Why are People Upset with ‘Happy Feet’

Am I the only one that goes to movies to be entertained anymore? Is that why I have had such a hard time enjoying some of the shit in theaters now days?

Now I didn’t go see Happy Feet. Primarily because I thought it looked dumb, but based on audience reception and the $121 million it has raked in so far at the box-office I may have been wrong on that one (Ooops). All that aside I am now getting word from people that the movie bashes Christians and then I get a press release today with the headline “Happy Feet Sends Wrong Environmental Message”. What is going on? Is this movie really a message movie? Or is it a story about talking penguins?

First to the Christian issue. Here in Seattle we have a reviewer that owns the website ChristianHotSpot.com and on it he reviews movies from a Christian perspective, which I totally understand. Here is a snippet from his Happy Feet review

Here are a few examples of how they slam Christianity:

  1. The great penguin in the sky sets the tone with a Christ like cross
  2. The man who everyone goes to for wisdom is supposed to be a prophet who speaks to the almighty (except we realize he is a fraud)
  3. The leader of the penguins is a pastor like figure who literally speaks hell and condemnation
  4. The entire subplot is how Christians are unaccepting of anything different than them, and how we will not allow someone into our church who has an alternative lifestyle. The character in the movie who the leadership of the fold is harshly against, is the penguin with Happy Feet. He dances instead of sings, therefore they look the other way every time he is around. There is even one point where they say to him “Repent and Turn” and then they kick him out of the fold for his evil ways. Yes, this is a HUGE pro-homosexual agenda and is not accidental.
  5. About 16 other reference to how bad Christians are: Continues mocking, jokes and jabs. There are way too many to list in my review.

Okay, now I have no problem with people finding things in movies that may or may not be intentional, but this just seems to me like nit-picking. Finding a “pro-homosexual agenda” should not be something that bothers anyone, that is unless they are anti-homosexual. Is that what we are saying here? If it is okay to be anti-homosexual then why would it be bad to be anti-Christian?

Next we come to the environmental issues, and beginning with the one brought up in Happy Feet, which involves one of the animated penguin characters, voiced by comic Robin Williams, who returns to his habitat with a ring carrier around his neck. This is the scene in which the press release I mentioned earlier has a problem with. “That’s a misleading and irresponsible characterization,” said Hi Cone Vice President and General Manager Steve Henn. He explained that plastic rings exposed to sun, wind and rain will break apart. The risk for wildlife endangerment, therefore, is almost nonexistent today because the photodegradable rings lose their strength and become brittle, even if floating on water.

This sentiment is also reiterated by Coca-Cola on their official site saying:

ITW Hi-Cone, our largest-volume supplier of plastic carriers, developed a photodegradable ring carrier to minimize the eyesore caused by careless littering and to minimize the potential for wildlife entanglement. The sun’s ultraviolet rays cause the carrier to become brittle, allowing it to break down into even smaller and smaller pieces under the effects of wind, rain and other environmental forces.

However, what about this video showing a deformed turtle thanks to a six-pack ring? Perhaps he was in an area that wasn’t exposed to wind, rain or the sun. Poor bugger.

On top of this, director George Miller, who says his native Australia has been strongly affected by global warming, felt compelled to amplify the green themes. Miller told the Wall Street Journal, “You can’t tell a story about Antarctica and the penguins without giving that dimension.” On top of that this isn’t the first time the issue has been brought up this year. Ice Age 2 dealt with the melting ice during the pre-historic age and New Line’s Hoot dealt with the protection of endangered Floridian owls.

Alan Horn, president and chief operating officer of Warner, told WSJ, “There is a very strong environmental message, but it’s couched in the context of entertainment and a story that’s personal, and I think the overriding message is, it’s okay to be different.” Hmmmm, not according to ChristianHotSpot.

The end of the Wall Street Journal article sums it all up saying:

He came up with the six-pack-necklace idea after his elementary-school-age son showed him how to snip the rings of used can holders to avoid trapping animals. The over fishing theme was inspired by news reports. And the gloomy scene of penguins in captivity stemmed from a visit he had made to a zoo in Sydney, Australia with his children several years ago. Watching one penguin stare at the wall of his enclosure, Mr. Miller wanted to transport the moment onto film. “I thought, that’s going to be Mumble,” he remembers.

Granted, six-pack rings may be better now, but they obviously still cause a problem. However, that is more of a human problem than a company problem. If idiots would just throw their trash in the trash as opposed to on the street we wouldn’t even be discussing this. Forgive the companies and blame the idiots in that case.

As for the religious themes noted by ChristianHotSpot, I can only say simmer down na. Everyone has their opinion and as long as they aren’t spouting off racial slurs in a comedy club or saying Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world in a drunken stupor, just simmer down.

Am I way off base on this or are people just taking things way out of proportion?


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