penguin tears

Jules —  January 18, 2006

I am sure most of you have seen this funny and touching movie, March of the Penguins. If you haven’t seen it, you must. Emperor penguins are fascinating creatures. They are such loving, sacrificial mates and parents. God is definitely evident through His creation.

We watched this movie Saturday. The first thing the girls want to know when we watch something is if it is real or pretend. We told them this is a true story about Emperor penguins. As we began watching, we giggled as the cute little things waddled through the snow and then decided it was easier to skid on their tummies. Our six year old, Jessica, began to get worried however, as you could see them fighting for survival and struggling against the odds to hatch a chic. At one point, one of the moms was eaten by a seal. Jessica could handle it no longer, as she burst into tears. Later one of the eggs rolls out from the dad’s feet and immediately freezes and cracks open in the bitter cold. Poor Jessica buried her head and wept. The most upsetting part was when a bird attacked several of the babies. She cried out, “I wish they didn’t have such hard lives!”. By the end of the movie her eyes were swelled up and red from crying so hard. She said she never wants to see that movie again. She has such a sensitive heart! It was really sweet.

It’s practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry.” Joe Moore

March of the Penguins, … the motion picture this summer that most passionately affirms traditional norms like monogamy, sacrifice and child-rearing.” Michael Medved



21 responses to penguin tears

  1. I got that movie for Ian and to this day I wish I had opened it and viewed it. I’ve heard so much about MADAGASGAR AND MARCH OF THE PENGUINS, which his movie I bought had both. I guess I’m going to have to run up there and watch it with him. Now that sounds like a good Idea for GMA to do with him. 😉 When I talked to Kandi that night he had already watched it 5 times.

  2. I watched it the other day and it was fascinatingly sad, depressing and amazing all at once. I’m with Jessica, I can’t say I want to watch it again.

    That’s sweet about Jessica and her tender-hearted response to the movie!

  3. I’ve hesitated to watch this movie with my kids. We’ve let them watch some pretty violent movies that I was worried would bother them (like “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “Star Wars”). But they did fine with those movies–no nightmares and in fact those are some of their favoite movies (along with our family favorite–Princess Bride). We spent a lot of time before and after those movies discussing the ideas of movies vs. reality, Special effects, actors in costumes, etc.

    But movies that deal with reality,especially death involving animals, really seems to bothers them so much that they have bad dreams (esp. my sensitive middle son, Christian age 8). When the movies deal with things that COULD or DO actually happen, that’s what seems to affect them more deeply. Soooo…what’s a mom to do?

  4. Mike and I rented this movie and then he bought it for me for Christmas. It is so funny but so sad too! Poor Jessica. It made me sick when the penguins lost their eggs or their babies would die. It was horrible when they cried. I never knew until I watched this movie how hard a penguin’s life is.

  5. We laughed alot when James was telling us about this. I can really see Jessica getting worked up about this movie as parts of it are really sad!

  6. I really never dreamt she’d be that sad about this movie. She LOVES to watch Animal Planet. She watches the vet shows where pets are sick and have surgery and sometimes die. I’ve never seen her cry over those stories.

    The other girls were not upset by the movie in the slightest. Jessica is V*E*R*Y emotional and I think she needed a good cry. You know how that is if you’re a woman! She hasn’t said a word about the movie since and has had no bad dreams. So I don’t think she is suffering from any residual affects! (Is that effects or affects?)

    I really enjoyed the movie. I was in awe of creation. They are such sacrificial parents. It really made me stop and think.

  7. Well maybe we’ll go ahead and see the movie. It’s certainly healthy to be aware of life and death, to be deeply touched by a movie or book.

  8. Mom,
    I dont think March of the Penguins is on that Madagascar movie. Ian and a neighbor girl watched the March of the Penguin’s at another neighbors house and one of the girls came and got me to go get Ian because he was so devastated and very upset… He talked and cried about that penguin movie when we were walking back down to the house…..He hates any real life shows that have hurt animals…..
    BUT he can watch some scary alien movie or godzilla and love it………I dont understand sometimes :banghead
    But I love him…

  9. Well, in a way I’m glad it was’nt on it, but it said something about march of the penquins on the front. Oh well, just as good it was’nt.

