Mumble (Wood) thinks he's inadequate as a father since his non-dancing son Erik (Acres) feels like such an outsider. So when Erik runs off to visit the guru Lovelace (Williams) and meet flying penguin star Sven (Azaria), Mumble follows.
Meanwhile back home, an ice-shelf collapse has trapped the entire Emperor colony, so now Mumble, Erik and Lovelace's colony must find a solution. Perhaps some passing humans can help. Or a gang of tetchy sea elephants. Or maybe it'll be down to two renegade krills (Pitt and Damon) who are trying to find their individuality.
Filmmaker Miller seems to have come up with a collection of colourful characters and then strung together a flimsy story that he could work them all into. Plus the usual be-yourself message. Although it offers plenty of scope for eye-catching set pieces, the trapped-colony plot never generates much suspense. But we don't mind much since the critters are packed with hilarious personality touches and are stunningly animated down to the smallest detail.
The krill-eye perspective is especially amazing.
Even if some characters get lost in the overcrowded shuffle, the lively mayhem is consistently entertaining. Aside from the loveable penguins, sea elephants and scene-stealing krills, there's a marauding flock of nasty skua, an arrogant puffin and even some live-action human rockers. Wrestling them all into the central plot doesn't really work, as everyone comes and goes rather suddenly, but the high energy level keeps the audience engaged even when Miller tries to crank up the impending doom.
Unlike the first film, this one has original songs that we can't join in on, but a beautiful central power-ballad may give P!nk (as Mumbles' wife) a shot at an Oscar. And we still get to hum along to Queen's We Are the Champions and Under Pressure, Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation, the Rawhide theme and other random pop tunes. While an emotive operatic aria is a nicely surprising touch.
Run time: 100 mins
In Theaters: Friday 18th November 2011
Box Office USA: $64.0M
Box Office Worldwide: $150.4M
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Production compaines: Dr D Studios, Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, Kennedy Miller Mitchell
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 46%
Fresh: 51 Rotten: 60
IMDB: 5.9 / 10
Director: George Miller
Producer: George Miller
Screenwriter: George Miller
Starring: Elijah Wood as Mumble (voice), Robin Williams as Ramon / Lovelace (voice), Pink as Gloria (voice), E.G. Daily as Erik (voice), Johnny A. Sanchez as Lombardo (voice), Lombardo Boyar as Raul (voice), Sofía Vergara as Carmen (voice), Common as Seymour (voice), Hugo Weaving as Noah the Elder (voice), Brad Pitt as Will the Krill (voice), Matt Damon as Bill the Krill (voice)
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