One of the film's most spectacular adventures is undertaken by the small fry. “It's the journey of two tiny krill, Will and Bill,” director George Miller says. “They live in a great biomass of billions and billions of krill that move with the tides…they're the bottom and the basis of the food chain. Every animal up the chain relies on krill. And in the middle of these indistinguishable billions are Bill and Will, played by Damon and Pitt. Will decides that he feels he's different from everyone else around him and he ventures outside the swarm. Will wants to evolve higher up the food chain. Bill, on the other hand, is terrified. He just wants to stay and continue to behave exactly like all the other krill.”
Miller was happy to have the opportunity to pair Damon and Pitt in the recording studio to capture both their irrepressible banter…and their singing. “They were really very free, working off each other, because they know each other so well. Matt Damon can sing, and Brad Pitt made it really clear upfront he couldn’t. But Brad just said, ‘This is a no-shame zone; I’m just going to go out there and give it a go,’ and he did remarkably well. His singing is in the movie.”
Damon admits, “The singing was a bit of a surprise. It was fun to just go for it and say, ‘What the hell?’ It’s definitely not my strong suit, but I figured, you gotta go loud or go home.”
It was lucky for the filmmakers that both Pitt and Damon were available to record together in the same studio. And both actors agree they were fortunate to have a filmmaker like George Miller to guide them. Damon observes, “There is a contagious fearlessness that comes from George. You see a guy who loves the project that much and you realize that what made the first movie great is that spirit. Brad and I were doing stuff we’ve never done in any kind of movie, animated or not. We left there thinking, ‘Now that was cool!’”
Co-producer Doug Mitchell adds, “We learned later on that Brad’s and Matt’s kids are fans of the first film, and I think it is safe to say that they had a lot to do with them taking the roles.”
One should never undervalue the contribution of the small. Filmmakers learned that lesson, as Bill Miller comments, “Do not underestimate the power of children to pester their parents to act in a film. Matt Damon told us he hadn’t even cracked open the screenplay to ‘Happy Feet Two’ before his daughter said, ‘Dad, you’re doing it.’ Matt really had no choice.”
Opening across the Philippines on Nov. 23 in IMAX 3D, 2D and regular theaters, “Happy Feet 2” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.