Issues of the world do not belong in kids’ movies, bottom line. That’s why Happy Feet took a smug turn, by cutting down on the Al Gore made Happy Feet Two a better experience, but with a plot that seemed a little rushed, too cute for words penguins and a side splitting side story, this one ended in a draw. It wasn’t the best movie of 2011, but it wasn’t excruciating.

This time around the focus is on what it’s like to be the outcast when you’re the only one without “happy feet.” Erik, (Ava Acres) Mumble’s (Elijah Wood) son, can’t dance and very early on in the film feels rejected and takes off with another unique penguin, Ramon (Robin Williams), who is off to find his mate; a constant for the Latin lover. Joining in on the escape from the norm are Erik’s friends, a yodeling penguin and Atticus (Benjamin Flores Jr.). Heading to Ramon’s home turf, they come to find that the Adele penguins are worshiping “The Mighty Sven” (Hank Azaria), a penguin claiming he can fly. Erik falls instantly and flying is what he thinks he’s born to do. But when the world changes too harshly and the Emperor penguins are stuck in a gorge, it’s up to Mumble to turn to and his animal comrades to figure out a way to get them out, literally…Hmm, wonder what they do? But the side story of the krill, Will (Brad Pitt) and Bill (Matt Damon) could’ve been the whole movie and it would’ve left the audience satisfied; more on them later.

Intertwining real life with animation was okay with Roger Rabbit, but that’s about it. There was no point for that in the first and definitely wasn’t needed in the second. Computer animating humans can’t be that hard, so why take away from the imagination of the cartoon world and throw real life in there? Again, the story seemed a bit rushed, it didn’t have to be a Titanic long tale, but a little more focus on Erik’s outsider dilemma would’ve given me a bit more closure instead of the quick resolution.

The undertones of the changing world were definitely in the sequel, but it wasn’t as abrupt as in the first, so that was a major plus. And of course the singing and dancing is going to cause instant squeals in even the harshest people. Also, a special shout out to Pink for doing a great job taking over for Brittany Murphy (RIP). Common and Benjamin Flores Jr. also deserve accolades for bringing a bit of street cred to the penguin world.

But let’s revisit why Happy Feet Two will be a quotable movie; the krill. Will and Bill’s bromance verges on a full blown relationship with lines that may only be caught by the older folks. Like Erik, Will doesn’t feel like he fits in with the krill swarm and feels the need to set out on his own. It’s like that in Ice Age with Scrat and his nut, but this one has actual words, a deeper meaning and more laughs.

A simple and fast story line mixed with some of the most adorable creatures on Earth with a tiny pair of stars sums up Happy Feet Two best, so in the end it’s a neutral time out at the theater. You won’t leave amazed, but you’ll at least leave with a few good laughs under your belt.