March Of The Penguins

Directed By: Luc Jacquet

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Product Overview

Every year, thousands of emperor penguins make an astonishing journey to breed their young. They are birds, but they do not fly. They are aquatic animals, but this time they will not swim. Instead, they walk - marching day and night in single file 70 miles into the darkest, driest and coldest continent on Earth.

Narrated by Morgan Freeman, March of the Penguins is an amazing, awe-inspiring, all-ages, true-life tale touched with humor and alive with thrills. Breathtaking photography captures the transcendent beauty and staggering you-are-there drama of devoted parent penguins who, in the face of the fierce polar winter, take turns guarding their egg and trekking to the ocean in search of food. Predators hunt them, storms lash them. But the safety of their adorable, fuzzy chicks make it all worthwhile. So follow the adventure!


Studio Warner
SKU 201992027
UPC 012569736573
UPC 14 00012569736573
Format DVD
Release Date 2/10/2009
Rating Rating
Animal Kingdom
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Coming from a French director, Luc Jacquet, the miraculous MARCH OF THE PENGUINS would have to be a love story. And so it is. The film explores the mating rituals of the emperor penguin, one of the most resilient animals on earth. Each summer, after a nourishing period of deep-sea feeding, the penguins pop up onto the ice and begin their procession across the frozen tundra of Antarctica. Walking doggedly in single file, they are a sight to behold. Hundreds converge from every direction, moving instinctively toward their mating ground. Once there, they mingle and chatter until they find the perfect mate--a monogamous match that will last a year, through the brutal winter and into the spring. During that time, the mother will give birth to an egg and then leave for the ocean to feed again. The father will stay to protect the egg through the freezing blizzards and pure darkness of winter, which would be deadly to practically any other species. Finally, with spring, the egg hatches and the baby penguins are born. Mothers return from the sea to reunite with their families and feed the starving newborns, while the fathers are finally relieved of their protective duties after months without food. This remarkable story is narrated by Morgan Freeman, whose dignified voice gives the penguins the grave admiration they deserve. But even more incredible is the photography, which shows the penguins hunting underwater, sliding on the ice, and even what definitely looks like kissing. At one point the camera even zooms inside the mouth of a penguin as it regurgitates food for its young. A story of love and, more strikingly, survival, MARCH OF THE PENGUINS is a stirring, eye-opening, and educational experience.
Entertainment Weekly "MARCH OF THE PENGUINS makes a compelling case for celebrating the glory of all living things..." 06/24/2005 p.143
New York Times "The feeling that these creatures are brave, indomitable souls surviving unimaginable physical hardship for the sake of their families is inescapable." 06/24/2005 p.E21
Los Angeles Times "[A]s uplifting as anything you will find in theaters as the birds' struggle encompasses all the elements of great drama." 06/24/2005 p.E8
USA Today "A cinematic experience that is dazzlingly different from anything currently in theaters, MARCH OF THE PENGUINS captivates with its straightforward but powerful story of dogged determination, survival against harsh odds and sacrifice." 06/24/2005 p.5E
Rolling Stone "[A] wondrous look at the emperor penguins of Antarctica....Morgan Freeman provides the sturdy narration." 08/25/2005 p.112,Ranked #25 in Rolling Stone's "Top 25 DVDs Of 2005' -- "[M]agnificently filmed....Popular favorite for the year's best documentary." 12/01/2005 p.98
Sight and Sound "This is a story about biological imperative, albeit an extraordinary and impressive one, superbly filmed under the most extreme conditions." 12/01/2005 p.70-71
Premiere 3 stars out of 4 -- "[B]est appreciated on its simplest level. That is, as a nature documentary. One with neat-looking penguins who exist in a realm that has very little to do with humankind." 12/01/2005 p.185
Uncut "[A] surprising, endearing and cuddly underdog triumph..." 01/01/2006 p.132
Ultimate DVD 3 stars out of 5 -- "Certainly it's a gripping tale....Taking us to a place many will never visit, a naturallly spectacular icy wasteland that plummets to 80 degrees below zero." 08/01/2007 p.91
