The penguins are more likely to mambo than march in this all-singing, all-dancing digi-toon. It’s Moulin Rouge with flippers, the jukebox constantly jumping as tap-happy misfit Mumble (he was dropped as an egg) tries to find his singing voice. So far, so frivolous. Two-thirds in, though, there’s an abrupt change of tune, Miller lurching into a plea for more penguin-friendly fishing policies. All well and good, but the mix of cute and serious is as awkward as the lumping together of real people and pixels in the Close Encounters-esque last act.
Still, plenty to paper over the cracks – not least the compu-animation with its breath-catching wind and water FX. Elijah Wood is a trifle bland as our fluffy hero, but you can rely on Robin Williams (snagging two roles) for ad-libbed laughs while Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman have a ball as Mumble’s Kiss-singing, Elvis-and-Marilyn parents.
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