The bold, Technicolor palette used against Antarctic white is pleasurable, and the film fair rattles through its formula set-pieces. And if the coat-tailed penguins resemble puff-cheeked (Yogi) bears and (Minnie) mice more than true sphenisciformes, that's par for the cartoon course. But the romantic plot is excruciating. Dork penguin Hubie falls for flutter-eyed babe Marina in the run-up to the match-making 'Full Moon Ceremony', but nasty Drake pushes him out of the way - into a half-hour of escapades on the high seas. Can he make it back with the requisite pebble (part of the real-life mating ritual of the Adeli penguins, it seems) before she meets a fate worse than death? The characterisations are weak and unendearing. Worse, the big 'action' sequences turn up with the pacing and predictability of clock chimes. And, in what is perhaps the last great medium for musicals, the perfunctoriness of Barry Manilow's songs and arrangements seem guaranteed to put off yet another generation.
Cast and crew
Racheal Koretsky, Steve Whitestone