March of the Penguins

Rated G 80 minutes

As Stephen Holden noted in the New York Times, this documentary about the breeding cycle of the emperor penguin eagerly indulges our desire to anthropomorphize, with narrator Morgan Freeman promising a “love story.” That's unfortunate, because its real subject—the triumph of new life in one of the deadliest environments on earth—is no less moving. Director Luc Jacquet and his crew spent a year with the indomitable antarctic birds as they left the sea, trudged dozens of miles to their breeding ground, produced a single egg per couple, and struggled to protect their offspring from 100-mile-per-hour winds and temperatures of 80 degrees below zero. Some of the eggs and chicks freeze, and the parents' cries are painful to hear (probably more for us than for them).

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