It’s rather ironic that because of improvements in technology we are better able to study nature. March of the Penguins joins other recent nature documentaries such as Winged Migration in giving us a more intimate view of the life of animals than ever before. The emperor penguin is the sole subject of this film and other than an occasional glimpse of underwater life and a rather scary encounter with a leopard seal, most of the time we are watching penguins. And they are a funny subject, inherently funny animals really. Between their tuxedo-like coloring, upright swaying gait and belly slides on the ice, they can be rather fun to watch.
The main thrust of the film is the yearly migration these birds make across the ice to their birthplace to mate. It’s a hard journey in treacherous conditions that change frequently. The ice flows and mountains can be different from year to year, yet some internal compass guides their way. The whole process of bringing a baby penguin into the world is rife with struggle and hardship, in temperatures where a new egg will freeze solid and burst if left unattended for more than a minute. The movie focuses a lot on the interesting role reversals between mommy and daddy penguin, who trade off duties tending the egg and, if all goes well, the newly hatched chick for a number of months during the bitter winter.
All in all, this is an interesting film for both adults and kids and between the pace and the beauty of the cinematography, neither should be bored watching the penguins march across the ice.