NWave Pictures, Serengeti Entertainment, Atlantic Productions,
Rex (Tim Allen) the penguin has been off at sea for three years learning how to catch fish and avoid predators. Now it’s time for him to return to Penguin City and find a mate and settle down. But according to the laws of nature, when the egg is lain, the male must stand over and keep the egg warm all winter while the female heads out to sea to gorge herself with fish. This is the story of a year in the life of the penguins (particularly Rex) watching his egg and raising his child.
This film has some of the best nature footage I have seen. It’s certainly very high quality and very instructing and very entertaining. Seeing this in IMAX 3-D would have been wonderful. But there is a problem. Well, perhaps it’s a problem, but the narration is by Tim Allen who is a really great guy and a good actor, but it’s a voice over of everything from Rex’s point of view. The problem is that they fall into the trap of making up a story that probably has nothing in the world to do with real king penguins. It is really cutesy, with lots of made up thoughts that is really very childish. On the other hand, this might be really good for young children who could learn a lot about the species while hearing an entertaining story along with it. It’s a bit like on one hand there is DisneyNature Bears, and on the other hand there is “Charlie the Lonesome Cougar”. For those of you who are not familiar, Disney sent out photographers into the wild to capture wildlife footage by the mile. With what they brought back (and truthfully I’m certain a lot of it was staged), they turned it into two types of features. On one hand they had Disney’s True-Life Adventures (the childhood version of the new DisneyNature films) which were very educational and really tried to show nature in natural terms, and Charlie, the Lonesome Cougar on the other hand was a childhood adventure made for the kids, and shown on the Disney Sunday night TV show in 2 parts. Both served a different purpose. This version of the film is the childish one, and it loses a bit, in my opinion, due to the silly dialog made up strictly for entertainment. But there is a lot of information here. Now, one final point. There is a European version of this film narrated by David Attenborough. I have included both previews below. His version “sounds” like the serious version I was looking for, but unfortunately that soundtrack was not available to me. It would be wonderful for them to provide both tracks to allow you to choose both. Perhaps that will happen in a release at some point. All in all, this was a good movie, and really a lot of fun to watch. I recommend it.
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