Can I speak at, oh, about waist-level about the feelgood documentary of the summer, March of the Penguins? One week before watching this movie I made the mistake of seeing a different documentary on Antarctica. This other documentary – titled Blue Planet, and produced by BBC – spent about eight minutes covering the Emperor penguins. In those eight minutes I learned and saw every thing MotP had to offer. But it took MotP 90 minutes to do it. And their breeding ground was not nearly as interesting as the BBC penguins (the BBC penguins had to ride 15 foot waves and jump off of them onto a cliff of ice. And I had to listen to Morgan Freeman end six sentences with, “…or else they will die”.
And that Freeman: he is so sage and serious, and the script was so sparse and dull. I’m more a fan of This is a leopard seal. It is the penguin’s primary predator in the ocean. It waits in the shadows, moves in for the kill, and can munch on penguins all day if it wants to. It will usually only attack from the water, so once the penguins are on land they will be much safer. Et Cetera. Let’s watch. You know, something that’s both exciting and informative.
And not uh oh, look out penguins! The penguins have to enter the water to get some food. But in doing so they risk becoming food themselves. If they fail to stock up on food, which they’ll then have to travel back 80 miles to the breeding grounds to feed the younglings, both them and themselves will die. That’s, um, supposed to be bad writing.
Personally I would have rather watched the original version of March of the Penguins. Newsweek notes that this version “was in French, with a techno-pop score, and the filmmakers had scripted actual dialogue for the penguins – as if they were animated.”