Comics / Manga

Happy Feet: Cine-Manga

By Leroy Douresseaux
November 14, 2006 - 14:10


Welcome to Mr. Charlie #102, in which we take a look at a new entry in TOKYOPOP's Cine-Manga line, a film property that has already had a "Cine-Manga" version:

TOKYOPOP has previously released a Jr. Cine-Manga® version of the new Warner Bros. movie, Happy Feet.  The new Cine-Manga® version is 16 pages longer and costs two dollars more.

What is Cine-Manga?  It's a photo comic - what Marvel used to call "fumetti."  The panels on each page of the comic book aren't drawn.  They're photographs with the word balloons and captions placed over them.  TOKYOPOP has had a line of Cine-Manga for several years, which include such TV properties as "Avatar: The Last Airbender," "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer," and "Spongebob Squarepants," and film properties such as Akira, Open Season, and Shrek.  Basically, Happy Feet Cine-Manga is like its junior version, a photo comic book adaptation of the movie, and is for all ages.

Happy Feet is a new computer-animated/live action film from Warner Bros., and opens this coming Friday, November 17, 2006.  Set in Antarctica, in the land of the Emperor penguins, the narrative centers on Mumble, born into the world of the penguins, but different from others.  The Emperor penguins sing and it's by way of their "Heartsong," that the penguins attract a mate.  Early on at Penguin Elementary, Mumble learns that he cannot sing… but he can sure dance.

Because he can't sing (despite the best efforts to teach him), Mumble isn't allowed to graduate elementary school.  He leaves the Emperor colony and learns to fit in with another group of penguins, the Adelie penguins, who like Mumble, love to dance.  From here, it's one adventure after another with Mumble even trying to save all the penguins from starvation.

Happy Feet stars the voice performances of Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings), Savion Glover, Academy Award-winner Robin Williams (Good Will Hunting), Brittany Murphy, and Hugh Jackman (The Prestige).  George Miller, who has previously worked on an animal fable that was told via the computer animation/live action mix, Babe and Babe: Pig in the City, directs Happy Feet.

Generally, this wouldn't appeal to teenage and adult readers.  However, something I recently discovered about Cine-Manga is that it can act as a kind of movie preview book.  Because a Cine-Manga is composed of photo stills from a film with selected dialogue from the flick used as word balloons, it's like a highlight packet.  Maybe, you wouldn't want to read all the way and spoil the ending, but just reading half of a Cine-Manga was enough to change my mind towards seeing Happy Feet.

You can learn more about this and other titles at the publisher's website,

As usual, thanks to, for the images.

There's more me at


Last Updated: June 23, 2021 - 00:45

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