Every year for Earth Day, my family looks forward to the new yearly release from DisneyNature. If you haven’t seen these wonderful G-rated nature documentaries, you are in for a fun visual feast. This year Penguins has waddled into theaters.
DisneyNature is expert at bringing the tough and often brutal world of nature to a level that young children can understand. As usual, a celebrity narrates. In this case Ed Helms talks through the inner monologue of an Adelie penguin with the regular-guy name Steve. His antics and misadventures as a first-time parent are funny, especially against a soundtrack of popular songs, such as “Can’t Fight this Feeling” when he falls in love.
But don’t let the kid friendliness fool you. Filmmakers Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson were absolutely fearless in their cinematography, and the results are breathtaking. Filmmaking under the extreme Antarctic conditions takes guts and grit, and it shows.
The same goes for Steve in his arduous task of parenting in such an unforgiving environment. The survival skills of the penguins are inspiring.
The movie doesn’t tackle the more worrisome, much bigger challenges facing penguins, such as global warming. But this could be a great conversation starter for your kids about how to be a steward of the environment and wildlife. It’s a good time to start paying attention to the plights of our fine feathered friends.
Penguins has none of the gruesome footage of predator attacking its pray. But there is at least one scene of penguin chicks meeting their demise that could be upsetting for very young viewers.
Overall, this movie is fine for all ages. Enjoy an afternoon at the movies with the young person in your life.