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"MARCH OF THE PENGUINS"
(2005) (Documentary) (G)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Minor None *Moderate None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
None None Mild None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor None *None Mild Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Documentary: A look at the march of the emperor penguins as they slowly trek across Antarctica to find a mate, reproduce and then care for their offspring in the midst of incredibly harsh weather conditions.
PLOT:
As narrated by Morgan Freeman, documentary filmmaker Luc Jacquet observes the months-long reproductive cycle of the emperor penguins as they slowly trek across the frozen tundra of Antarctica -- where the average temperature is 58 degrees below zero -- to find a mate, reproduce and then raise their offspring in the harsh environs.

Beginning in March, the start of winter down below, the penguins begin their seventy mile journey on foot and belly. Over the next several months, they'll have to endure unbelievable hardships and sacrifices while facing starvation, natural predators and the incredible cold that can destroy their eggs or kill their hatchings in a matter of seconds if left exposed.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into nature documentaries or penguins, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: G
Apparently for not containing material to warrant a higher rating (but see our "Our Word to Parents" and "Frightening/Tense Scenes" sections for information regarding younger viewers).
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
There are no humans (aside from the filmmakers who are only seen in the closing credits) to appear as role models.
CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


(Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
Here's a brief summary of the content found in this G-rated documentary. Despite that rating, there are several scenes and bits of narration that might be unsettling, suspenseful or even scary for very young kids (although most older ones likely won't have any problem with the material if they're used to seeing scenes of predation and death on similar nature shows on TV).

Those include scenes of a bird of prey attacking penguin chicks, and a seal coming after and snagging one penguin underwater, as well as comments about and footage of adult penguins, chicks and eggs that have perished in the elements (or seem in danger of doing so). Some suspenseful music accompanies some of those scenes. There's talk of mating and a male penguin is seen starting to mount a female one, but no copulation is actually seen.

Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see some frozen penguin carcasses during a bad storm (beyond being dead and frozen, there's no blood or gore).
  • We hear the comment that for some chicks, the mothers' return is too late and we see a frozen and dead chick on the ground (ditto for the above).
  • We see one mother penguin finding her dead and frozen chick on the ground (and she tries to move it as the narrator states that the loss is unbearable).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • None.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The following entries may be unsettling, suspenseful or even scary for younger viewers, but probably not so for older kids unless they're easily disturbed by such nature material/footage.
  • We hear that the brutal winter will do everything in its power to destroy the penguins' eggs.
  • We see a lone penguin trying to make it to the breeding ground, but hear the narrator say that its hope for survival is remote (that might be troubling to younger kids, although we don't see any death or frozen body).
  • The narrator explains that the cold is deadly to the penguins' eggs and that with one particular one we see (that's slightly cracking open from sudden freezing), the ice has claimed the egg and the life within it.
  • We hear that the female penguins must return to the sea and eat or they'll die.
  • Various scenes showing the penguins huddled close together during fierce winter storms (with howling winds, freezing temperatures and blowing snow) might be unsettling or suspenseful to some kids.
  • We see one penguin lying alive in the snow, but hear that it will fall asleep and disappear (die and be buried in the snow).
  • We see some frozen penguin carcasses during a bad storm.
  • As the female penguins finally return to the water, we see a seal that comes after them (as some suspenseful music plays). The footage is quickly edited and includes some shots of the seal's open mouth coming at the camera (and thus the viewer). We then see various penguins leaping from the water and onto the ice, but one only gets halfway and is then pulled back down below (and we then see its body in the seal's mouth, but there's no blood). The narrator then reminds us that the seal took two lives -- the mother penguin and its chick that will now never be fed.
  • We hear the comment that for some chicks, the mothers' return is too late and we see a frozen and dead chick on the ground.
  • We hear talk that some of the male penguins will not survive their march back to the sea (from being too weak from having not eaten for four months).
  • The narrator informs us that many of the chicks will not make it back to the sea (for a variety of reasons). A bad storm then arrives and when it's done, the narrator talks of the search for lost chicks. We then see one mother penguin finding her dead and frozen chick on the ground (and she tries to move it as the narrator states that the loss is unbearable).
  • We see that one mother penguin (that's lost her chick to the elements) tries to steal another mother's chick, but the rest of the group does not allow it.
  • A bird of prey arrives, landing near the group and then creeping over toward the chicks. It grabs one by the neck (that flutters and makes sounds of distress), but that one gets away. The bird then chases after others, and grabs another by the neck. We then see the back of the bird as it apparently kills the chick. The actual death is not seen and there's no blood, but the scene will likely be disturbing to younger and some older viewers.
  • Some kids may worry when the older chicks are left alone, but nothing bad happens to them. The same holds true when the narrator states that come summer, the mother, father and chick all go their separate ways, likely never to see each other again.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • None.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • Some suspenseful music plays in several scenes in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We hear that the penguins are monogamous, but only for one year at a time.
  • We see a partial shot of a male penguin mounting a female one from behind for mating purposes, but no actual copulation is seen.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None for humans, although some penguins seem upset over the deaths of their offspring (natural and not of any sort of humanized fashion).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Antarctica.
  • How anything can survive such extreme weather conditions.
  • Animal reproduction and caring for offspring.
  • We hear that the penguins are monogamous, but only for one year at a time.
  • The narrator explains that the cold is deadly to the penguins' eggs and that with one particular one we see (that's slightly cracking open from sudden freezing), the ice has claimed the egg and the life within it.
  • We hear that the female penguins must return to the sea and eat or they'll die.
  • We hear that the males will go 125 days without any food.
  • We see some time lapse footage of the "Southern Lights."
  • We hear talk that some of the male penguins will not survive their march back to the sea (from being too weak from having not eaten for four months).
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see some female penguins hitting others with their flippers to try to win certain males.
  • As the female penguins finally return to the water, we see a seal that comes after them (as some suspenseful music plays). The footage is quickly edited and includes some shots of the seal's open mouth coming at the camera (and thus the viewer). We then see various penguins leaping from the water and onto the ice, but one only gets halfway and is then pulled back down below (and we then see its body in the seal's mouth, but there's no blood). The narrator then reminds us that the seal took two lives -- the mother penguin and its chick that will now never be fed.
  • A bird of prey arrives, landing near the group and then creeping over toward the chicks. It grabs one by the neck (that flutters and makes sounds of distress), but that one gets away. The bird then chases after others, and grabs another by the neck. We then see the back of the bird as it apparently kills the chick. The actual death is not seen and there's no blood, but the scene will likely be disturbing to younger and some older viewers.



  • Reviewed May 31, 2005 / Posted July 1, 2005

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