Watching the documentary “March of the Penguins,” you’ll spend part of the time smiling, part of the time shaking your head, and the rest of the time with your mouth open, unable to fathom how preposterous life’s rituals can be. Under these circumstances, it is soothing to listen to the voice of Morgan Freeman narrating this charmingly impossible story.
At Sierra Cinemas now and at the Nevada Theatre for reprise showings during the Labor Day weekend, you also can hear what the penguins have to say. Fortunately, I speak Penguin, so I can translate some of what will sound like gibberish to most of you.
“What do you mean, we’re walking 70 miles? Do you understand how short our legs are?”
“What fool mind games are supposed to work when it’s 60 degrees below zero on a good day? And don’t get me started about the wind chill factor.”
“You’re beautiful, baby. I love you, baby. Let’s make a baby, baby.”
“Whose bright idea was it for the guy to hatch the egg? I gotta hold this thing between my legs for how many weeks?”
“Woman, while you’ve been off stuffing your face, I ain’t had so much as a popcorn shrimp in three months. What do you mean, you didn’t bring me nothin’ to eat?”
“OK, Junior. It’s time to be cute out in the real world. Get out from between my legs and waddle like a man.”
“Thousands of years into this and no one ever came up with a better plan? Could we at least skip a year once in a while?”
There is a reminder at the end of this surprisingly fresh movie-going experience, but I’m not giving anything away by mentioning it here. Thousands of penguins endure Antarctica, the harshest climate on Earth, with little variation and seemingly no choice in the matter.
The humans filming these penguins for more than a year must have been out of their frozen gourds to provide us with this unique version of life’s essence.