Monday, December 11, 2006

Penguin Update

Having now viewed Happy Feet in its entirety, I must say that I’m surprised that its conservative critics have focused on the environmental message, which concerns overfishing and not global warming. My main impression of the film’s “message” was that here we have a rare children’s film that actually challenges religious authority. The religious leader of Emperor Land (who also seems to be its political leader, as penguins apparently live under a theocracy) insists that the decline in fish stocks is due to the wrath of the Great Guin, who is unhappy at the dancing of Mumble, the main character. In the end, Mumble’s search for a rational explanation exposes the folly of those who put their faith in the Great Guin. I’m not saying that religious conservatives (or religious liberals or religious folks of any political stripe) would be justified in taking issue with the anti-religious message of Happy Feet, given that the typical children's movie is either silent on religious questions or vaguely monotheistic. But it surprises me that this has not been the principal line of attack.

Thus ends my brief career as a film critic. I shall return shortly to addressing issues related to law.