Luc Jacquet
Name Freeman,Morgan
Link Search Link
Cast & Crew
Luc Jacquet - Director
Luc Jacquet, et. al. - Screenplay
Morgan Freeman - Narrated By
Alex Wurman - Original Music By
Emilie Simon - Original Music By
Ilann Girard - Executive Producer
Jean-Christophe Barret - Producer
Jerome Maison - Cinematographer
Jordan Roberts, et. al. - Screenplay
Laurent Chalet - Cinematographer
Luc Jacquet - Based On Story By
Sabine Emiliani - Editor
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2005
Catalog ID 73657
UPC 00012569736573
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 80 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.78:1
Nominee (2006) British Academy Awards, Laurent Chalet, Jerome Maison, Best Cinematography,British Academy Awards, Sabine Emiliani, Best Editing
Winner (2006) Oscar, Luc Jacquet, Yves Darondeau, Best Documentary, Features
ReviewSource James Berardinelli's ReelViews
Review March of the Penguins does what all good National Geographic documentaries do: it informs and entertains while providing interesting wildlife footage. Unfortunately, it's not cinematic. The issue isn't whether the film is worth seeing, but whether it's worth the admission fee or the trip to the theater - not when you can see something of roughly equal quality on a half-dozen cable channels. My goal is not to dissuade potential viewers from seeing March of the Penguins, but to suggest that they wait for it to show up on DVD or TV. (National Geographic provided funding, so its eventual destination is not in doubt.) Unlike other, recent naturalistic documentaries (Microcosmos and Winged Migration come to mind), there is little spectacle to be found in March of the Penguins. There are no moments of breathtaking awe. And the narration, read by Morgan Freeman from a script by Jordan Roberts, mixes useful information with half-baked and overwrought melodrama. ("The loss [of the chick] is unbearable!")
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 6
Review ...Luc Jacquet's wonderful new documentary, March of the Penguins, [is] a film that inspires awe not just from its subjects but also from the harsh conditions under which it was filmed...Jacquet and his crew spent 13 months in Antarctica in order to catch one complete breeding cycle. While the penguins' steadfastness in repeating this harsh cycle over and over again for thousands of years is something of a miracle, Jacquet's dedication in capturing their story is feat in itself...These birds are naturally photogenic, intrinsically comical, and frankly adorable. Jacquet artfully exploits these traits, emphasizing the humor of their clumsy waddle and the way they slide on their bellies when they get tired during their lengthy trip to the breeding ground...what shines through is the penguins charm and the triumph of their survival.
Reviewer Pam Grady
ReviewRating 8
Review Luc Jacquet's luminous, moving documentary "March of the Penguins" is enough to make you hope there's no such thing as reincarnation: Human beings have it hard enough, but the life of the emperor penguin, one of strife, deprivation and against-all-odds adaptability in one of the most unforgiving corners of the earth, is far rougher...There's more drama, and more heartbreak, in "March of the Penguins" than in most movies that are actually scripted to tug at our feelings. More than once the picture's narrator, Morgan Freeman, notes that the emperor penguin's saga of mating and child rearing is a love story, and while that's an admittedly handy anthropomorphic device, when it comes to understanding why the emperor penguin would go to such great lengths to mate and have babies, the inexplicability of human love may be the only comparison we have.
Reviewer Stephanie Zacharek
ReviewRating 9
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), Featurettes, French, Spanish Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Freeman,Morgan
Label Warner Home Video
Video Format DVD
David Ansen, Newsweek Astonishing!
Roger Ebert, Ebert & Roeper Amazing!
Stephen Holden, The New York Times Riveting!
J.P. Sarni, Sirious Satellite Radio Miraculous!
Rex Reed, The New York Observer Unbelievable!
Desson Thomson, The Washington Post A delightful, wholesome experience for the family.
David Anser, Newsweek Astonishing!
David Denby, The New Yorker A perfect family of the most eye-ravishing documentaries ever made.
J.P. Sarni, Sirius Satellite Radio Miraculous!

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