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What Does It Mean ? What does this all mean for the Ground Crew ?

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Old 02-28-2010, 11:25 AM   #1
Malaros
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 53
Default The message in Happy Feet

I have only just seen this film (I don't watch the TV or DVDs much) and I expected a typical message in a film of this ilk where the hero (Mumble, the dancing penguin), goes on a journey of self discovery and saves the day. He does do this, but there are huge and not so subtle messages in this film (compared to other films I have seen which have subtle messages)

For people who haven't seen the film, a good basic plotline is on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Feet#Plot

Here are a few points:

When Mumble meets the flying birds (I don't know what species) whose leader has the yellow tag around his leg. When the leader tells Mumble that he was abducted by aliens, the other birds in his gang get annoyed about the fact that he is telling this story again. The feeling that they portraying is 'We have to hear this crazy story again!'.

Of course, we are looking from another point of view - we know that the 'aliens' exist because we are the aliens. We know that there is a mundane reason why that bird was tagged. Which, to me, gives us the message that people who tell alien abduction stories are crazy and that there is a more mundane reason for alien abductions.

One part I find interesting is that when Mumble's dad loses Mumble and tells Mumble's mum, she is horrified, but he doesn't seem that bothered. I wonder what message that intends to send.

There's some more plot things - Mumble can dance but he can't sing, whereas every emperor penguin sings. We are also told that the numbers of fish are dwindling.

Moving on to the part where Mumble and his friends find the fishing ship, there is a short bit where, as the ship approaches them from the fog, the pattern of the lights looks like the lights on a flying saucer. Mumbles follows the ship. As he does, a narrator tells us that he went further than any other penguin and that 'it was there indifference that angered him the most.'
It seems to give the message that the humans take away food from millions of penguins and don't care.

Mumble is put in a zoo and goes mad. He dances for the humans who find it amusing. This gives the message of mind control techniquies - you're going to stay here until you please us.

Mumble is then let back into the Antarctic with a tracking device (the hero has a tracking device, giving the message that it's ok to have tracking devices), where he tells all the other penguins to dance because the 'aliens like it'. When a helicopter lands and 'aliens' come out to watch, the whole flock(?) of penguins starts to dance, at which point the 'aliens' decide that they are over fishing the Antarctic and leave.

What message does that think that gives?

'If you all dance for the people in power (who don't really care about you), they will stop taking things away from you.'

Great message (sarcasm). Simultaneously riduculing UFOs while teaching submission to power and that it's ok to wear tracking devices.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:08 PM   #2
She-Ra
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: London, UK
Posts: 159
Default Re: The message in Happy Feet

It sounds abit mafia style - 'do what we want and we won't bother you, but we'll be keeping an eye on you'.
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