in the mood for penguin love

if you haven't seen the animated movie "happy feet" yet, then by all means, lace up your shoes and go rent it! and i do suggest you also pick up "march of the penguins" by the amazing folks at national geographic as your prelude film. i was lucky to be able to rent both at the same time from my local library--was in the mood for penguin-themed movies and have always meant to see both titles.

it's best if you see "march of the penguins" first, as it beautifully depicts the life cycle of the emperor penguins in the south pole. morgan freeman narrates that a penguin's life is a "story of love." for thousands of years, a penguin's destiny has always been to find his one true love, and produce the egg that they will care for through thick or thin--ice, that is.

the underwater shots of penguins hunting for ice fish is spectacular--this has been made possible by national geographic's "crittercams"...a filming device they strap onto the penguin's body to get a "bird's eye view", so to speak, of their underwater habits.

the special features on the dvd also reveal that a part of antarctica has been disrupted by global warming and is endangering the penguins' way of life. the once smooth and easily navigable frozen landscape has morphed into a rugged, uneven, icy terrain, making it difficult for the penguins to trek towards the ice edge and swim for food. they were able to capture some penguins on film who have died an icy death because they were trapped in a mountain of snow. it is a heartbreaking sight.

"happy feet", on the other hand, is an adorable family film which, like "march of the penguins", aims to enlighten us on environmental awareness. it is crammed with happy tunes as well, like a jukebox of your favorite pop songs. it also makes you want to sign up for a tap-dancing class. it cleverly dubs the penguins' mating calls into songs like prince's "kiss" and queen's "somebody to love." the "happy feet" belong to a little penguin named mumble, who is unlike any other penguin. his catastrophe is that he cannot sing, and because of this, he does not have a "heart song" that will attract a partner for him. needless to say, he is an outcast in the penguin colony.

it's a star-studded cast of voices with the likes of hugh jackman, nicole kidman, elijah wood, robin williams, and brittany murphy.

the film teaches us to embrace our unique selves and not be afraid to be different...and spontaneous. now, if only finding one's soulmate is as easy as the penguins do it.

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