With penguins at the height of their cinematic popularity following the success of the documentary March of the Penguins, IMAX Corp. and Warner Bros. Pictures have announced that the CG comedy Happy Feet will be released as an IMAX 3D offering at the same time it hits conventional theaters on Nov. 17, 2006.
Directed by George Miller, whose credits include the Babe and Mad Max films, Happy Feet is an animated musical comedy about a tap-dancing Emperor Penguin and his adventures in the Antarctic. The film’s all-star ensemble voice cast boast such silver-screen luminaries as Nicole Kidman, Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Hugh Jackman and Brittany Murphy.
Happy Feet will be digitally converted into IMAX 3D and will utilize proprietary IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology. Warner Bros. Pictures, the movie’s worldwide distributor, will exclusively handle its rollout to the growing worldwide IMAX theatre network. Following the IMAX 3D success of last year’s Polar Express, Warner Bros. has three releases slated to get the giant-screen, stereoscopic treatment next year.
Elijah Wood voices the main character In Happy Feet, a penguin named Mumble, who is the worst singer in a culture that relies on singing to attract mates. But Mumble has his own special talent that just may help him dance his way into the heart of a special girl. Jackman will voice the young Mumble’s father, Memphis, and Kidman will play his mother, Norma Jean.
In addition to directing and producing, Miller scripted the film with John Collee, Judy Morris and Warren Coleman. Miller’s co-producers on the Village Roadshow Pictures/Kennedy-Miller production are Doug Mitchell and Bill Miller. Executive Producers are Graham Burke and Bruce Berman.
Happy Feet is one of two CG penguin features on the horizon. Sony Pictures Animation is hard at work on Surf’s Up, a comedy that finds one of the flightless birds in a big surfing competition. Slated for release in the summer of 2007, that entry will feature the voices of Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel and James Woods.