The Penguin King 3D Review

Film Still
  • The Penguin King 3D film still
  • Released

    October 24, 2012


David Attenborough lends his redoubtable and authoritative talents to this otherwise run-of-the-mill 3D nature doc.

On the remote and hostile southern Atlantic island of South Georgia, albatrosses glide majestically on crisp updrafts while on the shore frolicsome fur seals and menacing orcas conduct a dance as old as time.

Away from all that fuss, a bleating swarm of king penguins stand huddled together, casting a distinctive grey-and-white shadow onto the rugged landscape. In his inimitable register, David Attenborough sets the scene and introduces us to life on this unspoiled archipelago.

Over the course of this cuddly and occasionally brutal nature doc, we witness the mating cycle of the king penguin through the beady eyes of one plucky bachelor whom we follow intimately throughout the seasons. It's a beautifully shot film that playfully anthropomorphises its subject (for starters the penguin colony is referred to as a city), but one that ultimately doesn't say anything about these social birds that you won't find in any misc BBC nature programme.

There's an unexpectedly poetic and somewhat hilarious moment where our feathered hero's 'cousin' realises the egg he's been sitting on for the last few months is in fact a large white stone. And a brilliantly edited scene near the end in which our hero, apparently sensing that his chick is under attack from a giant petrel (a predatory seabird that resembles an avian Skesis), is seen darting furiously through the waves before arriving back home just in time to make a dramatic last-ditch intervention. It's all engaging and educational enough, but hardly compulsory viewing.

comments powered by Disqus