This review comes in three-years late, since it was shown in cinemas in 2005. I wanted to watch this when it was released, but did not have the chance of doing so. Nevertheless, I was thrilled when the local TV station aired this documentary last weekend. Thanks to my husband, he had it recorded so I did not have to watch till midnight since the following day was a workday. I needed my sleep!

Anyway, this documentary is fantastic! I did not even mind it that it is narrated in French, although I was glad it has English subtitles so I could understand what it is all about besides viewing the breathtaking scenes.

Filmed in Antarctica, hundreds of the Emperor penguins began their journey for the breeding mission where they were to brave the blizzards and endure the low temperatures. They were often seen walking in single file, and occasionally they just fell onto their belly and slided across the ice as if they were doing snowboarding. I felt sorry for one or two penguins when they did not catch up with the rest and ended up lost amidst the huge land of ice.

When finally they had reached their destination, they will began their ritual courtship where they will intricate dances, often accompanied by their own ecstatic songs and they were later pair off and mate. When the females had laid their eggs, they would pass it to the males to guard and hatch the eggs while the females would leave the place to look for food. After all, they had gone without food for weeks and they need to find something to feed their young.

It really saddened me when I saw a few unfortunate female penguins were eaten by the seals look-alike animals when they dived into the sea to look for food; it marked the end of their fate and their poor babies would have no food and would be left to die. Once the females returned, it would be the males' turn to look for food, after all they were left empty stomach for weeks. What most disturbing to me was, the females would resort to stealing other babies when they found their young ones were dead. It was a pitiful sight. And for other females who had their young ones well protected, they too remained helpless if their babies were attacked by the prowling petrels.

And when the weather started to grow warmer and the ice began to melt, they would return to the ocean and their breeding journey would be repeated comes autumn.

After watching this documentary, I was simply awed and impressed with the crew who had spent the whole year filming this eye-opening documentary. And what most amazed me was, I found my daughter's attention was fixed to the screen the whole time; usually she would get restless if nothing interests her and would seek for other things that would spark her attention. I was most happy when she asked me a few questions on the penguins and I explained to her all the whys.

All in all, we really enjoyed this documentary and found it very informative (not to mention an eye-opening experience). And did I mention to you that penguins happens to be my favourite animal? ;-)
6 Responses
  1. Alice Says:

    I love watching documentary too, especially on animals and nature. This is a great review, Melody. I'm glad you wrote it and share with us!

  2. Iliana Says:

    I never got to see this one at the movies. It sounds really wonderful.

  3. Ladytink_534 Says:

    I've never been one for documentaries so the fact Morgan Freeman was narrating is why I watched it but I was surprised by how much I liked it!

  4. Melody Says:

    Alice - Thanks! I'd highly recommend this if you haven't watched it. :)

    Iliana - We really enjoyed watching it. I wish we had seen it in the cinemas. The effect would've been much better!

    Jen - Oh, I didn't know Morgan Freeman narrated for this documentary! Thanks for telling me. :)

  5. It is fantastic, isn't it? It was so interesting and beautiful! My heart went out to those penguins seeing all they had to endure.

  6. Melody Says:

    Indeed it is, Wendy! This is the best documentary I had seen so far. :)

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