  10. Awwww…. another sensitive soul.

  11. Guess I won’t watch the movie, sometimes I’m like Jessica. There was a certain commercial about wild fires, and that puts a lump in my throat, about wild animals homes being destroyed. :cry

  12. Jessica’s reasons for being upset were the exact ones that caused me to hold off on seeing this movie! Maybe I should, though. I think sometimes it’s better to be exposed to these parts of Creation that are sad… it makes us appreciate the more joyful portions all the more!

  13. I agree Sarah.

    I am glad that having babies is so much easier for us than these penguins. I thought, “Wow I haven’t had it so bad afterall!” I’ve never been threatened to be eaten by a predator while buying food for my kids! Although, there have been some pretty grouchy people in line behind me!

    I didn’t turn it off cuz this is a part of life and a good lesson to learn. (She could’ve ran off to play with Elaina who got bored with it, but she was much too engrossed in the movie to ask to turn it off or leave the room!) I want to teach my children that emotion is ok and show them proper ways to handle it. A good sad cry together can be a good thing. My family didn’t really talk about emotion much or deal with it in positive ways, at times. (Not to dog my parents. I wish I could say that I am going to get it all right. I’m dreaming if I think that! Unfortunately.) I want to try to do that. It’s very difficult thing to teach, I think.

  14. Now I just thought if you sign up for the new comments e-mail, you’ll probably get my first version instead of my edited version. I have a compulsion to edit! I can hardly stop myself. :fish

  15. Julie, I think you made the right decision, letting Jessica see the whole show, especially if she wanted to finish. Nature can be a brutal creation. It moans in agony after the Fall. But as Sarah said, there are such impossibly beautiful moments too, triumphs that affirm life in the most treacherous of conditions. Those are the times worth fighting for, what make all the struggles worth the risk.

    Debbie, what you found about your kids is really fascinating to me. How perceptive they are of reality and fiction in movies. And a story like this one was so expertly told with so much drama that has very mortal consequences… it doesn’t surprise me in the least that your kids had a hard time with it.

    I think it’s great, Julie, that you’re affirming emotion, even the deep wrenching kind. Life has all kinds; it’s best we know how to feel them all at an early age.

  16. Hey thanks Rob! Great input! I appreciate it.

  17. I can completely relate to Jessica. When I was little, I remember sobbing gut-wrenchingly in so many movies especially when the pertained to animals. I cried in this one too–maybe not as hard as I used too!

  18. I’ve really appreciated this conversation. It’s helped me realize that I’m probably shielding my sons from this movie (and others like it) because of the deep emotions that it may stir up in them as well as myself. I hate to see them upset. But they need to learn these lessons.

    Speaking of movies, we went to see “Chronicles of Narnia” today. We wouldn’t go until after we’d read the book (actually listened to it on CD). The movie was excellent and very true to the book. It was amazing how much of the movie was similar to the pictures I had imagined as we had listened to the book.

  19. We didn’t take the kids to see it at first cuz we weren’t sure if it would be scary for them, etc. Some reviews said age nine and up. I went and saw it and loved it. I then knew it was very age appropriate for the girls, so James took them a couple of weeks ago. Elaina didn’t see it, but she can watch it on DVD. I hope they will do sequels. Anyone know if there are any plans?

  20. Julie, it just occurred to me…I hope you didn’t take some of my comments about this penguin movie as questioning your judgement about letting your girls watch the movie. I just was expressing my thoughts about whether to let mine watch it. Based on your insightful comments and others, I’ve completely changed my mind and am actually looking forward to seeing it with them. But I didn’t want you to feel like you needed to defend yourself.

    That said, I expect there are more Narnia films to be made. After all, there’s 7 books in all, and when has Hollywood or Disney ever hesitated to make a sequel when the first does as well as this 1st Narnia movie has? Sorry I love to watch good movies, but I’m a bit cynical about the industry. :fish

  21. No Debbie. Don’t worry. I didn’t feel that way at all. Express yourself girl! I am open to hearing everyone’s thoughts and opinions. That’s what makes this enjoyable. Plus, I know that each kiddo is unique and our decisions and responses to things are sometimes based on the individual. Often it’s not a matter of right or wrong, but what we think is ok for that child. Here I go rambling again. 😉