Waddle on in to Disneynature's Penguins

Disneynature released it's newest film, Penguins, last week and my boys and I spent our final day of Spring Break and celebrated Earth Day by heading to the theater to check it out.  I have a small confession to make. . .I haven't seen any other Disneynature films before.  I know, I know - pausing for reaction.  This one appealed to me more so than others though.  Maybe it's because I've always had a soft spot for penguins? Maybe it's the fact that Brody and Caleb are at ages to get more out of these movies? Maybe it's the fact that Walt Disney Studios has been on fire lately and I knew it would be awesome?  Whatever the reason, we used the last of the movie gift cards the boys received for their birthday, loaded in the car, and headed to an IMAX theater near Baltimore to check it out.

With this being my first Disneynature film, I really wasn't sure what to expect - more documentary or more story?  I was pleasantly surprised to find it a nice combination of both.  The movie tells the story of Steve, a young Adelie penguin in Antartica who is coming of age.  Like most young adult penguins, he's ready to settle down, find love, and raise a family.  But just like in the human world, this isn't as easy as it seems.  We follow Steve as he battles brutal conditions, builds a nest, cares for his family, and protects his children from fierce predators.  While Ed Helms narrates and adds a voice to our main character Steve to tell his story, there is plenty of opportunity for viewers to learn about life for penguins living in Antartica.  In addition to the conditions that they face from powerful winds to icy waters, you'll also be introduced to other species that inhabit the area near them including elephant seals, leopard seals, and killer whales.  There's even several song selections throughout the movie to aid in telling the story including "I Can't Fight this Feeling Anymore" by REO Speedwagon when Steve meets his mate for the first time.  You'll be happy to find several moments of lightheartedness and humor throughout Steve's adventures as well as more touching and trying moments with his family.



When I was heading into the movie, I was wondering if it was going to hold the attention of two very active boys.  I'm happy to report that they both enjoyed it and the film held their attention - despite it being heavily educational!  The length of the movie definitely helps in this area.  With a run time of just over an hour, the movie doesn't have a minute of downtime.  The fact that the life of Adelie penguins is told as a year in the life of Steve also helps young children hold interest.  At 7, Brody in particular asked a lot of questions about the predators and laughed out loud at some of the silly moments in the movie - like the penguins belly sliding down the ice!  Stick around for the credits after the film to see some behind-the-scenes footage from the production crew.  This was also the first Disneynature film to be released in IMAX and that really is the way to see it.  There was so much stunning detail that you truly feel like you are immersed in the world of penguins.
Photo: Walt Disney Studios

Overall, I'm really happy we chose to spend a part of the Earth Day checking out this movie.  Penguins may have been the first Disneynature film that I saw, but it certainly won't be the last.  And you can feel good about seeing these films knowing that part of ticket sales from opening week are donated to the Wildlife Conservation Network to help protect these precious penguins you really do grow to love.  Before or after you see Penguins, parents and educators alike will want to check out this link - full of fun printable family activities and an educator's guide all for FREE!

Enjoy the film and follow all the #Penguins fun on social media!

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/disneynature
Twitter - http://twitter.com/disneynature
Instagram - http://www.instagram.com/disneynature

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