Trivia / Happy Feet

  • Actor Allusion
    • Mumble has icy blue eyes like his voice actor, Elijah Wood.
    • While his being motion-captured made this inevitable, Mumble glances at his feet when he dances the same way Savion Glover does.
  • All-Star Cast: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Hugo Weaving, Brittany Murphy, Elijah Wood, Robin Williams and Steve Irwin.
  • Author Existence Failure:
    • Averted with Steve Irwin, who recorded all of his lines shortly before his death.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Prince originally denied the filmmakers permission to use "Kiss," but then decided he wanted to see the movie first before he made a firm decision. Not only did he love the movie and ultimately give them permission, but he wrote a new song especially for its soundtrack in just one week. That song, "The Song of the Heart", won him a Golden Globe.
  • Dueling Movies: With Surf's Up. Happy Feet was the clear winner financially, but both went over well with critics.
  • Follow the Leader: Subverted. The film had a long enough gestation period, with physical production beginning in 1997, that it ended up coming out after March of the Penguins, giving the general public the impression that the former was capitalizing on the latter. Because there's No Such Thing as Bad Publicity, this film became a huge hit.
  • In Memoriam: Of Steve Irwin, who voiced the elephant seals and, in a deleted scene, an albatross.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Unlike Mumble, Elijah Wood is actually a pretty decent singer — as is E.G. Daily, the voice of young Mumble, who is a professional singer.
  • Talent Double: Sort of. While most of the character animation is done from scratch, the dancing is all motion captured.
  • Talking to Himself: Robin Williams, in a rare example of it being pretty obvious.
  • What Could Have Been...:
    • As mentioned on the main page, the film was originally going to have actual aliens.
    • Also, some Happy Feet storybooks and posters show Mumble as a fully-fledged Emperor Penguin. This is because until late in the film's production, it was intended for Mumble to lose his down feathers during his pursuit of the fishing fleet. However, it was decided that Mumble would keep half of his juvenile down throughout the story, to make him different to the other Emperor Penguins. Here are a few images of adult Mumble:
    • Mumble moulting:
    • The film was originally announced to also be released in IMAX 3D, but it was later dropped, as it would have used up a lot of the budget. There are a few scenes where it's noticeable that it was originally to be in 3D, however. The 3D effect was present in the second film, most likely due to the revive of the format.
    • Some art books and press releases include an image of a different version of the elephant seal scene. The image shows them with a much friendlier, more boisterous demeanor, and they would have been named Cletus and Jeb, suggesting they would have been hillbilly Americans rather than their final portrayal as working-class Australians. One tidbit of leaked information revealed that Cletus was voiced by Robin Williams.
    • A deleted scene depicts Mumble, during his pursuit of the alien ships, running into a blue whale and having a conversation with an albatross voiced by Steve Irwin. The scene would have wreaked havoc with the film's pacing, so instead we go straight from Mumble's pursuit of the aliens to his washing up on shore. In order to keep Irwin in the film, the above elephant seal scene was modified.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/HappyFeet