August 27, 2005

Review: March of the Penguins

Author: Joe Barr

If you haven't had a chance to see the Warner Brothers film "March of the Penguins" yet, and you are at all curious about life as an emperor penguin, I highly recommend it.Filmed entirely on location in Antarctica and narrated with sensitivity and grace by Morgan Freeman, the film captures a full year of life, death, and love as the penguins make their annual treks to their ancestral breeding grounds where they will mate, hatch chicks, and jointly raise their offspring.

If you think that life in such a harsh and brutal environment is tough, you're right. What might surprise you is the tenderness these fascinating birds show each other and their young, and the incredible teamwork required to hatch and nurture their offspring. Their story is softened somewhat by Freeman's narration, but the harshness of the environment and the brutal toll it takes on the penguins, is faithfully recorded by the camera.

I went to see it out of curiosity about the treatment of Linus Torvalds' chosen mascot for Linux, but all thoughts of software and the kernel were soon replaced with awe for the story unfolding on the screen.

After seeing the film, I emailed Linux Torvalds and asked if he and his family had seen the film, and if so, what their reactions were.

He said, "I'm actually the only one in the family who hasn't seen it yet. The kids definitely liked it, although the dead baby chicks seem to have been somewhat traumatic."

So with that single caveat for young or sensitive children, this is a film that the whole family can enjoy.

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