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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

March of the Penguins (2005)


These penguins were definitely putting on a show. There’s no way they could be this cute.

The film depicts the yearly journey of the emperor penguins of Antarctica. In autumn, all the penguins of breeding age (five years old and over) leave the ocean, their normal habitat, to walk inland to their ancestral breeding grounds. There, the penguins participate in a courtship that, if successful, results in the hatching of a chick. For the chick to survive, both parents must make multiple arduous journeys between the ocean and the breeding grounds over the ensuing months.

Is it me, or are penguins not the most freakin’ adorable animals on the planet?!? Whenever I went to the zoo, I always loved watching them do their own thang, whatever it was, but I never imagined that I would feel this much for them. Yes, I know sound very unMAN-like, but there’s a soft-side to me as well and animals are the ones who always get me to express it the most (ladies?). That said, the rest of this review may make some of you laugh at and lose all respect for me. If that’s the case: then so be it! I love those furry, little things and no one’s going to tell me otherwise!

Co-creators of this flick, Luc Jacquet and Michel Fessler, deserve some huge love for all of the footage they were able to capture here considering the type of problems they had to go through. If it was below freezing for the penguins, chances are: it was freezing for them. Then, therefore, whenever anything bad happened to these penguins, they just had to sit there and let it all go down because that’s the way nature is. If it was me seeing a little penguin being ready to get chewed-up by some hawk, I would step right in there and do what mommy should have been doing, but maybe that’s why this movie wasn’t given to me. What I’m trying to say here is that these two dudes definitely went through a lot to get all of they needed to get and in the end: it all payed off for them.

"PENGUINS UNITE!! AND CHARGE!!"

“PENGUINS UNITE!! AND CHARGE!!”

What really took me along with this flick was some of the natural images and sights these guys are able to catch. And no, I’m not just talking about the sky (even though it did look pretty)! I’m talking about the scenes that would show us just how these penguins really are. We see plenty of beautiful scenes where the penguins find their mates, have intercourse, get the egg, watch as the egg grows older until finally, the egg has hatched and then a new penguin is born. It’s great to see scenes like this that shows us that penguins can be so happy and live beautiful lives, just like us. The simple things in life are what get us the most, and it’s very smiley-inducing to see our furry-friends get so worked up as well. However, it’s not always smiles and happiness with these little guys and girls. Life does throw you some sadness in there as well.

Even though I mentioned all of these beautiful things we see happen with most of these penguins, I somehow forgot to mention the fact that in between each and every single little event, danger seems to show itself at every stop and the mother and father are barely ever together with their baby, because each one is always out getting food. This is some real sad stuff but it gets worse once we actually start to see some of these little guys die and have their lives put into danger. There was this one scene where a hawk comes into attack one of the little penguins, and the whole time I was so scared for them and just wanted somebody to beat the shit out of that hawk. Then again, that’s the way nature is and I’m glad that I didn’t have to get involved with this flick, or else nothing would have been accomplished. There is also another very memorable scene where we see a mother mourning the death of her little baby and soon get jealous, and try to take another one. This scene made me well-up like a girl who just got stiffed before prom as it really made me feel like these penguins have to go through so much, just to produce an egg and keep it living. But as much depressing stuff as there may be, the film never loses that beauty to it. Some scenes will just make you smile from the joy of watching nature like this, work itself out right in front of you. Shit. I seriously got to start watching Discovery Channel more.

Inner-thoughts of the two on the left: "show off".

Inner-thoughts of the two on the left: “show off”.

If there was any problem that I had with the direction of this film was that it was a little too obvious what these guys were trying to say about these penguins. I get it: they are just like us! Except for the sole-fact that they can’t run and also don’t go to the market for the food to support their family. That’s why putting all of the obvious-remarks into a film like this seems so cheap and obvious. Note to all of these documentaries out there: stop comparing humans to certain animal species. We are all alike, now let’s just cut the crap already!

I bet pretty much all of the people went into this film, not giving two shits about penguins, but walked out caring for them, loving them, and knowing everything from start to finish about them. And there is only one man to thank for that all: Morgan muthafuckin’ Freeman. Honestly, who else would be a better fit to narrate a story about a bunch of penguins that sometimes stay in one place, while other times, they move around. Freeman’s voice, is sort of like the voice from God, and he has this slight calmness to him that makes you feel like he actually knows a lot about these penguins and actually cares for them. Obviously, a lot of his stuff was written so it wasn’t just him who thought of it all on the spot to tell how he really felt, but I still couldn’t get past the fact by how relaxing Freeman could make this movie just by using his signature voice. I’m still trying to figure out what to call “his voice”. How about “Morgan Freeman’s voice”? Yup, sounds about good to me.

Consensus: March of the Penguins not only makes you feel happy to live in a world where penguins still can roam the Earth all happy and whatnot, but just make you happy to be alive in a world that is Earth, where the most-fascinating creatures live and around somewhere. You just have to find them yourself. Or watch documentaries like this that do the ground-work. Your choice.

9 / 10 = Full Price!!

Apparently there's some problem with this global warming thingy. But who cares when we have penguins!!!

Apparently there’s some problem with this global warming thingy. But who cares when we have penguins!!! Just look at ‘em waddle!!

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17 responses to “March of the Penguins (2005)

  1. keith7198 May 8, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Wow! High praise and it has me really curious about this movie. I had heard a lot about it but never gave it the time. sounds like that was my mistake. Good stuff man.

  2. ckckred May 8, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Nice review. I liked this one, though I think Muderball should have won the Oscar for Best Documentary.

  3. Whit's Movie Reviews May 8, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    This may be the funniest, most accurate review of March of the Penguins I’ve ever read.

  4. Fogs' Movie Reviews May 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Yup. Excellent flick. I guess when you have Morgan Freeman narrating, anything becomes epic!

  5. David Michaelangelo Silva May 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    A fantastic documentary! It would be nice to see a few more documentaries like this hit main theatres — maybe in place of a few chick flicks :P

  6. reykissna May 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Wonderful. Will have to check it out. :)

  7. mettelray May 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I’ve seen this like… three times already and I wouldn’t mind watching it again and again. There’s something about the story, there’s certainly something about Freeman’s voice – voice of God, maybe?.

    PS: I have a theory about “just wanted somebody to beat the shit out of that hawk.” situation because when the film would have been about the hawk, you would have cheered on the bird. I always get that, if the story is about a rabbit, I hate the fox, when the story is about the fox, I want her to get the rabbit. It’s nature and it’s cruel .. and yet, it functions far better than human life at times.

    PSS: I love penguins!

  8. filmhipster May 9, 2013 at 2:11 am

    Not only are they photogenic but they taste fucking great too. No, just kidding…a great film indeed.

  9. Nostra May 10, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Great documentary and it’s fascinating how these birds manage to survive in such harsh conditions.

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