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March of the Penguins (2005)

La marche de l'empereur (original title)
In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family.

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(scenario), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Le père (voice)
...
La mère (voice)
Jules Sitruk ...
Le bébé (voice)
...
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Narrator (voice)
Gösta Ekman ...
Narrator (voice)
Fiorello ...
Narrator (voice)
...
Narrator (voice)
Hikari Ishida ...
Haha-Penguin (voice)
Ryûnosuke Kamiki ...
Ko-Penguin (voice)
...
Narrator (voice)
Takao Ohsawa ...
Chichi-Penguin (voice)
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Storyline

Each winter, alone in the pitiless ice deserts of Antarctica, deep in the most inhospitable terrain on Earth, a truly remarkable journey takes place as it has done for millennia. Emperor penguins in their thousands abandon the deep blue security of their ocean home and clamber onto the frozen ice to begin their long journey into a region so bleak, so extreme, it supports no other wildlife at this time of year. In single file, the penguins march blinded by blizzards, buffeted by gale force winds. Guided by instinct, by the otherworldly radiance of the Southern Cross, they head unerringly for their traditional breeding ground where--after a ritual courtship of intricate dances and delicate maneuvering, accompanied by a cacophony of ecstatic song--they will pair off into monogamous couples and mate. The females remain long enough only to lay a single egg. Once this is accomplished, exhausted by weeks without nourishment, they begin their return journey across the ice-field to the ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the harshest place on Earth, love finds a way

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

22 July 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

March of the Penguins  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,383,709 (France) (28 January 2005)

Gross:

$378,316 (Argentina) (9 June 2006)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When released, became the second highest grossing theatrical documentary (after Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: [narrating voice over] There are few places hard to get to in this world. But there aren't any where it's harder to live.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the closing credits roll, footage is shown of the photographers dragging their equipment across the ice, setting up their cameras, and shooting film as the penguins walk around them. See more »

Connections

Referenced in De slimste mens ter wereld: Episode #5.25 (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Luc Jacquet has done the impossible.
8 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Toss that anthropomorphic expectation and embrace your inner animal because documentarian Luc Jacquet has done the impossible: March of the Penguins respects, even adores, these indomitable cuties, not because, as Morgan Freeman says in his voice-over narration, they may be just like us, but rather because they are not like us. Although we may want to see ourselves in them, we end up seeing in this incomparably intimate journey through the entire breeding cycle in Antarctica is a unique organism totally devoted to the survival of its family, brooking no selfish activity and no vacation from the harsh climate and relentless demands of nature.

This film's strength is a lack of sentimentality that allows us to focus on the strategies of survival: Thousands of penguins closely huddle with their backs to the sometimes 100 mile an hour winds; fathers and mothers equally share responsibilities such as trudging 70 miles each way to store up food for the babies; fathers protect eggs while mothers make that journey; mates separate after the season from each other and their babies forever. Their lovemaking is dignified and the essence of minimalism. These are just a few of the rituals that characterize an evolutionary process guaranteeing the survival of the species.

Jacquet occasionally courts repetition, anathema to a hyperactive audience, but if the audience gives itself over to the rhythms of penguins breeding to live, it will not be bored. Winged Migration seems strangely detached by comparison, formations mostly seen from afar. Jacquet gets up close and personal (The parents exchanging an egg to be stored under their coats is memorable) to make the audience collaborator rather than voyeur. Lamentably, the director includes no scenes of raw predator activity, just a large scavenger scooping up a baby. A documentary should allow the audience of experiencing the good and the bad.

A few years ago I hid in a trench in New Zealand to see Penguins rise out of the sea at the same time each day marching by us to their camps. I was deeply moved by their dignity and calm, punctuated with a resolve to keep their rituals intact for millennia. That unflagging constancy is devoutly to be wished in humanity.

For once, the trailer hype may be accurate: "In the harshest place on earth, love finds a way." Love of species would be more accurate. No matter, you'll love the film.


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Recent Posts
French language narration vs. English language narration turkeycat
Penguins are purely instinctive with no feelings whatsoever. raywuzhere
Right Wing Propaganda? blimpintheair
Anthropomorphism? amanda_steinhauer
Baby Emperor Penguins are so CUTE@!!!#@##@#@! jynwong
It wasn't a miracle... jt2354
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