Friday, December 15, 2006

Happy Feet = happy ears

I had to see Happy Feet over the weekend, as it combines two of my favorite things - arctic things and tap-dancing. What a genius combination!

The premise of the movie is fantastic - in an Antartic world devoid of anything tangible (ice is transient and ever-changing) the main currency is music - it establishes power in the group and serves as the main element in the mating ritual. As the movie opens, the main character's parents meet through a unique mash-up of Prince's "Kiss" and Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" and from that moment on, I was hooked.

The movie plays out as a surprisingly deep and bittersweet comment on exclusion, environmentalism and individualism (a refreshing depature from most computer-animated movies these days), but the real genius of the movie to me was the integration of the music, from Queen's "Somebody to Love" to Earth Wind & Fire's "Boogie Wonderland" to Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" to the Beach Boys' "In My Room." The soundtrack is available now, but I tend to prefer the original versions of songs, so I will be making my own compilation of Happy Feet songs when the soundtrack listing gets posted on IMDb.

In the meantime, see the movie.

Update: As usual, the All Music Guide says it best: "[The soundtrack contains] unexpected shots of cultural Zeitgeist and a welcome break from the standard soundtrack cover tunes."

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