It is winter in Illinois. We huddle tight in our warm house as we watch the parent penguins huddle their chicks close to their tummy. “It’s warm in here.”
March of the Penguins is about the Emperor Penguins and how they choose a mate, lay an egg, leave to fetch food seventy miles away, all the while protecting their chicks from the Antarctic winter. These parents invest most of their lives raising a chick each year. We watch them march single file with their halting little steps, trudging on and on, never resting, never eating. When they return, they must find their chick among all the thousands of seemingly identical chicks. It seems impossible. But they do it.
Each shot is art. Mountains of ice curve and pierce the blue sky as white and black Emperor Penguins walk in long lines to and fro from their ancient brooding ground to the ocean. Chicks poke their little beady eyes from under their parent’s belly. Clouds of ice crystals slice across the frozen ground like fog blown by the wind. The sun is a small orange disk low on the horizon. Thousands of penguin fathers stand together with their backs to us and the wind, huddling to protect their egg.
My family liked this movie as much as we liked The Story of the Weeping Camel. We have a new metaphor to describe survival in the face of impossible difficulties: penguins.