Hey! Wingers! Leave those birds alone!
December 5, 2006
We took the sprouts to see Happy Feet the other weekend and everybody had a great time. It’s about penguins, see, only they’re animated in photo-realistic detail and given voices. Songs, too. Seems that Emperor penguins (the type featured in the movie) have calls that are distinctive to each individual bird, which is the only way several hundred swaying black-and-white penguins can tell each other apart during those long Antarctic winters.
Because the film is directed by George Miller, the man who brought us Mad Max and Babe the talking pig, and because Miller has the skewed sense of humor that seems to come with being an Australian and living a six-hour plane flight from any other habitable place, this business about voices gets turned into songs, so much of the film involves penguins singing songs by Queen and Elvis Presley. If you like the idea of watching a downy gray penguin chick lift its flippers and squeak out Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message,” then this film is so perfect for you that you’ve probably already seen it and I don’t have to worry about spoiling anything for you. Oh yeah — one of the penguins has a lousy voice and tap-dances instead. Savion Glover does the tapping. Don’t tell it around, okay?
A cute movie. I’m glad we saw it. And now that I hear that lower-tier wingers like Michael Medved are denouncing the movie as left-wing propaganda because it shows the consequences of pollution and environmental damage in the Antarctic, I think I may take the kids to see it again.
Yes, Michael — the film does indeed show animals coping with the impact of man on their environment. One of the penguins has the plastic rings from a six-pack wrapped around his neck. Others have to flee as a huge ship pulverizes the ice pack they’re standing on. And all of them — penguins, skua gulls, leopard seals and orcas alike — have to deal with the reduced food supply that is the consequence of overfishing. SO don’t send Dick Cheney down to Antarctica to shoot any birdies, okay?
Just goes to prove Steve Colbert’s observation that facts have a liberal bias.
Hey, maybe Medved and his buddies can pool their resources and make a movie in which penguins take toxic-waste baths and savor the taste of those light sweet crude oil slicks making rainbows on the water.
Better still, Medved and his buddies should branch out and make one about a bunch of turkeys that haven’t got a thought in the heads except to fill the air with loud gobbling noises that drown out everybody else. Call it Feather Brains — it may not be entertaining, but it will sure as hell be autobiographical. And if they get Ann Coulter to do a cameo as a headless chicken, even I might go see it.