Happy Feet Premieres In London

Full report and pictures from the event

Happy Feet Premieres In London

by Willow Green |
Published on

Despite the world’s least convincing icebergs and fake snow that smelled so strongly of burning you wondered if it were carcinogenic, last night’s premiere for the all-singing all-dancing CGI penguin comedy Happy Feet charmed the pants off the crowds waiting at the Empire Leicester Square for stars Nicole Kidman (who signed some autographs before running in out of the cold), Brittany Murphy (who signed lots of autographs, went in, came back out again for 15 minutes) Robin Williams and Elijah Wood.

Admittedly this had a lot to do with the very cute penguins performing choreographed routines around the red - or for this occasion, blue - carpet. The film follows a group of penguins struggling against the ecological odds (naturally) who each have a heartsong to attract other penguins, all except for one youngster who can only dance. You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen someone in a penguin suit attempt a Dick Van Dyke leg click.

Despite wearing what looked like the world’s thinnest jumper, Elijah Wood (who plays Mumbles, a penguin who can’t carry a tune in a bucket but dances like Gene Kelly) managed to keep warm by chatting to fans and signing autographs. He saved his warmest praise for co-star Robin Williams. “It was amazing, and constantly exciting and I never knew what was going to come out of his mouth. It was great!”

Brittany Murphy, clearly freezing by this point, chatters her way sweetly through a chat with Empire, but unfortunately her hyperactive teeth don’t let out whether Angelina Jolie’s been cast in the still-unstarted Sin City 2. As one of the singing cast members (and, along with Nicole Kidman, one of only two to have a number one single) the tunes have added to her taste for a new career. “I would love to (do an album),” she said, “it’s just a matter of time and working on it and dedicating the time to only making music and not splitting my efforts between that and making films.”

While keeping firmly schtum on Sin City 2, she was keen to play up her forthcoming thriller The Dead Girl, which comes out in the States next month. “It’s a small film with a very important message, so please do go and see it. It’s a psychological thriller, a good thriller, and again a very important message for women.”

In keeping with his can’t-keep-still attitude, Robin Williams voices three characters in the film and explains why he keeps coming back to animated film. “I do it for myself but also knowing that a lot of people come up and they say they’ve been watching it with their children and having a great time.”

He was full of praise for the film’s animators. “You’re giving them just a scene and then they make something from it which is just amazing. I mean, for this I worked maybe two weeks and they worked for three years so the time difference is incredible, but when you see what they make – it’s astonishing.”

Williams’s all-time favourite animated role should come as no surprise to Disney fans. “The Genie. Just because it was like Morph and Mindy, you got to do everything. You do William F Buckley in a cartoon, I never thought a kid would understand that. (goes into impression) ‘The idea of getting a Conservative into a cartoon…’ and (Jack) Nicholson! Well, he’s pretty much a cartoon in himself. That was amazing, I thought a lot of kids would have gone through puberty by the end!”

Happy Feet is released on December 8

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