chose to see "March of the Penguins" as a diversion to a 100+ degree
day, and saw that cold weather is worse than hot weather. Now, in the brisk part
of autumn, it still holds up.
from several areas of Antarctica converge on land, safe from predators and the
ebbing ice shelf. They are there to mate, birth, and care for their chick.
for that year, penguins pair up and the mother lays an egg.
mother dashes off back to the sea, which, thanks to the winter and new ice, is
as far as 70 miles. She's starving, having lost one-third of her weight in laying
the egg. The trip is long, and she's not fast. Hungry seals await them, some penguins
lose their way, and some are too exhausted to continue.
full of food for her chick, she returns, and the father makes the same trip so
he can eat. The father stayed behind to incubate the egg, and protect the new
chick. He has lost one half of his weight.
pair trade places a few more times as winter plods on. With temperatures 80 below
zero, and winds up to 125, I felt cold just watching. The penguins huddle to keep
warm, rotating which must do outside duty.
Freeman narrates. His voice does not overcome the story. Better written than any
documentary I have ever seen, Freeman respects the script. Having never seen a
documentary in a theater before, I was impressed at how well it worked on the
is no plot, even though there is a beginning and an end. Unlike many documentaries,
it does not detail the intricacies of eating, mate choosing, or science of penguin
living. It is more about watching the arduous life cycle, with some explaining
what we are watching.
camera works captures the cold -- the shivering penguins, the snow blowing like
dust over the long line of marching penguins. It reminded me of movies about Siberia,
showing Soviets living in a frozen, cold natural prison.
isn't a cute animal movie. Tender children might be saddened to see the eggs and
chicks freezing, and could be quite frightened when the vicious seals overtake
with the ever-funny Bugs Bunny in "8 Ball Bunny," the kid-factor increases.
Still, even as Bugs graces your home viewing experience, be careful with more
impressionable children and the feature documentary.
DVD feature: Rodney the Penguin assists in "Crittercam: Emperor Penguins,"
as we learn how some of the complex videography was really shot.
fully recommend "March of the Penguins."