‘March of the Penguins’: 10 Years Later

March of the Penguins,” the beloved documentary that went on to make a splash at the Academy Awards, turned 10 years old on Wednesday.

Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the nature doc followed the annual migration, mating and parenting patterns of a group of emperor penguins in Antarctica. It won best documentary feature at the 78th Academy Awards, beating “Murderball” and “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.”

“Looking out on these tuxedos tonight, it’s like seeing the movie again,” producer Yves Darondeau said in his Oscar speech.

Luc Jacquet, director of the film, added: “I’d like to dedicate this statuette to all the children in the world who saw that movie. In 2041, they will decide to renew or not the treaty that protects Antarctica. I will, maybe the “March of the Penguins” will inspire them.”

It wasn’t just the critics who adored the feathered subjects. “March of the Penguins” racked up a domestic gross of $77 million and a worldwide total of $127 million, making it the second highest-grossing doc behind “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

Distributed by Warner Independent, “Penguins” opened wide on July 22, 2005.

The film originally featured French-language narration when it premiered at Sundance. For the American adaptation, Jordan Roberts made the bold decision to rework the presentation by eliminating the penguins’ dialogue.

“We came to the decision pretty early on that while there was an emotional component to these birds’ lives, it was moving too far to actually hear their thoughts and feelings,” Roberts told Variety in 2006.

Along with Freeman’s revered vocal performance, Roberts’ revision might have been a key factor in the doc’s critical success. Variety’s review called the U.S. version “more traditionally objective, with Freeman sounding the perfect notes of bemused wonderment and sympathetic seriousness while reading Jordan Roberts’ apt narration.”

More Film

  • James Bond Skyfall

    Universal Wins International Rights to James Bond 25

    “March of the Penguins,” the beloved documentary that went on to make a splash at the Academy Awards, turned 10 years old on Wednesday. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the nature doc followed the annual migration, mating and parenting patterns of a group of emperor penguins in Antarctica. It won best documentary feature at the 78th […]

  • In 'That Summer,' the Stars of

    In 'That Summer,' the Stars of 'Grey Gardens' Look More Unhinged Than Ever

    “March of the Penguins,” the beloved documentary that went on to make a splash at the Academy Awards, turned 10 years old on Wednesday. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the nature doc followed the annual migration, mating and parenting patterns of a group of emperor penguins in Antarctica. It won best documentary feature at the 78th […]

  • Alice Eve's Comedy 'Bees Make Honey'

    Film News Roundup: Alice Eve's Comedy 'Bees Make Honey' Set for July Release

    “March of the Penguins,” the beloved documentary that went on to make a splash at the Academy Awards, turned 10 years old on Wednesday. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the nature doc followed the annual migration, mating and parenting patterns of a group of emperor penguins in Antarctica. It won best documentary feature at the 78th […]

  • China Appoints Wang Xiaohui as Film

    China Appoints Wang Xiaohui as Film Bureau Chief

    “March of the Penguins,” the beloved documentary that went on to make a splash at the Academy Awards, turned 10 years old on Wednesday. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the nature doc followed the annual migration, mating and parenting patterns of a group of emperor penguins in Antarctica. It won best documentary feature at the 78th […]

  • Morgan Freeman Sexual Harassment

    Morgan Freeman Pulled From Visa Marketing After Harassment Allegations

    “March of the Penguins,” the beloved documentary that went on to make a splash at the Academy Awards, turned 10 years old on Wednesday. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the nature doc followed the annual migration, mating and parenting patterns of a group of emperor penguins in Antarctica. It won best documentary feature at the 78th […]

  • Boba Fett movie

    ‘Star Wars:’ A Boba Fett Movie Is in the Works

    “March of the Penguins,” the beloved documentary that went on to make a splash at the Academy Awards, turned 10 years old on Wednesday. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the nature doc followed the annual migration, mating and parenting patterns of a group of emperor penguins in Antarctica. It won best documentary feature at the 78th […]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Hollywood Reacts to Impending Harvey Weinstein Arrest: 'It's Been a Long Time Coming'

    “March of the Penguins,” the beloved documentary that went on to make a splash at the Academy Awards, turned 10 years old on Wednesday. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the nature doc followed the annual migration, mating and parenting patterns of a group of emperor penguins in Antarctica. It won best documentary feature at the 78th […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content