I know this is gonna sound girlie but OHMYGODTHEPENGUINSARESOCUTE!
Sorry, can't resist it. Despite keeping the animation relatively real and not giving its characters big round eyes, baby Mumble is the cutest thing to come out of CGI. The cuteness is not just in the look but more on the manner, movement and speech. He is also the only penguin who wears a "bowtie". Kinda made me wish there were more scene of baby Mumble before he grew up. (The cheating studios, they use the picture of baby Mumble in the poster. I didn't know he will grow up so soon).
OK, I think I degraded my macho-ness enough as it is. The film carried a surprisingly thick plot. We know that Mumble is the only penguin who could not sings although he can tap dance very well. In an environment, as per the film, where one sings a heart song to get the girl, Mumble's chance is as good as nothing, especially when the girl he desired is the best singer in the flock(?). But beyond the story of romance, the film also touches on friendship (expected), alien abduction (huh?), natural preservation (what?) and a little on the pressure to conform to society expectation when ultimately it was the courage to break away from conservative mindframe that is needed to overcome an obstacle that was unattended to due to an overzealous adherence to tradition and superstitious reliance on a greater power that was nothing more than a religious belief(holy *insert name of preferred animal species here*!). The movie did not take the direction most animation typically did. Some scenes and incidents will surprise you.
I can't help but to feel that when their leader Noah is preaching in an obsessed manner for them to behave and to sing praises to the Great Guin, there is a message in the scene. In a broad sense, I supposed we can assumed the movie is telling us to put aside our difference, accept others' culture, think out of the box, be open to new idea, among other messages. But if it has a more specific message to a specific audience, its message escapes me. Anyone care to provide some enlightenment?
The best part of the movie is the musical. All penguins, after all, has a heart song. Now I am not too musically inclined but there arrangement is really good. The voice is great, excellent arrangement and flawless interjection. Snippets of famous love song, including a short "Hello... is it me you're looking for?" are thrown in although I think most of the songs are original.
This time, I will offer my friends' verdict instead. One remarked that this is even better than Moulin Rouge (OK, maybe that is a bit kua cheong) while another saw fit to quoted one of the human characters in the movie who said, "I don't want to live in a world without penguin."
Incidently, the movie has a great website. You will smile again watching baby Mumble dance on the flash site at http://www2.warnerbros.com/happyfeet/