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March of the Penguins (2005)

La marche de l'empereur (original title)
In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family.

Director:

Luc Jacquet

Writers:

Luc Jacquet (scenario), Luc Jacquet (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Charles Berling ... Le père (voice)
Romane Bohringer ... La mère (voice)
Jules Sitruk ... Le bébé (voice)
Morgan Freeman ... Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Amitabh Bachchan ... Narrator (voice)
Jose Coronado ... Emperor Father (voice)
Sky du Mont ... Narrator (voice)
Gösta Ekman ... Narrator (voice)
Fiorello Fiorello ... Narrator (voice)
Sofie Gråbøl ... Narrator (voice)
Hikari Ishida Hikari Ishida ... Haha-Penguin (voice)
Ryûnosuke Kamiki ... Ko-Penguin (voice)
Adrian Killian Adrian Killian ... Penguin Baby (voice)
Marek Kondrat ... Narrator (voice)
Andrea Kathrin Loewig Andrea Kathrin Loewig ... Penguin Mother (voice)
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Storyline

At the end of each Antarctic summer, the emperor penguins of the South Pole journey to their traditional breeding grounds in a fascinating mating ritual that is captured in this documentary by intrepid filmmaker Luc Jacquet. The journey across frozen tundra proves to be the simplest part of the ritual, as after the egg is hatched, the female must delicately transfer it to the male and make her way back to the distant sea to nourish herself and bring back food to her newborn chick. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the harshest place on Earth, love finds a way


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

22 July 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

March of the Penguins See more »

Filming Locations:

Terre Adélie, Antarctica

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$137,492, 26 June 2005

Gross USA:

$77,437,223

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$127,392,693
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was noted that, by the time of the 2006 Academy Awards, this Best Documentary winner had out-grossed all 5 Best Picture nominees ($77 million vs. $75 million for Brokeback Mountain (2005)). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: [narrating voice over] There are few places hard to get to in this world. But there aren't any where it's harder to live.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the closing credits roll, footage is shown of the photographers dragging their equipment across the ice, setting up their cameras, and shooting film as the penguins walk around them. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original French version features dialog for the penguins and a pop music soundtrack. See more »

Connections

Edited into Phénomania: La marche de l'empereur (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Luc Jacquet has done the impossible.
8 July 2005 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

Toss that anthropomorphic expectation and embrace your inner animal because documentarian Luc Jacquet has done the impossible: March of the Penguins respects, even adores, these indomitable cuties, not because, as Morgan Freeman says in his voice-over narration, they may be just like us, but rather because they are not like us. Although we may want to see ourselves in them, we end up seeing in this incomparably intimate journey through the entire breeding cycle in Antarctica is a unique organism totally devoted to the survival of its family, brooking no selfish activity and no vacation from the harsh climate and relentless demands of nature.

This film's strength is a lack of sentimentality that allows us to focus on the strategies of survival: Thousands of penguins closely huddle with their backs to the sometimes 100 mile an hour winds; fathers and mothers equally share responsibilities such as trudging 70 miles each way to store up food for the babies; fathers protect eggs while mothers make that journey; mates separate after the season from each other and their babies forever. Their lovemaking is dignified and the essence of minimalism. These are just a few of the rituals that characterize an evolutionary process guaranteeing the survival of the species.

Jacquet occasionally courts repetition, anathema to a hyperactive audience, but if the audience gives itself over to the rhythms of penguins breeding to live, it will not be bored. Winged Migration seems strangely detached by comparison, formations mostly seen from afar. Jacquet gets up close and personal (The parents exchanging an egg to be stored under their coats is memorable) to make the audience collaborator rather than voyeur. Lamentably, the director includes no scenes of raw predator activity, just a large scavenger scooping up a baby. A documentary should allow the audience of experiencing the good and the bad.

A few years ago I hid in a trench in New Zealand to see Penguins rise out of the sea at the same time each day marching by us to their camps. I was deeply moved by their dignity and calm, punctuated with a resolve to keep their rituals intact for millennia. That unflagging constancy is devoutly to be wished in humanity.

For once, the trailer hype may be accurate: "In the harshest place on earth, love finds a way." Love of species would be more accurate. No matter, you'll love the film.


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