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DVD Review: March of the Penguins – Limited-Edition Giftset

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Written by Hombre Divertido

On November 3rd, Warner Home Video released the 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary March of the Penguins in a limited-edition gift set.

Morgan Freeman narrates the documentary that chronicles the trek of the Emperor Penguin to its traditional breeding ground, and follows the plight of the parents as they continue to trek back and forth in order to provide for the newly hatched offspring.

March of the Penguins was not only a critical success, but a popular one as well, as the public flocked to the theatre to see a documentary as never before. Freeman’s vocal range and emotion adds to the impact of this documentary, but ultimately it is the direction of Luc Jacuet that turns what could have simply been an educational documentary, into a well-rounded story and movie.

This giftset also includes the lesser-known On the Wings of Penguins, a documentary focused on the African penguin. Though mildly interesting, it is disjointed in its storytelling and focuses too much on the penguins in captivity, which simply is not as interesting as footage of them in the wild.

The bonus material in the two-disc release actually exceeds the primary release in entertainment value in many cases. Those who enjoyed March of the Penguins, but wondered about the people filming the exploits of the engaging birds, will thoroughly enjoy Of Penguins and Men, which focuses of the adventures of the documentarians following the energetic Emperors. The dangers faced by these men are certainly intriguing, as are the relationships they develop with the amazing creatures they are studying.

Interesting but often repetitive is “National Geographic’s Crittercam: Emperor Penguins” which follows the NG team as they attach cameras and other equipment to our friends the Emperor Penguins. Unfortunately, little time is spent on the footage obtained by the cameras accompanying the penguins, and too much time is spent on a story that has already been told in March of the Penguins.

The classic Looney Tunes cartoon “8 Ball Bunny” featuring Bugs Bunny and a penguin is cute, and will appeal to children, but certainly is not one of the better Bugs Bunny adventures.

The theatrical trailer for March of the Penguins, a beautiful penguin plush toy, and a set of eight penguin postcards rounds out this gift set.

Recommendation: March of the Penguins is solid entertainment for the whole family, and this new giftset offers enough bonus material to make this a worthwhile purchase for those that already own the March of the Penguins DVD. Warner Home Video has put together a perfect gift-set just in time for the holidays.

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