When March of the Penguins was initially released in 2005, this National Geographic feature film took the world of nature documentaries by storm. Never before had a nature film so captured a narrative, epic story line within an educational exploration of a single species. Filled with love, triumph, grief, and struggle, it’s no surprise that March of Penguins captured the 2005 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Recently re-released on November 3, March of the Penguins is now available to own as part of a limited edition DVD giftset. The original award-winning documentary is now accompanied by a new full-length documentary on a second DVD which explores the world of African penguins entitled On the Wings of Penguins, a set of eight high-quality photographic penguin postcards, and a small, huggable African penguin plush toy. With two additional full-length special features included along on the March of the Penguins DVD there is enough fascinating content here to keep the most avid penguin aficionado busy for some time.
Narrated by the incomparable Morgan Freeman, the incredible struggle of life in the Antarctic is portrayed by following the life cycle of the emperor penguin through its yearly round. From the 70-mile march to the nesting grounds, through the tender mating rituals, and the struggle to keep their eggs and chicks alive, March of the Penguins captures the lives of these oddly adorable creatures with sensitivity and compassion.
Filled with sparkling cinematography, the emperors are captured in all their lustrous glory, shimmering white breast feathers luminous against the stark, barren landscape. Respectfully produced, there is no stream of inane chatter here. Careful narration is broken by long pauses for observation, allowing the penguins on film to tell their own story.
Hailed as a wonderful film for family viewing, parents of sensitive children may wish to exercise some discernment. When we initially attempted to watch the film with our then three-year-old daughter she became hysterical at the sight of eggs freezing and splitting, when the mother penguins left the fathers with the eggs to march back to the sea and feed, we had a major breakdown.