Mocking Christian Conviction, Happy Feet is Not a Friendly Little Film

I can’t remember coming out of movie theater more furious than I did this Thanksgiving holiday after watching the animated and PG-rated Happy Feet. With relatives visiting from around the country, how could we go wrong taking both kids and adults to a cute little penguin story with lots of singing and dancing, with warm and fuzzy animal themes?

I’m not a movie prude; we check out many kinds of movies. And I expect most anything coming out of Hollywood, with any rating, to include something contrary to my values. I let most of it roll off my back. But with Happy Feet, I didn’t expect my conservative Christian family to be assaulted with what we all recognized as a anti-Christian screed, with open mockery of traditional Christian preaching against values and lifestyles contrary to church teachings. It was abundantly clear that Happy Feet substituted homosexuality with dancing as the “different” lifestyle that was the unfair target of an Inquisition on ice. It was Dirty Dancing and Footloose all over again, but with the rhetoric and situation developed to make religious criticism of homosexuality counter to everything good and pleasing.

Did they think Christians wouldn’t notice? I suppose the creators just didn’t care. We had four families attending Happy Feet, with children of all ages. Independently, parents concluded during the film that they would walk out if it wouldn’t be a disruption to others in the large group of family members who had come to the movies together.

Clearly, we should have all left together.

The creators of Happy Feet should have taken less time mocking Christians and more time making sense out of the wild leaps at the end of the film, when the dancing penguin so impresses crowds in the aquarium that they release him back into the wild. And when the community of penguins gets happy feet, the commentators of the world decide its time to stop disrupting their food supply. (Of course the humans are to blame for all the animal woes; a long movie-making tradition that goes back to Bambi).

Wild leaps, even with happy feet.

For Christians who have not seen Happy Feet and are considering it as a friendly, family film—make another choice. This film is not good for children or families, and it is another Hollywood example of open mockery of Christian traditions.

— Jim Jewell

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About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group (www.valcort.com). Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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