Coming from a French director, Luc Jacquet, the miraculous MARCH OF THE PENGUINS would have to be a love story. And so it is. The film explores the mating rituals of the emperor penguin, one of the most resilient animals on earth. Each summer, after a nourishing period of deep-sea feeding, the penguins pop up onto the ice and begin their procession across the frozen tundra of Antarctica. Walking doggedly in single file, they are a sight to behold. Hundreds converge from every direction, moving instinctively toward their mating ground. Once there, they mingle and chatter until they find the perfect mate--a monogamous match that will last a year, through the brutal winter and into the spring. During that time, the mother will give birth to an egg and then leave for the ocean to feed again. The father will stay to protect the egg through the freezing blizzards and pure darkness of winter, which would be deadly to practically any other species. Finally, with spring, the egg hatches and the baby penguins are born. Mothers return from the sea to reunite with their families and feed the starving newborns, while the fathers are finally relieved of their protective duties after months without food. This remarkable story is narrated by Morgan Freeman, whose dignified voice gives the penguins the grave admiration they deserve. But even more incredible is the photography, which shows the penguins hunting underwater, sliding on the ice, and even what definitely looks like kissing. At one point the camera even zooms inside the mouth of a penguin as it regurgitates food for its young. A story of love and, more strikingly, survival, MARCH OF THE PENGUINS is a stirring, eye-opening, and educational experience.
Academy Awards Best Documentary 2005 Luc Jacquet Director, MARCH OF THE PENGUINS (2005)