March of the Penguins |


March of the Penguins

(March of the Penguins: Jerome Maison)

What was Warner Independent Pictures president Mark Gill thinking when he dropped $1 million on a nature movie at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival? ”The hope would be to have something like Winged Migration on our hands,” he says, referring to the 2003 breakout documentary, which earned $11 million domestically. French director Luc Jacquet spent 13 months in Antarctica trailing a flock of emperor penguins who emerge as distinct characters: They brave sub-zero blizzards, feed their newborns, and dodge the jaws of some super-scary seals. The appeal, Gill underscores, ”is how far they go for love and family — it puts the rest of us to shame!”