National Geographic Films | Release Date: June 24, 2005
7.8
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 91 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
73
Mixed:
11
Negative:
7
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8
AmurabiM.Jun 3, 2006
This is a riveting, awesome and tenderful documentary, far, far away from the NatGeo sensation. That´s the triumph of french director Luc Jacquet that offers a look to this cute animals without any perspective. He just put on screen, This is a riveting, awesome and tenderful documentary, far, far away from the NatGeo sensation. That´s the triumph of french director Luc Jacquet that offers a look to this cute animals without any perspective. He just put on screen, the battle for life of the Emperors. Which is tne curse, the condemnation of been harassed for weather, predators and the cruel nature to get into this dance? Life. Jacquet doesn´t tries to persuades us from any point of view. He and his penguins are telling a story. A story of love, survival and sacrifice. It´s a drama, yes (even with a touch of sentimentalism), but above all is a story than is set for nature and nobody has ever captured. It´s the feeling of joie-de-vivre taught for tuxedo animals.Those penguins do more for the optimism around this world than any other thing these days. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
TedM.Sep 30, 2005
Not as good as "Story of the Weeping Camel," but pretty close.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
AlistairD.Jan 28, 2006
short, but very good. Surprising normal movie with a lot of themes in mainstream movies and isn't just about information and photography.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
TitaniaB.Jul 9, 2006
I watched the "Movies That Pop" version on DirectTV, which I'm sure made the movie more upbeat, more interesting, and somewhat less gloomy. Great movie, I highly recommend it!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
davezJul 21, 2007
A movie that demands your attention based on something that most people would simply skip over while browsing cable. Perhaps it is the unbelievable cinematography, the struggle not only of the penguins but of the filmakers themselves to A movie that demands your attention based on something that most people would simply skip over while browsing cable. Perhaps it is the unbelievable cinematography, the struggle not only of the penguins but of the filmakers themselves to survive or perhaps it is the perfect narrative voice of Freedman that makes this one of the greatest cyclical stories of life from beginning to end in less than an hour and a half. You should watch this even if you're not a nature buff. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
MichaelG.Sep 9, 2005
Excellent film for all ages. Loved it!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
miker.Jan 3, 2006
I love documentaries and indies but this was the first movie I walked out of in a long time. Really boring.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JoseC.Jan 7, 2006
Wonderful script,photography and superb voice over,10 points for Morgan Freeman.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
NigelP.Jan 9, 2006
Excellent ! A truly wonderful and facinating story of Penguin life with a great narration by Morgan Freeman. Superb filming. Also liked the ending touch of showing the film crew, as the credits rolled. Can't speak highly enough of this film !
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
ThomasD.Apr 15, 2006
Tells about how penguins live. In the snow & the male with egg when female go to find food.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
GiselleMay 6, 2006
A most magnificent movie about an incredibly special species that one was priveleged to get to know through this documentary. Brilliant. Let's treasure gifts of Nature like these magnificent birds!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
KimD.Nov 12, 2005
This is the best documentary I have ever seen. It made me cry - it was beautiful!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
toms.Dec 19, 2005
Very moving.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
RyanB.Dec 29, 2005
This is one of the most overrated films of the year. Yes the penguins were interesting and the new critter cam made for great shots, but it was really no different that from any other show on Animal Planet of Discovery channel. There was This is one of the most overrated films of the year. Yes the penguins were interesting and the new critter cam made for great shots, but it was really no different that from any other show on Animal Planet of Discovery channel. There was nothing spectular about the film. Just a good, ordinary animal documentary. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
BarryRAug 28, 2005
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
OS11Sep 17, 2005
An excellent film for all ages and interests. Never dull, truly entertaining, a few sad moments but even those are important to the film. You will leave the theater saying and thinking, "I never knew that" about Penguins. Catch it while you An excellent film for all ages and interests. Never dull, truly entertaining, a few sad moments but even those are important to the film. You will leave the theater saying and thinking, "I never knew that" about Penguins. Catch it while you still can on a large screen, the DVD will be excellent too, but with a Live audience it's a better expereince. Go see it! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
MaxxSep 18, 2005
Me and my girlfriend made out for half of the movie... so i liked it.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
DavidA.Sep 18, 2005
Awesome, this movie is very touching and good. I thought I wasn't gonna like it because I was looking for an action movie but this is a great movie and I loved it.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
GregS.Sep 5, 2005
An awesome documentary film that is compelling as well as visually stunning.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
NatachaP.Feb 14, 2006
it was such a touching movie, the narrative created with the life of these flightless birds is very moving.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
SammyFeb 28, 2006
Possibly the worst movie I have ever seen. It is so boring. I could barely sit through it. This is also the first movie I have ever fallen asleep in. Don't see it.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
molotovMar 15, 2006
This might have been okay as a 48-minute documentary on the Discovery channel, but not as an 80-minute theatrical release. If you're looking for far superior "bird" documentaries, try "Winged Migration" and "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill."
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
DylanL.Mar 28, 2006
this is by far the worst movie i have ever seen it sucked do not bother seeing it the only reason why i saw it was because my teacher showed it in class it sucked! dont bother seeing it.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
CallumH.Apr 22, 2006
Simply Amazing, I wasn't so much of a fan of Documentaries before I saw this. It just tells you the life of an Emporer Penguin in such a way, it may make you cry.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
DavidS.Aug 16, 2007
This was the most beautiful and astounding video ever. Do a comparison with the insane Bush Family crooks and we see why these guys have lasted millions of years. The Bish Guys will be soon gone and depricated for the mass murders they are This was the most beautiful and astounding video ever. Do a comparison with the insane Bush Family crooks and we see why these guys have lasted millions of years. The Bish Guys will be soon gone and depricated for the mass murders they are for all time Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
tomNov 17, 2005
Wonderfull film about nature destroyed by narration. Morgan Friedman delivered it well but the writing was full of anthropomorphisms and creationist perspectives.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
JimG.Dec 2, 2005
Beautifully captured picture of nature. No more. No less. Technological advances or daring make it visually superior to the old Disney-type wildlife flicks, but the narration is flawed. The cheesy 60's era "Oh those penguins!" has given Beautifully captured picture of nature. No more. No less. Technological advances or daring make it visually superior to the old Disney-type wildlife flicks, but the narration is flawed. The cheesy 60's era "Oh those penguins!" has given way to a 00's era "we know what mommy and daddy penguin are feeling". Feel-good films are now moving from talking down to children to talking down to adults? How about something else? Nothing against Morgan Freeman, but drop the narration and have a competition for an original score (think "Koyannisqatsi"). Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
TonyP.Aug 27, 2005
I agree with John M, and disagree abit with the over the top op-ed in the Times about the movie which went on and on about the power of Mr. Freeman's lines; the 3rd person narrative seemed abit hokey. Interestingly, the movie in France I agree with John M, and disagree abit with the over the top op-ed in the Times about the movie which went on and on about the power of Mr. Freeman's lines; the 3rd person narrative seemed abit hokey. Interestingly, the movie in France was without a narrator; instead the dialogue was essentially first "person" from the perspective of various penguins, without the humanization and "penguins love like we do" text that Freeman had to read. My daughter saw it in Paris and found it more moving and less trite; John M would have found a "10" easier to offer. They also called it the "Marche de l'Empereur",; the changes evidently (according to an interview with the Director) were based on the idea that Americans wouldn't "get" the original dialogue, nor know that these were Emperor penguins. Frankly, dumb but typical choices. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
MattAug 28, 2005
I was utterly stunned by the amazing combination of cinematic beauty, real tragedy and occasional comedy experience of watching penguins do what they do. Absolutely riveting.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
DorthyT.Sep 17, 2005
great, can not understand why it did not rate higher with your viewers.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
PatC.Mar 22, 2006
A fine film in both its cinematography and its openness to the life experience of a fellow species on our planet. The empathy and admiration evoked for these animals as we are immersed in their life cycle is thorough and memorable, and the A fine film in both its cinematography and its openness to the life experience of a fellow species on our planet. The empathy and admiration evoked for these animals as we are immersed in their life cycle is thorough and memorable, and the implication that they have mastered a system of social responsibility that flourishes in the harshest of conditions is a reminder that progressive human society loses when it pursues freedom to the point of denying a sense of duty. Minus 2 points on technicalities. Sorry, a top movie has a more intricate plot and insightful character development, just not possible in a film by humans about non-humans. But still quite worthwhile, and at least a 10 as a documentary. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
camdenlDec 11, 2005
This movie gets a 10 just for the crew who went there to film it in -80 degree weather with 100mph winds.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
smijatovJan 9, 2012
Maybe if I were a nature-fan, or a bird-fan, or more preferably, a penguin-fan, I would have enjoyed this film. The way things are, I just did not find it all that amazing. Ok. I was just ok. All white all the time. And the little penguins.Maybe if I were a nature-fan, or a bird-fan, or more preferably, a penguin-fan, I would have enjoyed this film. The way things are, I just did not find it all that amazing. Ok. I was just ok. All white all the time. And the little penguins. They're cute. And all. And it's Morgan Freeman. We get it. Ah. Maybe it's Freeman, we've had too much of him narrating lately. Either way, it just did not do anything for me. It was alright, but I felt bored by the film since, well, I do not care about the poor penguins. There have been way better documentaries than this - thank god! Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
CritiqueGirlMar 1, 2011
This really is a great movie for the family. I was really surprised as to how good this movie was. It was a tad preachy but it really was necessary for the story line so it did not get in the way. How the humans were filmed, withoutThis really is a great movie for the family. I was really surprised as to how good this movie was. It was a tad preachy but it really was necessary for the story line so it did not get in the way. How the humans were filmed, without animation, was brilliant. It was short and captivating. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
jimmytancrediDec 24, 2011
Nature is perfection and when you believe everything you see, some emperor penguins come and completely change my perception and feelings.

