Coming to VOD via Hulu tomorrow, Friday, March 23:
MARCH OF THE PENGUINS 2: THE NEXT STEP
French theatrical release (February 2017)
NY International Children’s, Sofia, Hong Kong, Zurich
A follow up to the 2006 Academy Award-winning portrait of the emperor penguins of Antarctica.
More than a decade since the original film charmed audiences around the world, Luc Jacquet returns to the inhospitable polar breeding grounds of the titular figures for another beautifully lensed look at their lives. Much of what’s presented here is comfortably familiar, from the struggles of new penguin fathers to keep their soon-to-be-hatched offspring warm, to the pleasing resonance of Morgan Freeman’s narration – this English language version once again dispensing with the clunky conceit of anthropomorphic narration that characterized the 2005 French original. Where the sequel slightly differs is in more of a focus on the father penguins’ relationship with the hatchlings and their growth in the latter sections of the film, a consideration of the impact of climate change on their environment, and in taking advantage of advancements in camera technology to offer viewers a crisper view of the birds’ harsh habitat and, especially, their underwater escapades. While hardly reinventing the wheel, this new film serves as an easily watchable update of the story of the emperor penguins for a new generation.