Happy Feet, a children’s movie brought to the big screen in 2006 contains many messages within its plot that are constantly missed by its viewers. The movie shows the struggles of a young, enthusiastic penguin trying to make it in a society ruled by stubborn elders who are intolerant to change and uniqueness. After being exiled and blamed by his colony for the lack of fish due to human overfishing, Mumble, the movie’s main character proves his community wrong by doing the impossible. He manages to “appeal to human’s better nature” through his dancing and returns the fish to not just his colony, but the whole animal population. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1jqSRnqLMw). The movie’s main messages include the ability of discriminated groups to fit into the community, and the refusal of older generations to accept change in an advanced and unique society.
Through Mumble’s accomplishments, the director suggests that even though someone may differ from the rest of society, a unique being can prove successful and heroic. Mumble preforms many courageous acts and is able to connect with the humans due to his ability to dance. Mumble is a representation of the many people of different race, gender, disabled and more, that struggle to find acceptance in a society so determined to keep them down. According to Gianetti, the movie Happy Feet leans to the leftist side, supporting self-expression and using our specific gifts and skills to our advantage instead of trying to fully assimilate into society. Examples of this leftist lean by the writers and director are shown in many scenes throughout the movie. An example includes Mumble’s ability to bring attention to the overfishing problem that was and is going on in our world today through his dancing. He uses his dancing to his advantage and successfully saves the animal population from the threat of starvation. Another scene that supports this view is shown in the last few minutes of the movie when the whole colony begins to dance in front of the humans. They abandon their old traditions of singing, and accept a new on. Though a movie made for little children, this message was aimed at the adult population to shine a light on this worldwide problem of discrimination. This movie, along with many others, aid in this problem but it has not been fully successful as of today.
The movie also brings out the negative message that older generations refuse to accept change and continue their old traditions even if it may lead to their downfall. It also suggests that older generations will not accept change unless shown physical proof that their way of doing things are not always the best way. These two messages lean toward the right side, this proven in a variety of scenes. The first example is the exile of Mumble for refusing to be someone that he is not. Mumble is banned from his colony for insulting the “Great Guin” by dancing instead of having the ability to sing, like the rest of his community. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkaJFlr5Fhk). This is relative to our society today in that older generations refuse to accept new and sometimes improved changes that occur in today’s world. An example of having to be proven wrong in order to accept this change is shown towards the end of the film is when the leading elder is proven that “alien” humans exist and that they are the reason for the lack of fish, not Mumble. In today’s world and throughout our history, problems have been placed on the shoulders of the inferior and those who differ from the majority. For example, many problems in our world have been placed on women, race, such as African Americans, and the disabled. Because of this lack of acceptance to change, people of older generations tend to resist change and remain stubborn in their beliefs.
In the movie, The message of the ability of disabled to preform heroic acts and fit into society was more successful due to more scenes supporting it. Throughout the whole movie, support of this message was shown through many scenes when the message of refusal to change was hidden deeper within the plot. I would rate this movie a four our five because it was very clear about its leading message and included many more hidden messages as well.