Happy Feet Two appears in an aspect ratio of approximately :1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Across the board, the flick looked excellent.
Sharpness remained terrific at all times. No issues with softness occurred, as the film was always tight and precise; even the widest shots showed great precision. Jagged edges failed to appear, and I noticed no edge haloes or artifacts of any sort; a little shimmering occurred when we saw a guitar amp, though. Of course, the presentation lacked print flaws; it was clean and fresh.
Colors appeared strong. With its Antarctic setting, cold blues tended to dominate, but other hues popped up as well, especially via the bold orange-reds of the krill scenes. All the tones worked wonderfully and delivered rich colors. Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows seemed clear and appropriately opaque. This was an impressive picture.
Note that the movie appeared in a 3D presentation on the big screen, and I thought it came out as surprisingly dimensional even in its 2D incarnation. This was especially true during the early krill scenes, as they almost looked 3D. I was quite surprised at the depth the photography boasted on my 2D screen.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it bolstered the material. With its mix of action sequences, the flick delivered a good sense of space and used the five channels well. This meant a lively soundfield much of the time, and quieter scenes demonstrated nice involvement as well. All the elements combined to create an engaging, believable setting.
Audio quality was always strong. Speech sounded warm and natural, while music was consistently dynamic and full. Effects showed good clarity and accuracy, with fine low-end response. Though not quite as strong as the picture, the audio worked well.
When we shift to the Blu-ray’s extras, we find a Happy Feet Two Movie App Second Screen. As described on the packaging, this lets you “sync your app to the Blu-ray for a truly interactive experience including sing-alongs, dancing penguins and more!”
I don’t review materials that don’t appear on the disc itself, so I skipped this. However, I’d hoped that the “Second Screen” would still offer some benefits; for instance, a similarly-titled feature on Real Steel provided a good picture-in-picture program even if you didn’t bother to sync it with anything. Alas, if you run this one on its own, you’ll just see 58 minutes of the movie; it comes with no bonus materials.
A few featurettes follow. Helping Penguins and Pals goes for 11 minutes, 52 seconds and provides a mix of actor Benjamin 'Lil P-Nut' Flores, Jr. and a narrator; it also tosses in some comments from Aquarium of the Pacific presentation manager Lori Perkins, Aquarium of the Pacific blue whale research coordinator Kera Mathes, Aquarium of the Pacific Jerry Schubel and marine mammal biologist Monica DeAngelis . They discuss the Antarctic, its indigenous life and related elements. Though aimed at kids, “Helping” provides a pretty good look at its subjects and will likely be informative for most adults, too. It can be preachy – and a little P-Nut goes a long way – but it’s still a decent to good show.
During the four-minute, 59-second How to Draw a Penguin, we get a lesson from storyboard and concept artist Tim McEwen. As implied by the title, we learn how to sketch Erik here. It’s a fun little instructional piece.
Running with Boadicea fills three minutes, 10 seconds with comments from McEwen, animation director Rob Coleman, and director George Miller. They tell us a little about the Bo character and we see an early piece of rough animation that shows her in action. Nothing much of interest appears in this forgettable clip.
We take a look at the cast via the four-minute, 51-second The Amazing Voices of Happy Feet Two. It contains notes from Miller, Flores and actors Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Alecia “Pink” Moore, Hank Azaria, Matt Damon, and Common. We hear a little about their performances and characters in this light and fluffy piece. While it never becomes especially informative, it’s fun to see the actors work in the studio.
Pink’s New Song runs one minute, 56 seconds and offers remarks from Moore. She discusses her role and the song she did for the movie. Nothing more than promotional blather shows up here.
Three Sing-Alongs pop up as well. We can croon along with “The Mighty Sven”, “Bridge of Light” and “Papa Oom Mow Mow”. I’ve never quite understood the appeal of DVD/BD sing-alongs since the discs come with subtitle options – why not just activate those if you choose to belt out the various tunes? Anyway, though these sing-alongs seem pointless to me, they’re harmless.
We wind up with a new Looney Tunes Short. I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Cat goes for three minutes, 49 seconds as it shows the standard Tweety Bird/Sylvester antics. Actually, it offers a short remake of an old cartoon; it melds new CG animation with decades-old vocals from Mel Blanc and June Foray. That’s an unusual choice and it adds some intrigue to this reasonably enjoyable short.
The disc opens with an ad for Happy Feet Two: The Video Game. No trailer for Two pops up here.
A second platter provides both a digital copy of Two for use on computers or digital portable gadgets as well as a DVD copy of the film. This lacks the Blu-ray’s extras.
I can’t say I cared much for the original Happy Feet, and nothing about Happy Feet Two improved on its model. While it contained an occasional moment of entertainment, much of the time it plodded along with a generally dull feel. The Blu-ray delivers excellent picture and audio but comes with mediocre supplements. Maybe Happy Feet fans will enjoy this aimless sequel, but it did little for me.