March of the Penguins (2004) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Each winter, alone in the pitiless ice deserts of Antarctica, deep in the most inhospitable terrain on Earth, a truly remarkable journey takes place as it has done for millennia. Emperor penguins in their thousands abandon the deep blue security of their ocean home and clamber onto the frozen ice to begin their long journey into a region so bleak, so extreme, it supports no other wildlife at this time of year. In single file, the penguins march blinded by blizzards, buffeted by gale force winds. Guided by instinct, by the otherworldly radiance of the Southern Cross, they head unerringly for their traditional breeding ground where--after a ritual courtship of intricate dances and delicate maneuvering, accompanied by a cacophony of ecstatic song--they will pair off into monogamous couples and mate. The females remain long enough only to lay a single egg. Once this is accomplished, exhausted by weeks without nourishment, they begin their return journey across the ice-field to the fish-filled seas. The male emperors are left behind to guard and hatch the precious eggs, which they cradle at all times on top of their feet. After two long months during which the males eat nothing, the eggs begin to hatch. Once they have emerged into their ghostly white new world, the chicks can not survive for long on their fathers' limited food reserves. If their mothers are late returning from the ocean with food, the newly-hatched young will die. Once the families are reunited, the roles reverse, the mothers remaining with their new young while their mates head, exhausted and starved, for the sea, and food. While the adults fish, the chicks face the ever-present threat of attack by prowling giant petrels. As the weather grows warmer and the ice floes finally begin to crack and melt, the adults will repeat their arduous journey countless times, marching many hundreds of miles over some of the most treacherous territory on Earth, until the chicks are ready to take their first faltering dive into the deep blue waters of the Antarctic. Runtime: 80 mins Release Date: 31 Dec 2004
I recently saw this film at the Waterfront Film Festival in Michigan and I can say it's one of the best documentaries I've ever seen.Narrated by Morgan Freeman, it follows the annual journey that penguins and their mates endure to bring a newborn penguin into the world. This film has some of the most amazing footage I've ever see in a documentary ... including underwater footage beneath the ice of penguins feeding and being fed on. Footage so amazing that I heard one viewer saying how it must have been CGI as he left the venue.If you have any interest in nature, penguins, or just <more>
want to see a touching story of the amazing journey that penguins make simply to perpetuate their breed, definitely check this film out in theatres. It's a masterpiece.
The March of the Penguins is a powerful film. It is sad, funny, and simply amazing at the same time. It teaches us that life is a miracle. For the emperor penguins life is an everyday struggle to survive against predators, storms, and raging winds in the harshest weather conditions on earth. The documentary, filmed on location in Antarctica, shows the birds' struggle to eat, live, and reproduce. Each year the birds walk over seventy miles across ice and snow to their breeding ground. There the penguins mate, then conceal their eggs from the cold under a fold of their skin and balancing <more>
the precious new life to be born on their claws. Fathers take turns in caring for the eggs until they hatch, while mothers walk long miles again to bring home food for the chicks. Once the chicks are born, the parents work together to feed, shelter, and raise them. French director Luc Jacquet was a scientist before he became a filmmaker. He succeeded in making the story dramatic, compelling, and comprehensible to younger viewers. The film is skillfully narrated by Morgan Freeman. It is a definite MUST SEE.
This is perhaps the most amazing animal documentary ever. The footage was gathered in what truly must be "the harshest place on earth". It is barren, cold beyond cold and then there is the endless night of winter. The underwater footage was my favorite, but every single frame is magnificent. I can't wait for the DVD, so I can see how the filmmakers did this.The narration is less objective than it is romantic - making it less a true documentary than a story, but that is fine in this case, and Morgan Freeman does a great job. You really should make the effort to see this on the <more>
Luc Jacquet has done the impossible. (by jdesando)
Toss that anthropomorphic expectation and embrace your inner animal because documentarian Luc Jacquet has done the impossible: March of the Penguins respects, even adores, these indomitable cuties, not because, as Morgan Freeman says in his voice-over narration, they may be just like us, but rather because they are not like us. Although we may want to see ourselves in them, we end up seeing in this incomparably intimate journey through the entire breeding cycle in Antarctica is a unique organism totally devoted to the survival of its family, brooking no selfish activity and no vacation from <more>
the harsh climate and relentless demands of nature.This film's strength is a lack of sentimentality that allows us to focus on the strategies of survival: Thousands of penguins closely huddle with their backs to the sometimes 100 mile an hour winds; fathers and mothers equally share responsibilities such as trudging 70 miles each way to store up food for the babies; fathers protect eggs while mothers make that journey; mates separate after the season from each other and their babies forever. Their lovemaking is dignified and the essence of minimalism. These are just a few of the rituals that characterize an evolutionary process guaranteeing the survival of the species.Jacquet occasionally courts repetition, anathema to a hyperactive audience, but if the audience gives itself over to the rhythms of penguins breeding to live, it will not be bored. Winged Migration seems strangely detached by comparison, formations mostly seen from afar. Jacquet gets up close and personal The parents exchanging an egg to be stored under their coats is memorable to make the audience collaborator rather than voyeur. Lamentably, the director includes no scenes of raw predator activity, just a large scavenger scooping up a baby. A documentary should allow the audience of experiencing the good and the bad.A few years ago I hid in a trench in New Zealand to see Penguins rise out of the sea at the same time each day marching by us to their camps. I was deeply moved by their dignity and calm, punctuated with a resolve to keep their rituals intact for millennia. That unflagging constancy is devoutly to be wished in humanity.For once, the trailer hype may be accurate: "In the harshest place on earth, love finds a way." Love of species would be more accurate. No matter, you'll love the film.
