Monday, June 27, 2005

March of the Penguins

Friday night, Lrudlrick and I went to see March of the Penguins. Yes, it seemed odd paying $10.50 for a National Geographic documentary that could have aired on cable but from the first time I heard about this, I wanted to check it out.

I’m surprised that it didn’t play on the IMAX. The images were beautiful. On a hot and hazy day, viewing an iceberg on a 8 story high screen would lower my body temperature by at least 5 degrees. I’m sure budget, the severe temperatures and physical constraints didn’t allow the French filmmakers to do so.

When I was a kid, my dad would tell me the story of how Emperor penguins went to incredible lengths to continue its species. He was astonished at how much these penguins would endure just to have one chick every year. The mortality rates for penguins during this journey is high. It is even higher for the would be chicks. Yet, they continue and return to the same breeding grounds they were hatched on. Imagine if we had to return to our breeding grounds. Oh my God, my brain just flatlined. Don't imagine if you had to return! Don't imagine if your kids had to return!

Just an aside, my friend called me up after reading this to tell me that her daughter would need to return to the one seater now presently in her guest room. Note to self: When visiting her, do not put anything on the one seater.

I won’t tell the story. Go see the movie. Take your kids. Go by yourself.

The only gripe I have is the lack of information provided. Morgan Freeman is great as the narrator but the script is lacking in basic information you would expect in a documentary on animal life.

What is the average life span of an Emperor penguin? 15-20 years
How fast can a Emperor penguin swim? 15 miles per hour
How fast can their predator, a leopard seal, swim? 24 miles per hour
How fast are they on land? apx 3 miles per hour. Try traveling 70 miles at a constant rate of 3 miles per hour 3-4 times just to feed your chick!

There are more that Lrudlrick and I looked up when we got home but we’ll spare you.

This movie will definitely open a child’s eyes to penguins. Library trips, Zoo trips and arts and crafts hobbies can all center around this topic. If you are looking for a feel good movie as a parent or an adult, go check this movie out. If you are looking for an entertaining and educational way to keep your kids occupied for the summer, check this movie out.

I dare you guys to tell me they aren’t adorable.

Live penguin action! Thanks to A Welsh View.