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Happy Feet


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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Bruno: This saint has the honor of having founded a religious order which, as the saying goes, has never had to be reformed because it was never deformed. No doubt both the founder and the members would reject such high praise, but it is an indication of the saint's intense love of a penitential life in solitude. 
<p>Bruno was born in Cologne, Germany, became a famous teacher at Rheims and was appointed chancellor of the archdiocese at the age of 45. He supported Pope Gregory VII in his fight against the decadence of the clergy and took part in the removal of his own scandalous archbishop, Manasses. Bruno suffered the plundering of his house for his pains. </p><p>He had a dream of living in solitude and prayer, and persuaded a few friends to join him in a hermitage. After a while he felt the place unsuitable and, through a friend, was given some land which was to become famous for his foundation "in the Chartreuse" (from which comes the word Carthusians). The climate, desert, mountainous terrain and inaccessibility guaranteed silence, poverty and small numbers. </p><p>Bruno and his friends built an oratory with small individual cells at a distance from each other. They met for Matins and Vespers each day and spent the rest of the time in solitude, eating together only on great feasts. Their chief work was copying manuscripts. </p><p>The pope, hearing of Bruno's holiness, called for his assistance in Rome. When the pope had to flee Rome, Bruno pulled up stakes again, and spent his last years (after refusing a bishopric) in the wilderness of Calabria. </p><p>He was never formally canonized, because the Carthusians were averse to all occasions of publicity. However Pope Clement X extended his feast to the whole Church in 1674.</p> American Catholic Blog The saints in heaven love and care for us, and so it is fitting that we pray to them and ask for their prayers, as we on earth assist one another through prayer.

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