When faced with an obstacle in life, what do you do? Do you run? Do you stare at it and hope it goes away? Or, do you overcome it? I don’t know about you, but when I walked into the movie theatre to see Happy Feet Two, I was expecting an entertaining and whimsical adventure – which it was.
But, happily, I should say, I found that there was a larger message: to believe. Mumble the penguin is back with a family of his own. And while Mumble, voiced by Elijah Wood, wanted to dance, his son Erik, voiced by Elizabeth Daily, wants to fly. When Erik meets “The Mighty Sven,” a puffin with only words of encouragement and positivity, he is determined more than ever to learn how to fly. The only problem is, Erik doesn’t know that Sven is a puffin. Which brings me to something else: are we better off knowing or not knowing? Well, that depends. What are you trying to do? And how do you know you are or aren’t supposed to know something?
I feel that being naïve may have something to do with it. The kind of naïve that causes someone to go after what they truly want in life. The kind of naïve that will take advice, but also know when to use it and when to put it aside. It’s hard to be someone who does something “first.” There aren’t guidelines, there aren’t people showing you how to do it because it has never been done before. It takes courage, persistence, and yes, some naiveté to do what has never been done before. Following the rules all the time and going by the book doesn’t always mean progress. Now, I’m not saying that we should become an angry mob. What I’m saying is, there is no need to remain stagnant just because “that’s how it’s always been done.” There is no need for that. I found myself secretly hoping Erik the baby penguin would never find out that he was taking advice from a puffin. I wanted him to not know because not knowing, at times, means doing what was not known before. It then becomes known.
During the movie, while Mumble, his son, and their friends try to figure out how to protect their penguin nations from a natural disaster, we are introduced to the tiny krill. Yes, shrimp, who just so happen to be voiced by Brad Pitt and Mat Damon. The krill encourage us to think about our purpose in life. And Robin Williams as the voice of Lovelace, the bombastic yet hilarious Rockhopper penguin, is sure to bring out the carefree spirit we all have inside of us.
I left the theater smiling because it made me feel like a kid. Not in that it was an animated motion picture for children, but because the message is for the child within each of us. This life is not for those who are afraid to jump up onto the soles of their feet. It’s for the naïve, the hungry, and the courageous. Just look at a seven-year-old dance in front of everyone with no care in the world. I used to do that – still do (although I don’t advise doing this at very traditional family functions). There is pure freedom in just being who you are. We must retain this freedom always.
As Mary Kay Ash once said, “Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.”