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Penguins (2012)

The Penguin King (original title)
1:35 | Trailer
Narrated by David Attenborough, "Penguins 3D" celebrates the destiny of a very special King Penguin, who returns to his birthplace in the sub-Antarctic. Known as Penguin City, the island is... See full summary »


Sias Wilson


Sias Wilson
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Credited cast:
Tim Allen ... Narrator (voice)
David Attenborough ... Himself (voice)


Narrated by David Attenborough, "Penguins 3D" celebrates the destiny of a very special King Penguin, who returns to his birthplace in the sub-Antarctic. Known as Penguin City, the island is home to hundreds of albatrosses, fur seals and brawling elephant seals-as well as six million penguins! Somehow our hero must earn his place among the island inhabitants and fulfill his destiny by finding a mate and raising a family. What follows is the story of the most challenging time in a King Penguin's life, when he is driven to nurture and defend his offspring against harsh weather and fierce predators. This cosmic drama plays out in one of Earth's last great wildernesses, amid steep mountain ranges and windblown plains half buried beneath snow and ice. "Penguins 3D" is an unforgettable tale of one King Penguin's journey through his species' central rite of passage. Written by nWave Pictures Distribution

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language. | See all certifications »






Release Date:

24 October 2012 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Penguins 3D See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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User Reviews

Penguins and 3D
4 November 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Saw 'The Penguin King' as a fan of nature documentaries, David Attenborough (considered a national treasure for good reason) and penguins, despite being largely divided on the use of 3D dependent on how it's executed.

It is really hard picking favourites, let alone a definite favourite, among what Attenborough has done because he has done so many gems, it is the equivalent of trying to choose your favourite ice cream flavour or your favourite operatic role (for examples) and finding you can't pick. 'The Penguin King' is definitely worth watching, but it was by Attenborough standards something of a disappointment. Of his 3D endeavours, it's a contender for his weakest and while there are a lot of impressive elements a few underwhelm.

Penguins have featured a lot in Attenborough's work, and while the information is interesting and entertaining a lot of it treads familiar ground instead of breaking new ground. Like to be surprised and left in awe at what is told in Attenborough's work and to me pretty much everything else of his does that much better. The 3D itself is good-looking and sharp, the penguins and seals being cute and majestic and deceptively menacing in the case of the latter, but it never enhances the experience and 'The Penguin King' would have worked just as well without it.

There is also some content that was clearly included with a younger audience in mind and sadly it not only doesn't fit with the rest of the programme but it also adds nothing and distracts, making older audiences question its maturity (that has never been the case with Attenborough's previous work). Really could have done without the elephant seals' flatulence.

However, most of 'The Penguin King' looks great. It is gorgeously filmed, done in a completely fluid and natural, sometimes intimate (a great way of connecting more with the penguins) way and never looking static. In fact much of it is remarkably cinematic. The editing is always succinct and smooth and the scenery is spectacular.

Music score fits very well, never overly grandiose while never being inappropriate while also being a beautiful score in its own right.

Despite treading familiar ground, the information is still educational and informative to especially younger audiences, while there is some occasional pathos, a lot of charming cuteness and even moments of intensity (like with the leopard seals). The penguins do look great, and are more than just 3D creations. They have personality and soul and one roots for them.

Attenborough's delivery as always helps quite a bit. He clearly knows his stuff and knows what to say and how to say it. He delivers it with his usual richness, soft-spoken enthusiasm and sincerity, never talking down to the viewer and keeping them riveted and wanting to know more.

Overall, a decent watch but for someone who has done so many gems decent doesn't feel enough. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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