You might think you’ve seen all the penguin movies you need to see in your life, but you haven’t. Once again, Disneynature finds a way to tell a story that’s been told, but in such a charming way that you be happy to hear this one again. Plus, you haven’t even met Steve, the Adélie penguin!
Poor Steve is late to the penguin party.
Steve makes you like him from the moment he first steps on screen. You can’t help it! Watching this little guy walk and stumble and slip and slide across the ice to the bouncing sounds of Stir it Up will elicit an involuntary giggle that lasts almost the entire intro to the movie. The camera doesn’t let up, either. You just keep watching as our new friend excitedly and awkwardly tries to get to where he’s going with all that darn ice in the way. It’s oddly one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.
Steve eventually comes along the other penguins you’ve met in the past. The Emperors were not impressed with Steve. In fact, he gets into a bit of a shocking and hilarious scuffle with one of the babies. It’s almsot as though Disney wants you to know, right from the getgo, that this is not THAT penguin movie, so buckle up! Steve gets the message and moves on, finally catching up to his tribe.
That’s when we get to see the impressive amount of Adélie penguins heading back to home base. The aerial camera follows the stream of millions of penguins marching home and if you’re like me, you will just be blown away by this annual marvel.
I have to admit… I usually spend the entirety of a nature doc in awe. How do they know when it’s time to go home? How do they remember, after all that time out at sea, which direction to go? How, among all the songs of all the penguins, do they find their mate? I know there’s science to all of this, but it’s still so damn amazing!
So back to Steve…
Our hapless hero is voiced by Ed Helms of ALL KINDS of fame, but most notably in our home, as Andy Bernard, a.k.a. “The Nard Dog” on The Office. We are big Office fans here, so when we heard who would be narrating it, we felt like we might already know the penguin. Ed Helms infused our new little pengin buddy with just the right amount of goofiness and charm that kept the story going, even in some of the more dramatic scenes where you’re just not sure how things are going to turn out.
Speaking of… there’s one scene that might have some of the smaller kids biting their nails toward the end. I’m not going to give it away, but just know that everything turns out okay, so you can maybe whisper some encouraging “just wait… I’m sure they’ll be fine” to the kiddos if they start to seem a little too anxious.
Another thing you might be doing throughout the movie (besides being perplexed by how the penguins know what to do and when to do it) is tapping your toes and smiling to the perfectly placed songs. There’s just the right amount of cheesy nostalgia or drama to each song that will literally strike a chord with some of you GenX’ers like me, or even some of you Millennials that were raised by cool hip GenX’ers like me.
You know what else you’re going to be thinking about as Steve comes of age? How the heck did a film crew catch all of those amazing scenes? Stay for the end credits and your curiosity will be satisfied. There are plenty of funny moments behind-the-scenes cuts to enjoy before you head out of the theater.
It’s such a great documentary and seriously too cute to pass up. I mean… just watch the trailer!
Celebrate Spring and Earth Day and all the other regular days and watch this movie!
Disneynature PENGUINS opens April 17, 2019. Order your tickets HERE!