Frabjous Times


Review of March of the Penguins

I can't remember the last time we went to see a G-rated movie in the theater, so I needed to keep reminding myself to adjust my tolerance for noisy little kids during the show. I don't remember seeing anyone else in our demographic there, being both without children and under 65 years of age.
The camera work was first-rate, especially considering the extreme weather conditions the footage was obtained under. Even though an Emperor Penguin is basically a doughy lump with a pointy beak and scaly feet, the filmmakers managed to invest them with emotional weight, especially two-thirds of the way through when we get introduced to their fuzzy grey chicks. I will agree with Rabbi Marc Gellman who balks at calling the birds’ underlying motivation one of “love.” Every new revelation about the rigors of parenting in this environment was accompanied with the perfect little bit of imagery and narration (by the always easy on the ear Morgan Freeman). By the end, I was saying “That’s a crazy system they’ve got there.” I would consider this to be a pretty good argument against Intelligent Design, but that’s another story.
The movie is getting some buzz about the unexpected box office it's been gaining, the first sleeper of the summer, I think. It’s something that is best seen in the theater, little kid noises notwithstanding, especially on a hot weekend afternoon when those wide frozen vistas with the 100 mph winds howling from the north (of course) during the long Antarctic winter truly look like unearthly menaces. Check out the gallery of production stills online. If you do go, you should not rush out when the credits come up at the end or you might miss the little snippets showing what the camera crew had to do to get these amazing shots.
Originally published: 2005/07/31 18:33:36
Previously published: Sun Jul 31 17:40:54 2005