So we took Emmett to Happy Feet when we were in Iowa. I knew nothing about the movie except that it was CG and had penguins. We lasted about 40 minutes, at Emmett's request. We got to the point where the hero character, Mumble, turns out to be a freakish, half-baby penguin even in his adolescence and messes up the other cool kid penguins' graduation. He had no idea what was going on. He told us, "When I'm bigger, I'll come back and watch this movie."
As we were leaving, we asked, "Did you want to go home because it was scary or because you didn't know what was going on."
"Going on," was his response.
I don't blame him. This was seriously the weirdest kids movie I've been to in a while. It combined all the worst, pop-medley aspects of Moulin Rouge with surreal penguin gods and a high council that reminded me of both the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal and the severe old presbyters from Breaking the Waves. And oh yeah, all the characters were indistinguishable from one another. Note to filmmakers--if you're making a kid's movie that you hope 3.5 year olds will watch, please make the characters look different from one another. Not just, you know, have them sing Elvis songs.
On the other hand, it had a very stark look, with masses of penguins moving in unison. It could be the most experimental mainstream kids movie ever. Like THX 1138, but for kids.
We left before it got overtly political. So strange.