Screen Shots: March of the Penguins

I hate penguins.

I used to pride myself on being an animal lover. I used to greet my conservative friends with diatribes against arctic oil drilling. I used to laud the proud Alaskan moose and the Pacific seal at City Hall every Earth Day.

But no more. Damn penguins.

Two hours of penguins mating and dying is enough to make you eat veal, stop cutting the rings on your soda can packaging, and dump oil into the Caspian sea. I’m an unwilling convert, but perhaps with a cheap handle of rum and a bottle of Coke, you can avoid my crisis of confidence.


1. Whenever the cameraman zooms in dramatically on a penguin’s feet. Three shots if the close-up lasts for 30 seconds or more.

2. Whenever anyone watching makes an “aww” noise. Two shots if it happens when a penguin freezes to death.

3. Whenever Morgan Freeman tells you what a penguin is thinking, or refers to penguins as “souls.”

4. Each time you pray that the penguins resort to cannibalism, just to spice up the storyline.

5 Whenever you mistake a penguin for Woody Allen. It happens more than you’d think.

6. Whenever you’re jealous of all the weight the penguins are losing. Then, seek help.

7. If you develop a Pavlovian devotion to Morgan Freeman’s leathery voice.

8. If the seals attacking and devouring the penguins is the realization of a terrible nightmare for you.

9. If, during the mating scenes, someone starts singing “My Goodies.” Or, if during the seal-attack scenes, someone sings “My Humps.”

10. When those around you begin to propose watching various Disney movies instead of the remainder of the film.

11. If, when the final credits roll, you realize that penguins look like little butlers.

12. When you realize you’ve just watched 2 hours of little butlers on ice.

—Nicholas K. Tabor