Through an animated feature director George Miller brings us a new take on "The Ugly Duckling." In this version Mumble (Elijah Wood) is the worst singer in his world. He looses out at school because his voice just doesn't measure up to his teacher's expectations. He does however have the ability to tap dance better than Fred Astaire but that is frowned upon by the elders, especially by Elder (Hugo Weaving) the leader of the Emperor Land.
Tossed out he travels and meets Un-Emperor-like penguins who are lead by Ramon (Robin Williams). That group called the Adelies find Mumble's dancing exciting and invite him to party with them. He also meets up with Lovelace, a Rockhopper penguin with feathers, who sounds like a preacher also voiced by Robin Williams.
Their adventures circle around and when he becomes a hero, Norma Jean (Nicole Kidman) who was close to becoming his girlfriend embraces him as the congregation rejects the advice of Elder and starts in dancing all over the ice.
With smooth and attractive animation the characters are expressive and gentle to watch, but certain chase scenes, particularly with a killer whale, may be frightening for children.