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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Happy Feet

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Computer-animated fable set in the Antarctic about a young emperor penguin (voiced by Elijah Wood) whose inability to carry a tune and propensity for tap dancing gets him banished by the puritanical elders who blame him for the colony's dwindling fish supply, prompting the misfit to prove them wrong, get to the bottom of the food shortage, and hopefully discover his "heartsong," the mating call unique to each penguin that will help him find true love. Director George Miller combines terrific animation and voice talent (that also includes Robin Williams, Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman) but packs too many themes -- tolerance, conformity, environmental responsibility -- into the sweet yet slender story. There are some dark and intense moments laced throughout and an unflattering view of religious authority, but the broader themes of love and self-worth should melt most objections. Some mildly rude humor and innuendo, as well as some menace and two frightening sequences that may upset very young viewers, but probably OK for older children. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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All Saints: The earliest certain observance of a feast in honor of all the saints is an early fourth-century commemoration of "all the martyrs." In the early seventh century, after successive waves of invaders plundered the catacombs, Pope Boniface IV gathered up some 28 wagonloads of bones and reinterred them beneath the Pantheon, a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods. The pope rededicated the shrine as a Christian church. According to Venerable Bede, the pope intended "that the memory of all the saints might in the future be honored in the place which had formerly been dedicated to the worship not of gods but of demons" (<i>On the Calculation of Time</i>). 
<p>But the rededication of the Pantheon, like the earlier commemoration of all the martyrs, occurred in May. Many Eastern Churches still honor all the saints in the spring, either during the Easter season or immediately after Pentecost. </p><p>How the Western Church came to celebrate this feast, now recognized as a solemnity, in November is a puzzle to historians. The Anglo-Saxon theologian Alcuin observed the feast on November 1 in 800, as did his friend Arno, Bishop of Salzburg. Rome finally adopted that date in the ninth century.</p> American Catholic Blog Touch can be an act of kindness when someone is dying. If you visit a sick person and find that you are at a loss for words, reach out and touch her hand.

 
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