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Last Updated: Wednesday November 29 2006 07:26 GMT

Happy Feet star Elijah Wood

Mumble from the film Happy Feet

James Bond may have burst onto cinemas screens with a bang, but he's been by overshadowed by Mumble the Penguin.

He's the star of animated film Happy Feet, which is the story of a penguin who tap dances because he can't sing.

Ellie met up with one of the stars of the film - Elijah Wood who voices Mumble - to find out more about the surprise smash hit.


Tell us about Mumble?

Mumble is an emperor penguin who is born without the ability to sing. In our film the emperor penguins have a special heartsong, which is a song that is unique to them that forms their identity.

Mumble is born without that ability. He has an incredible ability to dance, which is how he expresses himself, but as a result of that he is kind of seen as an outsider and spins off on his own journey of self-discovery.

Why should kids go to watch this film?

It's a lot of fun! There's a lot of music and a lot of dancing. In some screenings I've been to with kids they get really excited - I've heard of screenings when some kids have been dancing after the film.

It was always kind of a musical to a certain degree, and as we were making the film over three-and-a-half years it got more and more musical.

Elijah Wood
Elijah Wood plays the penguin called Mumble

Your character is the only one who can't sing. Was it fun to screech away in the film?

I can remember the first time I was asked to sing really badly, it was a blast! It was great to let my voice completely go and lose all ability.

In the movie they added real penguins squawking to make me sound even worse.

What's the environmental message of this film?

The penguins in the film and a lot of other animals are all suffering from a lack of fish, and that's part of the movie and my character goes on a journey to discover why there is a lack of fish.

We come to realise it's from overfishing, and so the humans in the story realise that the animals are suffering because of them.

It's nice to be part of something that is really fun and entertaining, but may make people think as well.

How did you enjoy voiceover work?

It's a lot of fun. You don't have to worry about yourself physically, you don't have to memorise lines. You kind of go crazy!

Is there a computer game spin-off too?

There is, and I did the voiceover for that as well. Interestingly it was quite like making the film, although there was a different director - it was someone from the computer game company.

It was the same voice - mine - and there was a script too. It was kind of like revisiting the movie a little bit.



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