The Penguin King 3D (U)


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We've been through March of the Penguins, Happy Feet and Werner Herzog's extraordinary film of a penguin's death march in Encounters at the End of the World, surely enough to satisfy even the pottiest penguin-watcher.

But here's another, narrated by David Attenborough, about the "journey" of a King penguin from adolescence to adulthood on a remote sub-Antarctic island.

I wonder if it's the bird's stately waddle that so fascinates us – nothing else like it on earth. Or is it the combination of those obsidian eyes, the brilliant amber beak, the long ash-grey fur sloping from its rigid shoulders like a mafia don's overcoat?

This film at least forbears to give the penguin and its cohorts cute names, referring to its subject simply as "our king", and it doesn't softpedal the predatory dangers around it, either.

The sight of a Giant Petrel stalking a baby penguin offers nature red in beak and claw, and gives the old line "P-p-p-pick up a Penguin" a chilling twist.