Monday, November 12, 2012

stupidest movie ever?

Or maybe it doesn't even deserve that distinction.

It is a well known fact that Matt and I can't watch anything together except meaningless time destroying NatGeo reality shows and sometimes The Cooking Channel. And, not surprisingly, now that we have children the problem is weekly exacerbated by having to sift through the endless ghastly "Children and Family" sections of Netflix and Amazon. Sometimes we land on a true gift, like Terry Pratchett's Hogfather. (What a gem! How funny! Death as the HogFather--really a delight!) And then other times we land on things like the awful awful awful awful awful Happy Feet.

What can I even say about this "film" without further irritating myself? Let's see, Male Penguin A "sings his heart song" and "meets his one true love" (that is Female Penguin B) or whatever but then, while Female Penguin B is off fishing for the long winter, Male Penguin A drops their Egg which causes said Egg to be unable to discover his own Heart Song and find his own One True Love. Instead of having a "Heart Song" he has "Happy Feet", that is, he tap dances instead of singing. Other little extras in this Boring Cliche That is Nearly Every Movie Produced For The Betterment of American Children include the Evil Scottish Puritanical Penguin who Hates Science and is An Idiot, the Bad Father (Male Penguin A) who Doesn't See His Egg's True Potential, Love Interest Penguin whose Heart Song is from American Idol (I guess) and whose entitled and snappy attitude made me feel really tired. And finally, the whole mess is driven forward by the Evil Environment Destroying Human Being Finally Able To Save All The Dancing Penguins By Offering Up True Repentance In The Form Of A UN Enacted Antarctic Fishing Ban.

The intellectual incoherence of telling the child that, on the one hand, he needs to discover his true self and look deep within himself to discover true happiness, and on the other hand, that his presence on this earth is evil and will eventually Destroy Everything boils my onion every time.


lissla lissar said...

I hate The Lorax movie for similar reasons, although I think Happy Feet is worse. Overwhelming moralism never improves a movie. Or a book, for that matter.

What my eldest initially got from watching The Lorax was a desire to cut down all the trees in the world.

Dr. Alice said...

Have you read Saki's "The Storyteller," in which a traveler tells three children a story that most conspicuously does NOT have a moral, in order to entertain them? It horrifies their aunt. His parting shot is "I kept them quiet for ten minutes, which is more than you were able to do." Very funny. The kids might enjoy it.

Sarah Boyle Webber said...

Yes, I hate that movie, too. My MIL gave it to my son and I threw it away after a couple of viewings.

Julie said...

Being a big fan of penguins, I tried to watch "Happy Feet" once and I don't believe I got more than 30 minutes into it before I shut it off forever. I agree -- really, really awful.

I find myself watching some of the independent foreign family films on Netflix quite often. They've got some really good ones! I'll have to go through my "already watched" list to find some to recommend.

I don't know if it could be considered a family film because there are subtitles but "Rabbit-Proof Fence" is a good movie! "The Kite Runner" is absolutely fantastic but not for kids because of the strongly implied sexual assaults.

I hate, hate, hate the modern remakes of our childhood favorites. It makes me so angry to see Dr. Seuss and Charlie and the Chocolate factory given sarcastic modern spins, wretchedly flippant new characters, and "issues." Johnny Depp should be banished because of what he did to Willy Wonka.

R said...

This is quite funny, b/c I let S. watch this on the plane. Of course, she hadn't yet worked out what the headphones were for, & thus was just watching silent CG penguins, which was a better option (I thought) than the Cartoon Network schlock also available. ;)