The soundtrack to Happy Feet, the animated penguin fantasia musical directed by George Miller -- the man behind such acclaimed films as Babe, Babe: Pig in the City, and Mad Max -- is a loose and lively mix of '70s funk and modern club-oriented R&B. Borrowing from the template popularized by Shrek, the soundtrack features both new cuts and old songs, with some tracks covered by actors in the film. To this end, listeners get Brittany Murphy singing both Queen's "Somebody to Love" and the disco classic "Boogie Wonderland" as well as Pink reworking Stevie Wonder's "Tell Me Something Good" with pleasing results. Interestingly, Happy Feet also includes some attempts at the über-hip DJ trend of mashups -- two songs played at the same time -- with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman doing Prince's "Kiss" and Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel" and Jason Mraz and Chrissie Hynde on Steve Miller's "The Joker" and David Gates' "Everything I Own." While these are technically more like two-song medleys than actual mashups and are somewhat awkward musically, they are nonetheless unexpected shots of cultural Zeitgeist and a welcome break from the standard soundtrack cover tunes. Throw in an original track from Prince as well as the big-band swing-meets-glam rock-meets-contemporary R&B of Gia Farrell's "Hit Me Up," and Happy Feet delivers no less than a computer-animated Moulin Rouge.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar