Movie Review: DisneyNature’s Penguins; a fairy tale amidst deadly sea predators

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Disneynature, on its 10th anniversary brought to us its thirteenth nature documentary on the life of a Penguin, in its recent release, ‘Penguins’. The story revolves around an Adélie penguin named Steve, who is on a quest to find a mate and start a family over the icy Arctic Ocean. However, it isn’t an easy take as the predatory animals across threaten him all throughout. While the motive of the film is to make aware of protecting Penguins around the world, the direction and cinematography have been a hit amongst the young audience.

Director Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson along with screenplay writer David Fowler have documented the film through the voice of Ed Helms who narrated the film. Disneynature is known for family films and Penguins is one too. The star character is a 5-year-old Adélie penguin, Steve who is a cute, adorable wobbly character. He likes walks on a long beach, collecting rocks and fishing. The movie begins with Ed Helms narrating about Steve, who plunges on his first mating season.

The male Penguin walks through the icy floors of the southern ocean and a harsh stormy climate. Along with him are a million others who hunt to build their homes. Very few survive this harsh climate mainly for reasons, one the climate itself and second the deadly predatory animals whose food are the penguins themselves. Steve then finds his mate and together bring to this world their two little chicks. However, the marine’s birds journey before the eggs is hatched prove to be a roller coaster for them.

The predatory animals who threaten the couple are the Skua a bird that’s like a vulture waiting to steal the penguin’s egg, the Leopard seal who are specialized in eating penguins and lastly the Killer whales who hunt for penguins to survive on. The movie takes you through the challenges faced by the Penguin couple as they do everything it takes to protect their little ones. Steve, travels almost a hundred miles in search of food to feed his family, while his mate jumps into the icy ocean to find the same. While they aren’t around, the predatory animals are eyeing the baby birds to either steal or eat them. A shot in the movie shows Steve reaching just in time back from the sea, while the Skua was about to steal its babies.


The story of the life of a penguin is not known to all, however, through the making of various TV shows based on the lives of these marine birds, Director Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson have managed to create an amazing film. “The cinematography of the film has taken one to reality. One is mesmerized by the stunning shots of the penguins against the sunset, the close-ups of them swimming underwater and aerial views of the mesmerizing colonies”, says Paris Razor in his review Brilliant Birds.

The beauty of the film is Antarctica itself. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world while being the most remote one too, says Alastair Fothergill in his interview. Very few humans rest their foot on this icy region. Hence, Disneynature takes every viewer amidst these million birds and cold wind shivers through the film. And through its release on World Earth Day, the message has been successfully conveyed to every viewer, ‘Save Arctic Penguins’.


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