Robin Williams, who played multiple characters in the animated dancing-penguin movie Happy Feet, confirmed that production is moving forward on a sequel, which begins shooting in Australia at the beginning of the year.
Director George Miller is already mounting recording sessions in his native country.
"I go to Australia in January," Williams said in a group interview on Friday in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he was promoting the dark comedy World's Greatest Dad. "He's going to record there, which is great."
Williams recalled Miller's invitation by impersonating the director's soft-spoken, accented voice. "He's a very sweet man," Williams said. "He goes, 'Robin, I think we're gonna do another one.' Great, George. It's so great, because you realize George Miller, he did all those Road Warrior movies, and then he does this penguin movie."
The comedian went on to take a jab at Miller's frequent Mad Max star, the troubled movie star Mel Gibson. "'And Mel's going to play a voice,'" Williams riffed in his Miller voice. He was, of course, just joking.
For his own characters, Williams will limit himself to the two he established in the first Happy Feet. He changed his voice dramatically to voice the South American penguin Ramon and the deep-voiced love guru Lovelace, but Williams has no plans to invent any new penguin voices.
"Just two, I think," Williams said. "Just Lovelace, who I love doing because it's kind of based on Barry White, and then Ramon, who is the Argentinian macho penguin."
Ramon's accent may not translate into print, but here's the best attempt at reproducing Williams' vocal tangent. "'I love doing heem because just to hear this coming from a penguin is always for me, jou know, the best thing about my life,'" he said.
A staple of animated voices, including the blockbuster Aladdin, Williams holds Happy Feet near the top of his personal list. "I had a great time doing that," he said of the first film. "First of all, because the concept was interesting, but I got to work with all these great Chicano comics."