Elijah Wood is an "uncle" to many animals.

The 'Happy Feet 2' actor is unable to have a pet because of his busy career but he is more than happy to help care for the creatures owned by his friends and relatives.

He said: "Unfortunately, I myself don't have a pet. But I'm an uncle to several. I look after my brother's dog part of the time."

In 'Happy Feet 2', Elijah voices dancing penguin Mumble and he visited the zoo to study the behaviour and mannerisms of the animals.

He explained in an interview with the New York Post newspaper: "I first went to a penguin exhibit at the San Diego Zoo. Also one at Sea World. The charming creatures stand tall. Upright. Perfect posture. They're curious. Their personality is adorable. And docile. Not aggressive. You can pet them."

Elijah enjoyed working on the movie because unlike other animated films, the cast all recorded their parts together.

He explained: "In the movie Matt Damon and Brad Pitt play krill. There was also Pink and Robin Williams and all of us recording at one time facing one another in a recording studio in Sydney where director George Miller's based. This was an uncommon animation. All of us in one room looking at one another. This way my character, for instance, could react strikingly to another character.

"At one point I didn't give the reading George wanted so, suddenly, while I'm working, without warning he grabbed my leg, and the collaborative effect created the certain kind of reaction he wanted. It totally worked."