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Feature
The sequel to Happy Feet, the Academy Award®-winning animated smash hit, Happy Feet Two returns audiences to the magnificent landscape of Antarctica. Mumble (Elijah Wood), The Master of Tap, has a problem because his tiny son, Erik (Ava Acres), is choreo-phobic. Reluctant to dance, Erik runs away and encounters The Mighty Sven--a penguin who can fly! Mumble has no hope of competing with this charismatic new role model. But things get worse when the world is shaken by powerful forces. Erik learns of his father's "guts and grit" as Mumble brings together the penguin nations and all manner of fabulous creatures--from tiny Krill to giant Elephant Seals--to put things right.

I don't count myself as a fan of the original Happy Feet though I've seen or heard it in the background over a dozen times thanks to my now 12 year-old son, who is thankfully now past the age where he wants to repeatedly watch the same thing over and over and over again. Having gone through that stage with him I kind of wish this one would've come first since it's slightly better than the original. Like its predecessor it's an animated feature that is more suitable for children than the entire family with lessons about the environment and finding one's path in life, but Happy Feet Two also mixes in something more for adults this time with Mumbles' story of a father trying to raise his son and the account of two rebellious krill, Will and Bill (Brad Pitt and Matt Damon respectively), whose adventures at first seem random and insignificant to the story of the penguins. The banter and philosophizing between these two characters will more than likely go right over the heads of the pre-teen crowd, but their tale is comical and lively enough that the kids will probably wish they had more screen time--I know I did. The few years in technological advances have also enabled the filmmakers to produce more advanced animation this time around too and the picture looks beautiful as a result. I often times found myself tuning out the dialogue and taking in the view--it's definitely one of the most impressive and pretty features I've seen in some time. Out of all the animated movies I saw from last year, Happy Feet Two is only a few notches away from the top of the list.

Video
Warner Home Video's 2.40:1, 1080p, AVC encoded video presentation of Happy Feet Two is as excellent as we have come to expect from digitally animated feature films over the past several years. It's one of the prettiest animated features I've ever seen, and the overly colorful picture pops against the primarily icy blue and stark white backdrops to produce a candy colored experience while contrast and black levels are consistent throughout the running time. The animation features a lot of fine detail that really shines, and I didn't notice anything in the way of artifacting, aliasing or edge enhancement that would have taken away from the experience. The digital-to-digital transfer of the film also means that there aren't any issues that might pop up from the source used for the Blu-ray video such as dirt or scratches. Overall this is a demo worthy presentation of the film for home video and I can't imagine it looking much better.

Audio
If you know anything about Happy Feet Two or its predecessor, you know that both feature several flipper tapping musical numbers, and Warner Home Video's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is as pitch perfect as the flawless video presentation in keeping the soundtrack humming along. A lot of care has obviously been taken in the sound mix, and there's plenty of lively thumping in the LFE and directional effects swooshing  and swirling about the surround channels during both the musical and action heavy portions of the feature. Equally impressive is the fact that dialogue is always crisp, clear and easily discernible coming from the center channel, never drowned out by the more audacious parts. Overall, this is a demo worthy audio presentation on Blu-ray.

Extras
The majority of the extras featured on the Blu-ray disc are appropriately geared towards a younger audience, and as long as you're comfortable enough with handing over your iPad, iPod Touch and/or remote control there's enough here to keep to kids occupied for a little while, especially if they just can't get enough of singing along with the feature film.

First up is the Second Screen feature, which will require the use of an iPad or iPod touch and downloading the Happy Feet Two Movie App from iTunes (link to which is provided below this review's screen captures). The Second Screen option can be played along with the feature film or offline, and when played with the film can be synched to the running time to play certain extras at the appropriate times. Featurettes include "How To Walk Like a Penguin", "Knitting For Penguins with Robin Williams", "Happy Feet Two: A New Sensation" with Hank Azaria discussing the new character Sven and a few others. The app also includes various touch games for the kids and several sing-a-long options to be played along with the film. Also included outside of the Second Screen option is a virtual Erik the Penguin and coloring book.

The on disc features are split into two categories: Behind the Story and Music. Under the first option are four featurettes that run for a total of around 25-minutes, such as "Helping Penguins & Pals" with Lil P-Nut which is an educational feature on Antarctica and the various wildlife found there and what can be done to protect them. Other featurettes include "How to Draw a Penguin" which is fairly self-explanatory, "Running with Boadicea" which profiles Erik's toddler buddy from the film and "Amazing Voices of Happy Feet Two" which ventures into the recording studio with Director George Miller and actors Robin Williams, Hank Azaria, Elijah Wood, P!nk, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. The Behind the Story features are finished off with the 3D animated Looney Tunes musical short "I Tawt I Taw A Puddy Tat" starring Tweety Bird and Sylvester the Cat and featuring the 1951 recording of the Mel Blanc and June Foray song (screen captures available below).

Under the Muisc selection are a featurette appropriately titled "P!nk's New Song" with P!nk discussing her role in the film and her new song "Bridge of Light". Also included here are three sing-a-long options for "The Mighty Sven Song", "Bridge of Light" and "Pappa Omm Mow Mow". The two-disc set also includes an Ultraviolet digital download copy and standard definition DVD version of the film on the second disc along with BD-Live capabilities on the Blu-ray. The DVD version also includes the featurettes "Helping Penguins and Pals" and "How to Draw a Penguin" along with "I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat" and three sing-a-longs.

Overall
As a 36 year-old male I'm obviously not the target demographic for Happy Feet Two, but as a father I imagine I'm not the only person my age that will be watching it soon after its home video release. The good news is that though it's not the best animated feature I've seen lately, it's still a pretty good sit and I enjoyed it more than the first Happy Feet. Warner Home Video's Blu-ray release of the picture features dynamite audio and video, and the special features included will please the kiddies. Overall I'd recommend a purchase for the little ones who'll probably want to watch it over and over and over again.

* Note: The below images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

 Happy Feet Two
 Happy Feet Two
 Happy Feet Two
 Happy Feet Two
 Happy Feet Two
 Happy Feet Two
 Happy Feet Two
 Happy Feet Two
 I Tawt I Taw A Puddy Tat
 I Tawt I Taw A Puddy Tat
Happy Feet Two - Trailer
Happy Feet Two - Second Screen


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