Disneynature’s Penguins Review

Disneynature's Penguins Poster

As many studios that Disney has under its belt, Disneynature seems to be the long lost cousin that everyone keeps on forgetting about. Sure, it’s not a box office monster like Marvel Studios or Lucasfilm are, but Disneynature is still an important piece of The Walt Disney Company. That’s because their films never fail in entertaining as well as educating. It’s the kind of tradition that Walt Disney himself set forth back in the days of Walt Disney’s True Life Adventures series. But is their next film, Penguins, a worthy film in the studio’s long line of good nature documentaries?

It is. Even though Penguins may not be the best film the studio’s put out, it’s still fun and educational and fit for the whole family.

Disneynature’s Penguins follows Steve, an Adélie penguin who returns to the place where he was a chick and tries to build a home and find a mate.

Disneynature's Penguins - Adélie penguins at sea

Disneynature’s Penguins follows in the same footsteps as the previous films that came before it. In other words, the filmmakers are able to put together a storyline from all of the nature footage that they captured. So they’re able to entertain and educate you at the very same time. It’s a simple but effective tactic. There will be pundits and purists that’ll scoff at this idea, but the fact of the matter is that this form of educational storytelling might pique the interests of kids into nature and wildlife. Not to mention, everything that you’ll learn from the film will stick with you afterward because of the storytelling element. Honestly, you can’t really say that about other nature documentaries.

Ed Helms (The Hangover) is able to bring to life this story by narrating it and providing the “voices” of the penguins. No, it’s not like The Lion King remake where realistic animals look like their talking. Helms uses his comedic talents to hilariously tell the story of Steve. That being said, there are some jokes that seem to fall flat. For the most part, though, he’s successful with the comedy he provides.

This time around the film’s storyline sets up our “main character” Steve as a lovable but goofy sitcom father. He falls all over the place and he’s late to everything, but he does whatever it takes to provide for his children. If you think about it, it’s a natural fit because penguins, in general, are naturally clumsy, goofy, and hard-working creatures. This kind of personality only adds to the sitcom elements of the film. This also makes the film extremely relatable to the parents watching the film with their kids. No doubt the film’s core message will parents around the world.

Disneynature's Penguins - Steve with his chick

As entertaining as it is, you actually get to learn a lot about the Adélie penguins. The film takes place from the beginning on their breeding season to the point where the young penguins venture out to the open sea. So the subject will give viewers a look at the process of raising their chicks in the harsh Antarctic weather.

But a nature documentary wouldn’t be a nature documentary without phenomenal cinematography. It captures the beauty and harshness of the vast Antarctic wilderness. The film never keeps its distance from the Adélie penguins either. They’re nothing like Emperor penguins. Instead, they’re much more expressive with their feistiness and attitude. The cinematography is able to get close with these beautiful creatures and capture their expressive personalities.

Overall, Disneynature’s Penguins is simply good, clean fun that’s fit for the whole family. These penguins are relatable enough to get people of all ages rooting for Steve and his family. Also, there’s just something about seeing a documentary about penguins that’ll make you feel good inside. It may be their adorable appearance or their clumsy nature. Either way, these penguins will warm hearts even in the coldest of Antarctic winters.

Rating: 4/5 atoms

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1575 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.