Note: This is a spoiler-free Penguins movie review
Disney Nature’s running series of yearly documentaries to celebrate Earth Day has evolved over the years. In 2019 we’re essentially getting a long episode of Planet Earth told through a penguin’s perspective and voiced by Ed Helms. I would not call that a bad thing.
Penguins is a light-hearted, kid-friendly story of an Adélie penguin’s journey that will teach you something and have you feel a range of emotions throughout.
Disney had a lot of fun with telling the story of Steve the penguin (GREAT name by the way), but it is still a documentary. What do the best documentaries do? Entertain you while you learn something of course! Here are four takeaways you’ll get from watching Penguins.
1. Penguins Are Thieves
There’s just no other way around it. Adélie penguins steal rocks and Adélie penguins steal nesting grounds. Antarctica is a tough place to fit in, especially if you’re a first timer like Steve.
The good thing about this is it’s easy to root for an underdog story like Steve. He may be a victim at first, but he’s a quick learner and no pushover. As he adjusts you’ll be ready to see him find love and create a family. And by the end, he may just be a thief himself… when he steals your heart.
2. Penguins Are In Great Shape
If you’ve ever seen March of the Penguins you may know how far they migrate every year. If you haven’t, you’re gonna learn in Disney Nature’s Penguins.
Adélie penguins travel massive distances across continents, just to breed in the same nesting ground every year. Then, once they do breed and eggs begin hatching, all they do is swim and catch fish to feed their chicks. These birds are Michael Phelps if he kept all of his swimming talents, decided to take up marathon running, and then was just as good at that as he is at swimming. Underrated athletes, penguins.
3. Penguins Have Steel Trap Minds
Speaking of how far they migrate, Adélie penguins go that far because they breed in the exact same spot, year after year. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember how to get to my local grocery store some weeks.
Suffice to say these penguins have a better memory than we do. It’s actually one of the interesting parts about Penguins, learning about their habits and travels in Antarctica. Our boy Steve gets lost for a bit and even tries to make some new friends, but learns from his voyage and is a better penguin for it.
4. Penguins Live On The Edge
When I say this one I mean it both figuratively and literally. First, it feels like Steve’s nesting ground is actually on the edge of the world with how close the ocean is when it thaws out. A lot of the shots and scenes the Disney Nature crew captures shine a beautiful light on a seldom-seen place.
These Adélie penguins also live on the edge with some of the dangers they face during their journey. There are all kinds of predators from both the air and the sea making life hard on Steve. Throw in the extreme weather conditions and you get some real raw emotion and tense moments you may not expect from a Disney product.
Should I Go See Penguins?
Personally, I’m a sucker for nature shows and documentaries like this. If you are too, especially for ones with a little lighter tone and jokes added in, Penguins is for you. And if you do go see it, see it within the first week of release to benefit the Wildlife Conservation Network.
(Featured Image courtesy of EPK)