Film review: PENGUINS 3D, from Built For Speed

IMAX documentary, Penguins 3D is really a typical 40-minute David Attenborough TV doco just on a bigger screen and in 3D. The Attenborough imprimatur is always a mark of quality, though and this penguin expose maintains his high standards.

The film takes us to the extremely remote Southern Ocean Island of South Georgia where vast colonies of king penguins, sometimes numbering in the hundreds of thousands, swarm across the landscape in what is known as “Penguin City”.

The film focuses on the penguins’ struggle for survival as they battle predators on land and sea – including enormous leopard seals and giant petrels – and attempt to feed their young.

As usual Attenborough’s (who is assisted by Tim Allen) narration is authoritative, erudite and highly informative.  He also infuses his commentary with just the right amount of quirky humour as he describes the oddly human behaviour of the adult penguins and their cute fluffy offspring. He doesn’t ignore the brutal realities of life in the wild, though, as the film contains numerous tense and dramatic sequences particularly when predatory birds swoop on the penguin chicks.

Like all Attenborough doco’s, Penguins 3D is superbly filmed and here Attenborough’s cinematographer Simon Niblett captures South Georgia’s harsh but stunning landscape of snow-capped mountains.

Sure, we see this sort of doco every second week on TV but the familiarity of the subject matter does little to damage the allure of this intelligent and fascinating journey into the world if the King Penguins.

Nick’s rating: ***.

Genre: Nature documentary.

Classification: G.

Narrator: David Attenborough.

Release date: 26th June 2014

Running time: 45 mins.

Reviewer: Nick Gardener can be heard on “Built For Speed” every Friday night from 8-10pm right here on 88.3 Southern FM.  Nick can also be heard on “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Film Show” podcast. 

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