I can’t remember watching a Nicole Kidman film in whole…hmm. Wait…now I do, the Golden Compass! It’s not so clear to me though since I didn’t enjoy the film – behind my head it’s spiritism so I didn’t pay much attention.
So for today’s pick I got instead Happy Feet where Nicole Kidman voiced Norma Jean (yes, a penguin), the mother of a defect chick Mamble (voiced by Elijah Wood). Hugh Jackman plays her husband, Memphis, and he also sang in the film… the film quite long was enjoyable and my kids and I would often watch this until now.
In the movie, every penguin sings a unique song called a “heartsong” to attract a mate. If the female likes the male and his song, and if it completes the female’s song, the two penguins mate. Norma Jean sings the song “Kiss”, and a male penguin named Memphis sings “Heartbreak Hotel”. Norma Jean chooses him as her mate. They couple and Norma Jean lays an egg. The egg is left with Memphis while Norma Jean leaves with the other females to fish. While the males struggle through the harsh winter, Memphis drops the egg, briefly exposing it to the freezing Antarctic temperatures. The resulting chick – the film’s protagonist, Mumble (voiced by Elizabeth Daily) – has blue eyes, ever-lasting down feathers, and a terrible singing voice.
However, Mumble has a talent that no other penguin has ever seen before: tap dancing. As a result, Mumble is ostracized, with only his mother and his best friend Gloria to turn to. One day Mumble wanders into a secluded area, where he is free to dance. Mumble is interrupted by a pack of prey birds and tells him that there are “aliens” out there. In the course of the story, Mumble will be accidentally left somewhere and be lead to new adventures far from what he calls home. He was washed ashore and was kept in a marine park. There, he showed his tap dancing talent that made the people – obviously the aliens – release him back into the wild strapped with a tracking device to his back. He leads the humans to his native colony. The other penguins are skeptical at first, but when Gloria notices the tracking device, they realize that the “aliens” exist. Now convinced, the penguins (along with the once-stubborn elders) dance alongside Mumble in hopes of getting the humans’ attention.
A research team arrives and film the penguins dancing. They bring this footage back to the human world, and a worldwide debate ensues. The world governments realize they are overfishing the Antarctic waters, and conclude that the penguins are trying to communicate that to them. Antarctic fishing is banned, and the fish population recovers. At this, the Emperor Penguins and the Amigos dance and celebrate their triumph. A dancing baby penguin seen at the end is implied to be the child of Mumble and Gloria.
The movie teaches how one being unique is not something that society should judge, you’ll never know what good that could bring.