March of the Penguins

March of the Penguins

Luc Jacquet (2005)

U Certificate


Our Score
Director Luc Jacquet's disarmingly simple nature documentary follows a flock of emperor penguins as they make the arduous journey to their annual breeding ground, and then endure the Antarctic's extreme winter until their chicks are hatched. The avian protagonists' comical ungainliness on land and deadpan manner make for adorable viewing, while the austere, glacial landscape is consistently breathtaking. The film's own backstory is perhaps even more fascinating. Originally, it had a soppy dialogue track in which French actors voiced the penguins' "thoughts". Fortunately, the US version (released in here in the UK) ditches most of the anthropomorphism in favour of a drier, factual narration by Morgan Freeman, which marvels at the penguins' stamina, dedication as parents, and serial monogamy. These qualities have led to the film being championed - and perhaps misinterpreted - by some US commentators keen to promote the anti-evolutionary theory of "intelligent design". But such controversy should not be allowed to detract from this movie's wide-ranging appeal or its startling box-office success.


Luc Jacquet's Oscar-winning nature documentary follows a colony of emperor penguins on a journey hundreds of miles across the Antarctic ice to reach their breeding grounds, enduring harsh weather conditions and freezing temperatures along the way. Once they have mated, the males stay to guard the eggs while the females return to the sea to gather food. Narrated by Morgan Freeman.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Morgan Freeman
Director Luc Jacquet

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner BrosAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 9 Dec 2005
Documentary Nature