The gotta-move protagonist of the first animated, Antarctica-set feature -- a misfit young Emperor penguin named Mumble -- returns for the sequel. Only this time he's all grown up... and a lot less fun.
The movie's bereftness of invention can be measured by how no story element builds on another. Instead, "Happy Feet Two" is plotted so that a bunch of disparate things happen, until it's time to end the movie.
It's hard to resist a children's movie where two comic krill named Will and Bill toss off a reference to existential angst one minute and make really bad wordplays, as in "Goodbye, krill world" and "one in a krillion," the next.
Even though it mimics the original, "Happy Feet Two" is incoherent, and if there's an actual story here, it's drowned out by the vapid pop songs, yapping wisecracks and flapping wings of too many characters.
Aside from novel and smart uses of 3D effects, the new movie is largely a bore, all but sidelining Williams and straining to offset the monotony of a protracted rescue story with the sour misadventures of a pair of fussy krill.
Has absolutely everything except the light touch required for unaffected charm -- the mugging is savage -- a single piece of memorable original music, or a production number that's celebratory rather than trampling.