Synopsis by Mark Deming
While many people think of penguins as comical birds who look like they've been decked out in tuxedos, the truth is they're among the strongest and most resilient creatures in the animal kingdom. And they have to be -- each year, the emperor penguins of Antarctica travel through the most punishing environment on Earth to their nesting grounds, and after the females lay their eggs, the males keep them warm while their mates walk 70 miles back to the sea to fatten themselves with fish for themselves and their young. Filmmaker Luc Jacquet spent over a year braving the frigid temperatures of the South Pole to film this annual ritual of the penguins, and March of the Penguins documents their brave struggle to survive, as well as the close emotional bonds between the penguin families. March of the Penguins was first screened in France as La marche de l'empereur, with a handful of French actors providing a voice-over in which they expressed the "thoughts" of the penguins; for the American edition, Morgan Freeman was brought in to deliver a more straightforward narration.