Film Viewing Guide: “March of the Penguins”
- “March of the Penguins” This film chronicles the journey of Emperor penguins as they march across the frozen tundra to make it to their annual breeding grounds. Their harrowing journey shows the dedication of penguins and nature’s ability to persevere.
- I chose to watch this documentary because I find this film to be a great example of the wonder of nature. Antarctica was a place that I found intriguing and wanted to learn more about. I wanted to learn more about migration and Antarctica.
- The central point of the film was the mass migration of the penguins. The goal of the director was to chronicle this journey and see what triumphs and challenges the penguins would face along the way. The director wanted to bring this awe inspiring journey to those who may never be able to visit this desolate place to witness it for themselves.
- The director conveys the message by telling the story both in third person narrator and first person from the eyes of a penguin. The entire journey is shown from the beginning where penguins are first stirred by their instincts to the end when the penguins arrive to lay their single egg. The narrator describes the actions so that the viewer fully understands what is going on. The narrator also relates key bits of factual information to help build upon the story. The entire story is through the penguins actions, no other species or humans are shown except in their interaction with the penguins.
- This film fell slightly below my expectations. I was captivated by the penguins themselves and their ability to survive. However the film had received quite a lot of hype from critics and in the box office, and compared to Disney’s “Earth” or “Oceans” I felt this documentary fell a bit short. The story was great but the imagery was not as stunning as I would have liked. The close ups of the penguins were very visually interesting, yet compared to the very colorful and visually stunning Disney “Earth” I was a bit underwhelmed. The most stunning shots showed the shear capacity of the thousands of penguins moving across the ice, yet with over an hour of such footage it soon lost its awe inspiring effect.
- Among my favorite scenes in the film was the love scene showing the pairing of the penguins. As the penguins pair up a series of close up shots is used to show the great tenderness displayed between one of the pairs. These extreme close ups illustrate the beauty of the penguins as they tenderly nuzzle and caress one another. As the mating takes place the camera focuses on the penguins’ faces to avoid being overly graphic. The music throughout the scene is orchestral and fitting with the romantic theme. The camera pans across the penguins bodies showing their emotion filled eyes and lovely coloration. The penguins feel very human in this moment. The narrator doesn’t speak during the scene allowing the viewer to become lost within the moment with the penguins.