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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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Giles: Despite the fact that much about St. Giles is shrouded in mystery, we can say that he was one of the most popular saints in the Middle Ages. Likely, he was born in the first half of the seventh century in southeastern France. That is where he built a monastery that became a popular stopping-off point for pilgrims making their way to Compostela in Spain and the Holy Land.<br /><br />In England, many ancient churches and hospitals were dedicated to Giles. One of the sections of the city of Brussels is named after him. In Germany, Giles was included among the so-called 14 Holy Helpers, a popular group of saints to whom people prayed, especially for recovery from disease and for strength at the hour of death. Also among the 14 were Sts. Christopher, Barbara and Blaise. Interestingly, Giles was the only non-martyr among them. Devotion to the "Holy Helpers" was especially strong in parts of Germany and in Hungary and Sweden. Such devotion made his popularity spread. Giles was soon invoked as the patron of the poor and the disabled.<br /><br />The pilgrimage center that once drew so many fell into disrepair some centuries after Giles' death. American Catholic Blog The ascension is about the final reunion of what appeared to be separated for a while: earth and heaven, human and divine, matter and Spirit. If the Christ is the archetype of the full human journey, now we know how it all resolves itself in the end. “So that where I am, you also will be” (John 14:3).

 
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