Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Now Playing: March of the Penguins

This may as well have been titled National Geographic Presents Cuties On Ice. My Fair Lady and I watched it the other night and were thoroughly entranced by the march of the emperor penguins across miles of open, and frequently shifting, ice to their breeding ground where they will pair up with a mate to produce a single egg that may or may not live to see the end of the winter. The lives of these birds is incredibly harsh, but watching them waddle their way across the ice all for the sake of their annual mating ritual was oddly endearing.

Of course, Morgan Freeman's earthy narration maintains a steady course en route to the happy ending. Along the way, there is heartbreak, joy, death, life, and regurgitation. If you're a fan of snow then this is absolutely the film for you because never will you see weather this cold. Even after watching the behind the scenes documentaries, which aren't the usual useless EPK crap, we see just how blasted cold the Antarctic becomes in the dead of winter. Watching those birds cluster together for heat is incredible, as is seeing dozens of birds essentially stuck in a crevice courtesy of the shifting ice mass. Mother Nature is a cruel mistress, and it's to the film makers' credit that they never once try to interfere.

Some real fun comes from watching the penguins with cameras strapped to their backs underwater. It's literally mind blowing to see how they hunt for ice fish. You see them shoot down into the black abyss, only to rocket back up towards the ice and peg a small fish hiding in the ice above. How they do it remains a mystery, even more so after watching it in action. Overall, this is a wonderful documentary from National Geographic and highly entertaining to boot. Plus, those emperor penguins are just as cute as they can be.

1 comment:

  1. "Along the way, there is heartbreak, joy, death, life, and regurgitation."

    Literal LOL, my friend.