This fun, funky fresh movie won an Oscar for Best Animated Picture in 2007, and it was very well deserved. A galaxy of stars did the voices for these penguins. Elijah Wood does the voice of Mumble, an Emperor Penquin that went through some questionable development when his father, Memphis (Hugh Jackman), drop his egg during a very rough winter at the South Pole, while dreaming of Mumble’s mother, Norma Jean (Nichole Kidman) while she was away at the fishing grounds. In this version of Antarctica, Emperor penguins look for their mates using a heartsong, but none of them can dance. Due to Memphis’ mistake, Mumble is a little odd. He cannot sing, but he has a talent for tap dancing, which his society does not quite understand, but this also brands him as an outcast. He has only one friend, Gloria (Brittany Murphy), and as she grows, she develops a talent for singing that rivals even Norma Jean’s. Later, after botching a graduation celebration with his really bad singing, Mumble gets separated from the class, and after a nasty chase from a leopard seal, Mumble meets with the Adelie Amigos, Ramon (Robin Williams), Nestor (Carlos Alazraqui), Raul (Lombardo Boyar), Rinaldo (Jeff Garcia), and Lombardo (Johnny Sanchez), a group of fun-loving, arrogant Adelie Penguins, who take to Mumble’s fun dance, and find him to be “so accidentally cool!” In the Adelie colony, there is a “guru” that everyone looks to for answers. Lovelace (Robin Williams) is a Macaroni Penguin that feels that because he was “bestowed” with a magical talisman, actually, a set plastic six-pack rings, he now knows all the answers. Mumble goes to Lovelace for guidance, but never gets his questions answered. He goes back to the Emperor colony to find Gloria, where he meets with Gloria and helps her find her heartsong and the all the young penguins get into the dancing celebration, but the colony elders accuse his odd ways of being the cause of why the food supply is running out, and Mumble is going to find the truth. This takes Mumble to places he could never have imagined, where his dancing really comes of some use in helping his colony and other animals that live near them.
I never grow tired of this movie. The songs are known by everyone, and the penguins singing them gives them a fresh sound. The personalities of all these creatures are well-defined, and there are some you will love and some you might not like so much, like the Emperor Colony’s lead elder (Hugo Weaving) but this movie is a treasure that can be enjoyed over and over, and should be.