"March of the Penguins" is a documentary on the life cycle of Emperor Penguins. When these penguins turn five, they leave their coastal homes and head for their nesting ground in an organized manner. There they find a mate. The female lays a single egg, then transfers it to the male, and then goes back to the sea in search of food. The males huddle together for several months to keep warm in the midst of harsh winter winds. In the spring, the chicks hatch, and the females return. It's now the males' turn to search for food. This cycle continues in the presence of harsh weather conditions and predators, and will go on until the surviving chicks can make the journey to the coast and take to the waters. This family of three may never see each other again, as parents rarely mate a second winter.
This documentary is not like most of what I've seen, and for several reasons.
One is that it used an anthropomorphic approach; The narrator made it clear that it was a "love story", which is not scientifically-sound and would be against principles in biology, but is difficult to deny given such dramatic scenes such as the pain suffered by a mother who lost her child. The film reflected human-like aspects such as the closeness of the family unit. The chick and its parents are able to tell each other apart from their voices, both genders risk death in hopes of their chick's survival. The discipline these penguins have, as shown in the way they fall in line whenever they travel and the unconditional acceptance of the parents of their turn', is something that us humans could learn from.
Another is the way the documentary shied away from technical and scientific terms and instead used layman's language, but explaining the concepts enough so that the audience is not deprived of the brevity of these animals' situation. This worked effectively so as to not turn off the audience and make them appreciate these animals better.
The film also emphasized...