoing relationship for Mumble. (Actually, they reminded me a bit of the Wikked Tribe in Tad Williams’ Otherland books. Zany and manic and fun, but in no way resembling rounded characters, and therefore not providing anything much for the three dimensional characters to work with.) But because you didn’t see much of Mumble dealing with other “real” characters, he, himself, didn’t fully develop either. Maybe it would have worked better if Gloria had had a bigger role – after all, in Otherland the Orlando Gardiner story would have been nothing much if it had just been him and the Wikked Tribe. It was his relationships with his parents and Fredericks that made you understand him as a character, and care what happened to him.

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