March of the Penguins and other movie reviews

Posted in Family , OldBlog -

One of Ethan’s favorite things to do is to watch movies. He is probably one of the youngest movie “quoters” that I know. In the last few days, Ethan and I have seen a couple of new movies that are notworthy in that they have left an impression on Ethan.

The first movie we saw was during the Bears-Panthers game on Sunday, Hoodwinked. Hoodwinked is the story of Little Red Riding Hood told from perspective of those involved, Red, Grandma, the Big Bad Wolf, and the axe wielding Schnitzel truck driver. All in all it was a very funny movie and an interesting take on the fairy tale. One of Ethan’s favorite parts was when one of the characters said something strange then bowed off the screen slowly, all the while smiling, while another character said “awkward…” What’s funny to me is that I’m sure he has no idea what that scene, not to mention that word meant, but he thought it was so funny that he decided to quote it later to Jenny and I. Anyway, I give Hoodwinked 3 stars and caution parents with children that have no sense of humor to stay away from it.

The other movie we saw just last night was March of the Penguins. This is a movie documenting the annual travels of the Antarctic Empire Penguins from the sea, where they can get food, to their nesting grounds, some 70 miles from any open water and source of food. It was a very good show, much better than I expected, and pretty kid-friendly. It is rated G, but I would say it is perhaps less kid-friendly than the likes of Hoodwinked, which is rated PG. I say that because March has to deal with very difficult topics like death and starvation, which are somewhat alien concepts to a suburban American four year old. At one point in the movie, the mothers have to go back to the sea (now up to 80 miles away due to continued freezing in the winter) because they have spent 1/3 of their body weight to deliver their egg. When they finally make it and start gorging on the buffet of fish and crill, they are met by a hungry sea lion who, after some tense chases and close-up shots of his sharp-toothed open mouth, finally lands himself one of the mother penguins. This mortified Ethan. He would not (and has not) stop talking about it. He kept asking me, “what is going to happen to her baby,” and, “why did the sea lion eat that penguin?” I tried to explain that sea lions have to eat, too, and if he didn’t eat that penguin he might die. Ethan didn’t care, he hates sea lions now. It got to the point that he started asking about other animals that might eat penguins. “Do sharks eat penguins?” Not really knowing, I said no, they eat sea lions. Without hesitation, he looked at me and said, “well good. I’m glad that somebody is protecting the penguins.” I give this movie 3 1/2 stars and recommend it to parents that are itching for some stimulating conversation with their children.

Written by Brandon Grady
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