There's really nothing not to like about this movie. It is interesting being shown how the penguins behave and simultaneously told what they are thinking. Obviously the imagery is rather objective but the subjective "story" told makes this a movie rather than an Animal Planet TV show. The Story is amazing. Fact is truly stranger than fiction. The characters are well developed; the hero more beautifully photogenic than Brad Pitt and A. Jolie combined; the plot is compelling; and though the ending can never be in doubt its story is both riveting and the resolution impactful. I <more>
took my date and my 7 year old and we all loved it.
If this comes to your town, do yourself a favor and see it on the big screen. I never realized how difficult life is for these amazing creatures. The fact that they continue to exist at all is something of a miracle. The movie doesn't anthropomorphize the penguins and yet there are times when the audience I attended with identified with them almost on a human level. The audience I saw it with giggled and said "Awww" many times with varying degrees of audibility. There are even some times when the audience fell dead silent in quiet reflection such as when, for one or two <more>
penguins, the long march was in vain.Also, bring the family to this one! I saw it with my mother, sister, and grandfather and we all came out talking about our favorite parts and how amazing penguins are. My mom said she liked Winged Migration more, but I actually liked this one more.P.S. I noticed in the credits that there were digital effects artists who worked on March of the Penguins. I'm not sure what digital effects were done. If anyone has any information on this, please send me a private message.
I was lucky enough to see this film at the Waterfront Film Festival in Saugatuck, Michigan. This was a wonderful documentary directed by Luc Jacquet which follows penguins traveling to their breeding ground in Antarctica.Narrated by Morgan Freeman, it's beautiful and I loved the way it didn't just point a camera at penguins and say how they live, this one actually told a story. If it wasn't narrated, you would still be able to follow the basic idea of the film. The countless penguins travel a very long distance to breed. It's very interesting to watch these penguins, they go <more>
through so many ordeals just to have kids.It's in the style of Winged Migration, the scenery is a character. If you get the chance to see this film I recommend it, it's wonderful to look at and it's impossible not to love the penguins.
The Emperor's mating waltz in Antarctica (by jotix100)
"The March of the Penguins" has to be one of the most beautiful documentaries in recent memory. Luc Jacquet, its director, takes us on trip to Antarctica where we are introduced to the majestic Emperor penguins. Mr. Jacquet and his cinematographers, Laurent Chalet and Jerome Maison, have done the impossible task to capture these penguins in their own habitat under conditions that seem almost humanly impossible to live, let alone take this team to register it for us, the viewers in all its splendor and bleakness.The Emperor penguins have to be the most elegant birds on this planet. <more>
They have such a noble way of standing and shuffling in almost perfect lines from the sea to the area where they will mate, hatch their eggs, and then have the females leave for the sea to feed themselves and bring back food for the new chicks. After that is accomplished, it's the males turn to do their march back to the sea to feed and fortify themselves, returning to the hatching and mating area. What makes these penguins so unique is the sense of family they project at all times. Mr. Jacquet makes it clear for us to understand the behavior of the Emperors in their hostile environment. The English version has the clear narration by Morgan Freeman who expands on the way these birds live and how they are able to survive under extreme conditions. From what I have read about the documentary, the English version, which we are seeing in this country, has a musical score by Alex Wurman, that enhances the movie in unexpected ways.Antarctica, that icy white vastness at the end of the world, has never looked more majestic than in this documentary. Thanks to Luc Jacquet we are enlightened by all what we learn about the Emperors as they endure and survive under the worst possible circumstances and remain the graceful figures they are. Watching "The March of the Penguins" feels, at times, like being at the ballet watching a magical dance performed by these flightless birds that manage to look so dignified all the time while doing for us their amazing dance of survival.
Beautiful film-making. A real crowd pleaser. (by tjackson)
If you make the effort to catch March of the Penguins, you'll be predictably pleased for the simple fact that if it's penguins you want to see it's penguins you're going to get. Beaucoups de penguins. And you will learn plenty about these noble survivors of the coldest place on earth. If it's Danny DeVito or Burgess Meredith you came to see, you are quite off the mark. The Emperor Penguins of Antarctica survive and perpetuate their species in a frozen and surreal environment driven by instincts developed over centuries. They have mostly monogamous relationships and in the <more>
midst of this can recognize one another's 'voices'. These relationships help to organize survival. We get seemingly impossible and privileged views of their long marches across barren landscapes, complex rituals of protecting of fragile eggs in 160 mph winds, huddled in huge packs against the cold, males and females sharing food foraging duties, and chubby birds diving to great depths for fish. It's a remarkable system of survival. The French filmmakers shot on super 16mm film for one year with 120 hours of images , which is a whole winter cycle for the emperor. They saw none of the images as they progressed. Nobody left until it was done and director as LUC JACQUET SAYS; "It took a year to recover. Re-entry is a long process." The result is, no doubt, some the most remarkable footage ever filmed on the subject. What they do, of course, to reel in their audience is to anthropomorphize these creatures. Like the recent "Parrots of Telegraph Hill" we see the penguins take on the attributes of 'love' and 'caring'. The baby penguins toddle along just like little people, except that they do so braving extreme minus degree temperatures. Miles of these cute birds march across landscapes like little wind up toys in a John Ford snow desert. The story is assisted by cloying music and narration, and the dulcet tones of the ubiquitous Morgan Freeman. But any criticism of the manipulative aspects of the film would be irrelevant in the face of the achievement. These are stunning images beautifully assembled to serve a remarkable story. If your going to get the paying public into a nature flick, this is the way to do it.