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March of the Penguins (2005)

Cast: Morgan Freeman
Director: Luc Jacquet
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre: Documentary, Nature & Science , France
Running Time: 80 min.
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

While many people think of penguins as comical birds who look like they've been decked out in tuxedos, the truth is they're among the strongest and most resilient creatures in the animal kingdom. And they have to be -- each year, the emperor penguins of Antarctica travel through the most punishing environment on Earth to their nesting grounds, and after the females lay their eggs, the males keep them warm while their mates walk 70 miles back to the sea to fatten themselves with fish for themselves and their young. Filmmaker Luc Jacquet spent over a year braving the frigid temperatures of the South Pole to film this annual ritual of the penguins, and March of the Penguins documents their brave struggle to survive, as well as the close emotional bonds between the penguin families. March of the Penguins was first screened in France as La Marche de l'Empereur, with a handful of French actors providing a voice-over in which they expressed the "thoughts" of the penguins; for the American edition, Morgan Freeman was brought in to deliver a more straightforward narration. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Life against Weather by speakreflection November 21, 2006 - 8:12 AM PST
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful
First i'm not sure what the snobs in the previous reviews have against Morgan Freeman's voice. But I would have to completely disagree. Against the harshest weather he captured the isolation and the beauty of this movie.
And before I go further, when I own this movie I will watch it while the other narrators speak in their native tongues. OK now on to the movie.
I was completely awestruck. I guess I am a lot with the wilderness type documentary and programs. Sometimes in the hustle bustle of life, this is what we miss. LIFE. It's almost like a secret undercurrent that has always been and always while (Minus the greenhouse effect).
The filming is both tragic and brilliant. It sent my wife to tears watching the groups of penquins create life and sometimes lose life.
I guess I always find the parallel's in movies to real life and this movie is no different.
Struggles against all odds.
Struggles against the world (weather)
It happens everywhere.
A very beautiful movie.

Select the Spanish Audio by kinaidos March 5, 2006 - 6:40 PM PST
3 out of 5 members found this review helpful
La Marcha de los Pinguinos is infinitely more cool than the Morgan Freeman crud most audiences were subjected too. It won't matter if you don't know Spanish. It just sounds so much better, and, well, it's pretty damned obvious what's going on. Do you really need an english language narrator to tell you the stupid things been consumed by a seal?
The spanish voiceover sounds like the Sabado Gigante narrotor. Need I say more. Get some cheap tequila, watch it, and take a shot whenever he says "hielo".

Humans or Penguins? by obonin December 9, 2005 - 1:02 AM PST
4 out of 5 members found this review helpful
...hmmm.. how to make it sound right. This is not so easy to review. Actually I started to watch the "making of" and I got quite excited about watching the movie. The "making of" is about the humans going to film the penguins in the Great South of the planet, and how impossible of a mission it is to follow the last living things on the harshest land on earth. It also pretty much tells you the story you will hear in the main movie, but in a more objective manner. But the making of is about the humans, and as much as we still have to learn about ourselves, it makes more sense to interpret feelings/experiences/actions of our own specie... than of.. say.. the penguins'.

The movie itself has nice shots, and makes it quite clear that no one can live there... except the penguins. But yes, as Talltale said, that voice over, what a drag. The music must also be coming right out of Hollywood... is this a documentary or a fiction. There's something weird also in the humanization of these animals that is not needed. They're obviously compromising and caring for their babies in the need for survival of their specie, and we can easily think about our own specie and our relationship with this planet, but there's no need for the narrator (and filmmakers?) to interpret their behaviours... If there needed to be so much talking, I would have rather had listened to a more biologist approach of understanding the penguins, which is the only "sure" thing we may understand all together as a group of human... when it comes to interpretation, we very well know what it does.

I enjoyed Microcosm, Winged Migration more, but there's still something behind all these human mistakes that makes this movie really worth watching. I'm giving it an 8/10... even though as a work of cinema, it's not excellent.

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GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.17)
133 Votes
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