Australian Council on Children and the Media

Happy Feet Two

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Short takes

Not recommended under 6, PG to 8 (Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Happy Feet Two
  • a review of Happy Feet Two completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 20 December 2011.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not recommended due to scary scenes
Children aged 6-8 Parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes
Children over the age of 8 OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Happy Feet Two
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild sense of threat
Length 103 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Erik (voiced by Ava Acres), the young son of Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood) is scared to dance with the other penguins because he thinks that he will embarrass himself. When Mumble manages to persuade him to give it a try, that is just what happens and, feeling that he doesn’t fit in, Erik runs away..  

Erik meets the Mighty Sven (voice of Hank Azaria), a penguin who can fly! Erik is in awe of Sven and believes that he will be able to do anything if he really tries. Meanwhile Mumble has gone to look for Erik and while he is away from the rest of the colony and his wife Gloria (voice of Pink), a massive ice shelf slips into the ocean separating them and cutting off the Emperor Penguin colony from their food supply.

Mumble finds Erik and on the journey back they meet Bryan the Beachmaster (voice of Richard Carter) a rather aggressive elephant seal, who falls down a deep crevasse, leaving two very sad baby seals calling helplessly to their Dad. Mumble manages to free Bryan who later returns the favour by helping to bridge the gap back to the remaining penguins.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Environmental damage due to climate change.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence and accidental harm in this movie including:

  • Will Krill and Bill Krill are nearly eaten on several occasions by whales and larger fish in the ocean.
  • The penguins are attacked by large polar bears and by aggressive skua birds.
  • Bryan the Beachmaster is an aggressive elephant seal who threatens Mumble and looks as if he will harm him.
  • Will Krill nearly gets crushed under foot and is caught in a chain saw.
  • Two elephant seals have a fight.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Erik slips and falls while trying to dance, lands upside down in the ice and urinates. He then hides in a crevasse, trembling from fear and embarrassment.
  • The ground shakes very loudly, causing the ice to crack and break off (several times) and large waves rise up in the ocean, scaring all of the animals.
  • Sven sees men roasting chickens over a fire and eating them. He is afraid.
  • Bryan the Beachmaster is a huge scary looking animal.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • The entire population of emperor penguins is trapped by walls of snow and ice and are in great danger.
  • Some penguins try to slide off the cliff and crash land.
  • Ramon jumps off a cliff to be with Carmen
  • Erik falls off a cliff and Mumble has to rescue him with a rope.
  • Baby seals call for their father who has fallen down a crevasse.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Most children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

OK for this age group

Product placement

None of concern in the film, but plenty of associated merchandise

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Ramon the ‘Mexican’ penguin is always on the lookout for ‘chicas’. When he finds the beautiful Carmen he says ‘You, me, egg now!’
  • Sven feeds Gloria some fish in a suggestive manner
  • There is an undertone of a gay relationship between Will and Bill.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

Name calling such as “loser” and “idiots”.

In a nutshell

Happy Feet Two is a beautifully made animated film which is really enhanced by 3D effects. The story is a bit hard to follow at times, particularly for young viewers who may also be worried by scenes of scary animals and animals in danger.  The music and dancing will appeal to older children.

The main messages from this movie are the impact of global warming on the environment and also about discovering one’s own talents and uniqueness.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • the importance of family and friends.
  • kindness
  • co-operation and helping others in difficulty

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss:

  • What can happen when you don’t listen to your parents
  • That running away from a problem won’t solve it
  • The stereotyping of characters such as the love-struck Mexican and the laconic Australian Beachmaster.

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