Yesterday was hot enough I went to see March of the Penguins in the afternoon. While driving to see a penguin movie I thought of a joke Bill Cosby had in his 1990s show, where his character, Hilton Lucas, subscribes to cable TV and becomes so addicted to it and feels he has to watch each of the hundreds of channels that he stays awake all night watching the penguin channel. Still, what better way to cool off than to watch a penguin movie?
If you wonder how penguins can tell each other apart, it’s from their sound, because, in my untrained eyes (and apparently in the eyes of their babies) every penguin — boy or girl — looks much like the penguin next to it, except that some are sligthly fatter or taller compared to the rest. Which makes me wonder, how does the species manage to avoid genetic flaws from inbreeding? After all, it’s a very limited genetic pool.
March of the Penguins’ orignal title was La Marche de l’empereur, the Emperor’s March, which I find more fitting, but maybe the marketing department thougth that sounded too much like a Bing Crosby movie. The penguins are emperors of the harshest wilderness, and the film lyrically shows every aspect of their family lives. There’s even a love scene that rivals Brad Pitt’s in Thelma & Louise. Photographer Luc Jacquet did a magnificent job.
The theater was nearly full, with families and people of all ages, and we all were involved in the penguins’ lives and travails. A little kid commented to her mom, “penguins are people, too”. Bloggers have posted on Penguin Family Values, and are grateful that the actors don’t spout dumb political opinions.
The result has been that Star penguins walk all over Tom Cruise.
In other animal news, the Sunday NY Times Magazine (not on line yet) has a cover article about chimpanzee retirement homes.