Monday, November 27, 2006

Happy Feet's Dismal Message

I went to see the movie Happy Feet over the Thanksgiving weekend. Some may say that the animated films are just for kids, but I like a lot of them. Some memorable ones I have enjoyed include Toy Story 1 and 2, Monsters Inc. and Lilo and Stitch. After enjoying March of the Penguins 2 summers ago I decided to check out an animated film about the Emperor penguins of Antarctica. What I expected was a harmless, fun, light-hearted movie for kids. The first half of Happy Feet was decent, as decent as you can make a movie revolving around a dancing penguin. But then the writers had to inject their political agenda. If you are planning on seeing this movie and do not want to know any spoilers, quit reading here. The main character, Mumbles, ends up in a zoo and the movie shows how bleak life is for animals who are in captivity. Then it tells how over fishing in Antarctica is making it hard for the penguins to have adequate food supply to survive. This was supposed to be a fun, mindless kid's movie. I halfway expected Al Gore to appear on screen and talk about his gloom and doom global warming scenario. If someone wants to make a political documentary about the evils of zoos and the fishing industry, then do it and label it as such. But don't disguise your political agenda as a kid's flick. The fish supply for penguins may indeed be a big problem, I don't know. But Happy Feet was not the correct forum to discuss it. On the topic of zoos, animals might be happier in the wild, but zoos do a lot to help animals too and certain species would probably be extinct if it was not for the zoos breeding them and keeping them away from predators they would face in the wild. Humans do some things to hurt the environment, but we also help it in certain ways too.