REVIEW: A light-hearted family adventure, PENGUINS brings heart and humor this Earth Week
Disneynature is well-known for its stunning documentary films offering gorgeous looks into various corners of our big blue planet. That visually stunning tradition continues with the upcoming PENGUINS. On this adventure, we travel to the stunning continent of Antarctica for a look at the lives of Adélie penguins.
In particular, the story follows along with one particular penguin named Steve who embarks on his first journey into fatherhood. From migration to courtship and ultimately from nesting to rearing, we follow an entire year in the life of Steve and his family as they make life work in the harsh conditions; fraught with danger from predators and even just mother nature herself.
The story is narrated by actor Ed Helms who provides a warm and endearing recap that is consistently playful in tone throughout. He does a good job of weaving us through the narrative crafted for Steve. Even tense and scary moments with leopard seals, killer whales, and south polar skua are quickly calmed with a light joke or a funny transition. If you’re worried about taking sensitive young viewers they should be totally fine here, the flim is rated G by the MPAA.
By their very nature, Adélie penguins are funny in appearance and that helps craft the overall tone and approach for bringing the flightless birds to the big screen. It makes sense then that Helms providing the voice for the film works so well. From the very opening sequence, a nice long shot following Steve as he hobbles across the ice by himself, occasionally slipping on the ice, we get the sense that this documentary is firmly tongue in cheek. This is contrasted early on in the film too when Steve actually comes across with more familiar Emperor penguins which are decidedly more regal in their appearance and movement.
Disneynature PENGUINS is an absolutely charming family adventure continuing a reliable reputation for a cute story set against gorgeous footage meticulously obtained completely on location.
PENGUINS finds its way into theaters on April 17, 2019. It is the first-ever Disneynature film to be released in IMAX.