Happy Feet special event
In case you're unfamiliar with the animated film, it focuses on Mumble, an Emperor Penguin that cannot sing -- an essential skill for finding a mate. Mumble can tap dance, but his inability to sing leads to his isolation and exclusion from his parents and the colony. He has to strike out on his own and finds new friends, such as the Adelie Penguins and Rockhopper Penguin in the poster above.
Luckily, my schedule yesterday could accommodate a last-minute jaunt to West Hollywood, a mere 52 miles away through dense SoCal. Leaving Irvine about 4 p.m., I found the Pacific Design Center on Melrose Avenue at 5:15 and entered the Silver Screen Theater's reception area to find this:
Around the ice sculpture milled lots of happy children, eating penguin and tuxedo cookies, chocolate-dipped strawberries and powdered-sugar-covered brownies. At two stations, some kids played the Mumble video game by Midway, but most of the minors lined up to take their picture with this fellow:
As tempted as I was to push aside the children to play the game and to sit beside the Black-footed Penguin, I resisted. Believe me: It was a struggle.
Then we entered the theater and had the pleasure of watching four talented teenage tap dancers in tuxedos perform a lively routine that included a cameo from four BFPEs. Then a studio executive provided an introduction to the 20-minute video that was narrated by the film's Australian director, George Miller ("Babe: Pig in the City"). I didn't know that work began on "Happy Feet" four years ago -- before "March of the Penguins" arrived in theaters in 2005. If I understood correctly, Savion Glover participated in the film's tap-dance sequences.
During yesterday's impromptu field trip, I particularly enjoyed seeing the kids respond to the live penguins. How can we channel that enthusiasm for a funny-lookin' bird into an enthusiasm for local birds?