Babe creator's cool new role
Daily Telegraph, Sydney.
By Sarrah Le Marquand
August 02, 2006 p. 3
Put Shrek and Nemo on ice - they're about to be replaced by Mumble, the tap-dancing penguin hero of Happy Feet, an animated blockbuster due to hit the big screen this Christmas.
Directed by (Kytherian-Australian) George Miller - the Australian filmmaker behind the box-office smash Babe - it features the voices of a stellar cast including Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Hugo Weaving and Robin Williams.
A US-Australian co-production, the animated musical comedy has been four years in the making and is in the final stages of production at Fox Studios.
Although the finished product will not be released until December 26 - the traditional opening day for summer blockbusters - Miller yesterday treated a small audience to a sneak peek at the film.
He confessed the inspiration for Happy Feet - which tells the story of a penguin branded a social outcast because he can't sing - came from watching natural history documentaries about Antarctica.
"We decided to make the film as photo real as possible and I think that's turned out to be a good strategy, given that there are so many computer generated imagery animations coming out now.
"We sent two expeditions down to Antarctica to research and take photographs, to capture the landscape and the light," Miller said.
The filmmakers are determined to surpass the realism previously captured in a CGI-animated film.
"If this was the Olympics and this was the diving, then we'd be diving with the highest degree of difficulty," Miller said of the process.
Their efforts are already paying off, with the film enticing the likes of Pink, kd Lang and Prince to lend their musical talents to the project.
Australian actors will feature heavily in the film, with Magda Szubanksi, Anthony LaPaglia and even crocodile hunter Steve Irwin signing on for cameo roles.
To view pictures, videos, previews, & information about Happy Feet go to,