March of the Penguins
You ate an hour ago. Leave Daddy alone.

Theatrical Release Date: 06/24/2005
Director: Luc Jacquet
Narrator: Morgan Freeman

Every once in a while, a cuddly, family film captures the attention of the nation and surprises all the box office analysts. This year’s “March of the Penguins” did exactly that. As of writing this review, it had earned over $26 million and become the second highest grossing documentary of all time, though it is far behind Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11.

Part of “Penguins” appeal may be that the narrator for the U.S. release is Morgan Freeman. He does a nice job, and has one of those soothing voices that lends itself well to narration.

Of course, the penguins are the real stars. The film describes the basic life cycle of the Antarctic Emperor penguins. They journey from the ocean to the land, producing their offspring, raise them long enough to survive and then the new generation eventually heads back to the ocean to begin the cycle anew.

There is not much more to it than that. “Penguins” is a National Geographic film, and as such, provided nice visuals, getting right up next to the penguins. If you are a nature buff, this film will probably suit your tastes. It is suitable for children, but even at a relatively short 80 minutes, there are long stretches where not too much happens and the short attention spans of today’s youth can rear its ugly head.

As far as rating this film, I’ve seen much more interesting and exciting nature documentaries. I found that I didn’t really learn anything new about the Emperor penguins, but having been to Sea World San Diego about a hundred times, I might be above the curve.

If you love penguins and don’t mind a few scenes with little to no activity, then go out and see “March of the Penguins”. I give it a 3 out of 5, though I drank the 6-pack of Old Style in the parking lot before the movie, since there were plenty of children in the audience. You can decide if before or after is right for you.