It's a splendid story, incorrectly judged with Animal Planet's episode, which presents the cycle of
Nature is perfection and when you believe everything you see, some emperor penguins come and completely change my perception and feelings.

It's a splendid story, incorrectly judged with Animal Planet's episode, which presents the cycle of survival of those species in the most inhospitable place in the world. Threatened by hunger, cold and predators (leopard seals and gulls), the monogamous penguins must preserve the ancient cycle of the species, as reflected in the birth of new offspring and the search for food.

It is a piece of art, proving that a story can make a difference (the voice of Morgan Freeman) or curious fiction concepts that mingle easily in the documentary (in case the French dubbing with human voices voicing penguins).
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9
rodstewart33Jul 16, 2011
What a wonderful film! It's hard to believe that they were able to get such good footage of all of the activity - and the story of the hardships these birds go through each year to reproduce is utterly riveting.
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8
CooterPatooterMar 3, 2012
Actually makes nature's lamest animal seem interesting.
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8
Trev29Sep 1, 2012
This really is an astonishing documentary that captures a breathtaking journey of the lives of a beautiful creature, the emperor penguins. Such a genuinely told story.
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8
EpicLadySpongeMay 16, 2016
Who couldn't resist watching the backstory of flightless birds that are penguins and stars Morgan Freeman? Only if you're not that one guy who gives 0's on any random movie for apparently no reason whatsoever.
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