Absolutely love the first 'March of the Penguins'. It is visually stunning, informative, cute, fun to watch, emotionally investable and with adorable without being too much so penguins. It does help if already a major fan of nature documentaries and if one has a lifelong adoration for penguins, both the case with me ('Pingu' plays a major role in my love for penguins). Hearing that there was a follow up, part of me was intrigued but part of me also thought "is this really necessary?"
'March of the Penguins 2', or 'L'Empereur' was a worthwhile watch and is recommended. Am not raving about it but liked it just about enough. It doesn't disgrace 'March of the Penguins' at all and has a lot of its great things, though it doesn't have the same amount of charm and magic and in a way it wasn't really needed. Morgan Freeman returning was a very good move and the right one, genius really and it would not have worked as well with somebody else.
Shall start with what 'March of the Penguins 2' does well, which is a lot. It looks beautiful first and foremost. Especially the majestic scenery, that has sheer beauty and at times a suitably harsh atmosphere to show that such a beautiful environment is not all idyllic. The music has some playfulness, some lushness and some dramatic sweep, not feeling too intrusive which sometimes was the case with DisneyNature documentaries.
Furthermore, 'March of the Penguins 2' entertains and educates. Doing a great job with making the viewer relate to the penguins, the offspring being particularly adorable. While there are playful moments, a good deal of the journey/story is poignant. Freeman is a perfect choice for narrator, and he brings booming gravitas and subtlety to the nice mix of facts and human-like story.
Will agree though that some of the material did feel a bit too derivative from looking as if it was lifted from elsewhere or too similar to footage in the first and at times repetitive from lacking sometimes variety.
There are times too when the cuteness early on is a little overkill. Other documentaries have information that is more illuminating and that is fresher, which added to the derivative feel.
Overall, not great but very worthwhile. 7/10.
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