Happy Feet vs. Surf's Up

BY AGATHON FRIC

ROUND 1: MISFIT MATCH
HAPPY FEET: HAPPY FEET is about an oddball Emperor Penguin named Mumble who can't sing like the others, but he can tap dance! When the elders discover his "abnormality" they blame him for the disappearing fish, although Mumble sets out to find the real cause.
SURF'S UP: Meanwhile, Cody Maverick is an amateur surfer who dreams about winning the Penguin World Surfing Championship, while other penguins his age are busy egg-sitting. The most that this kid is accused of is "shirking" his responsibilities. Big deal.

Mumble is a bigger misfit because the elders blame him for every problem. Cody wipes out in the first round!
SCORE: HAPPY FEET – 1
SURF'S UP – 0

ROUND 2: TUNE TROUBLE
HAPPY FEET: When it comes to music, HAPPY FEET makes you want to dance. From Prince's "Song of the Heart" to Pink's "Tell Me Something Good", the film's playlist is loaded with a little something for everyone! Even the Beach Boys bring their beats.
SURF'S UP: SURF'S UP is packed with sunny songs and tropical tunes, including the likes of Green Day's "Holiday", "You Get What You Give" by New Radicals, and The Romantics' rendition of "What I Like About You". However, these tracks can't quite match up to HAPPY FEET's show-stopper of a soundtrack.

SURF'S UP falls off its board again, but can HAPPY FEET stay afloat?
SCORE: HAPPY FEET – 2
SURF'S UP – 0

ROUND 3: VOICE CHOICE
HAPPY FEET: Robin Williams heads up an all-star cast of actors lending their voices to HAPPY FEET, but Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman leave viewers disappointed as Mumble's parents. Not even Elijah Wood and Brittany Murphy's performances as lovebirds Mumble and Gloria can redeem this penguin pic.
SURF'S UP: SURF'S UP doesn't have as many A-list actors to headline the show. Nevertheless, Shia LaBeouf and Jon "Napoleon Dynamite" Heder are perfectly cast as surfers Cody Maverick and Chicken Joe. No two other actors could have done it better.

HAPPY FEET drops its egg, while SURF'S UP hangs ten!
SCORE: HAPPY FEET – 2
SURF'S UP – 1

ROUND 4: ANIMATION EXAMINATION
HAPPY FEET: The quality of computer animation is often measured by how realistic the characters look, and the penguins in HAPPY FEET are picture-perfect down to the last beak. But if I wanted to see real penguins, then I would go to the zoo.
SURF'S UP: The characters that SURF'S UP serves up are more colourful and less lifelike, but also less scary-looking. So, the audience can focus on the story and not the number of beady eyes on screen. Plus, the surfing sequences are awesome, dude!

HAPPY FEET's animation may be more realistic, but SURF'S UP is more fun to watch.
SCORE: HAPPY FEET – 2
SURF'S UP – 2

ROUND 5: MAIN MESSAGE
HAPPY FEET: Mumble may learn that it's okay to be different, but the message at the heart of HAPPY FEET tackles today's tough environmental reality. Director George Miller's message is clear: If humans are the ones who caused the problem, then perhaps we are the only ones who can fix it.
SURF'S UP: SURF'S UP, on the other hand, sends the age-old message that winning isn't everything, as well as highlighting the importance of friendship and having fun. These are all valuable lessons, but they aren't anything new.

HAPPY FEET goes where few animated films have gone before. Score!
SCORE: HAPPY FEET – 3
SURF'S UP – 2

ROUND UP: It's a good thing that winning isn't everything for SURF'S UP because Cody can't match Mumble's Antarctic antics. A superb soundtrack mixed with a moving message and a mighty misfit makes HAPPY FEET the pre-eminent penguin motion picture. Period.

Web Links:
www.happyfeetmovie.com
www.surfsup.com