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November 18, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

You may be surprised to learn that Happy Feet 2 does have something in common with the weekend’s box-office steamroller, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: mostly lousy reviews. Indeed many of the critics who cheered on the happy penguins in the first movie have greeted the second one with the coldness of the 3D ice on the screen. In the Los Angeles Times, critic Kenneth Turan, who was one of the critics who praised the original, writes, “It’s hard to resist dancing penguins, but Happy Feet Two may make you want to try.” The “clean, focused” story about a penguin who was born to dance has been replaced here, says Turan, by a “random, haphazard” narrative. Most critics tend to give family movies like this one the benefit of a doubt and Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle concedes, “The prospect of writing a bad review of Happy Feet Two is about as appetizing as kicking a puppy.” He then proceeds to write his bad review. “For me, the movie is pretty thin soup,” writes Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun Times. “The animation is bright and attractive, the music gives the characters something to do, but the movie has too much dialogue in the areas of philosophy and analysis.” But Manohla Dargis in the New York Times apparently thinks her critic colleagues are taking this film way too seriously. True, she bestows merely faint praise on the film, but praise it is, as she writes that it is “an amiable sequel with not much on its mind other than funny and creaky jokes, and waves of understated beauty.”