It seems that Hollywood just can’t make a kids’ movie — or any movie — these days without some political angle worked into it. When we first saw the trailers for “Happy Feet,” we assumed it was just another animated film about a bunch of cute little penguins who sing and dance. Of course, we were wrong.
It all started when someone sent us this page from a Warner Brothers’ story board. When we looked at it closely, we realized that the lead penguin (voiced in the movie by Robin Williams) has a six-pack ring around his neck. “Uh-oh,” we thought, “Where are they going with this?” Where they were going, of course, is to the place they always go in kids movies — to propaganda-town. Wrote a regular blog reader:
“The Robin Williams character, Lovelace, is shown wearing a littered six pack ring around its neck. Early in the movie, the device is presented as a talisman bestowed upon him. Later, he is shown near death because he has grown into the rings, choking off his air and rendering him unable to eat. Then, the rings become caught on a buoy and later a whale nearly drags him to his death by clamping on to the rings. Does Hollywood send a message that people should care more for the planet and not litter? No! Instead, the movie suggests the rings should be banned.”
Of course it does. But what are the facts? From the people who make the rings, we know this:
Of course, the film doesn’t stop at six-pack rings. One preachy — and wildly inaccurate — message just ain’t enough. From James Lileks we find out that preachy message number two is about fishing. Crikey. Now we gotta stop fishing, too.
In any event, we just want to set the record straight. Hollywood isn’t really known for its rigorous fact checking. And, this film is a cartoon, after all. We just wanted to make sure that everyone’s clear on the facts: Penguins don’t really sing, they don’t dance, — at least in the same way that humans do — they don’t talk, and six-pack rings don’t choke ’em. What’s next, global warming?
Maybe in “Happy Feet Two.”
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