We all must embark on the great journey into adulthood. Human or otherwise, it’s an unavoidable part of life that brings with it the experiences that mold us. In Disney’s Penguins, we join a young penguin named Steve as he begins the arduous task of setting himself up for life. The documentary revolves around an Adelie penguin of Antarctica that sets out to enter into a new phase of life.
Narrated by Ed Helms and directed by Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson, Penguins is a live-action documentary that gives a real look at the life of a male penguin during an Antarctic spring. It’s a learning experience for viewers of all ages and the kind of feel-good experience families can enjoy together. Produced by Disneynature, Penguins (which made our list of the best educational movies on Disney Plus) takes viewers on a trip to the cold north to visit everyone’s favorite flightless birds.
Watch Penguins online to get lost in this whimsical and very real coming-of-age story.
Here’s how to stream Penguins right now:
How to Stream Penguins- Exclusively on Disney+
Disney’s Penguins is a documentary by Disneynature about penguins, and it is streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream Penguins and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “Penguins”
- 5. Tap on Disneynature’s Penguins
- 6. Tap the PLAY button
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
Release Date: April 17, 2019
Creators: David Fowler
Director: Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson
Starring: Ed Helms
A young penguin embarks on his greatest journey of his life during an Antarctic spring, a time when he must work to find a life partner and start a family.
How Long Is Penguins?
Disney’s Penguins has a runtime of 76 minutes.
As spring sets over the icy Antarctic, a young penguin named Steve joins millions of male Adelie penguins as they all struggle to find a mate. The difficult task requires Steve to step up and stand out, build a nest for his future offspring, and find the life partner to raise a family with. The touching coming-of-age story is an educational glimpse into the lifespan of the Adelie penguin, their rituals, and the difficulties that come with being a parent to young chicks. As a new father, Steve faces the dangers of the Antarctic, from killer whales to leopard seals, to keep his baby chicks alive and healthy until they can grow and leave his care.
Being a documentary, there isn’t a traditional cast of characters. To tell the story of Steve and Adeline, Disney turned to an animated storyteller that could convey much with just his voice.
Ed Helms as The Narrator
To engage the audience in this tale of growing up, Disney turned to the vocal talents of Ed Helms. Jo Frost of Supernanny UK fame was originally considered for the documentary’s narrator.
‘Penguins’ Songs and Soundtrack
To add an extra layer to the documentary, Disney turned to multiple musical talents. The soundtrack to Penguins may not be robust with music, as most Disney movies are, but it does feature an assortment of tracks performed by artists like REO Speedwagon and White Snake. Tracks played throughout the film include “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons, “Work to Do” by Average White Band, and “Stir It Up” by Patti LaBelle.
‘Penguins’ at the Box Office
Though the budget for Penguins wasn’t made public, it was projected to earn between $5 and $7 million across 1,800 theaters in a five-day opening weekend. After its first and second days, it had grossed more than $900,000, but ultimately underperformed, having earned $3.3 million over the projected five days. After the second weekend, Penguins had only earned another $1.1 million.
‘Penguins’ Reviews – What the Critics Said
Though it didn’t perform well at the box office, Penguins received acclaim from critics. The simple film was touted for being “sweet” and “sentimental.” The documentary was applauded for not being too technical and retaining an engaging and entertaining story that followed a staple hero’s journey. Penguin’s cinematography also earned ample positive attention.
Where ‘Penguins’ Fits in the Disney Movie Pantheon
Penguins is a step away from Disney’s typical animated features. The Disneynature feature joined five other live-action documentaries, including Born in China, Monkey Kingdom, Chimpanzee, African Cats, and Bears.
‘Penguins’ Trivia: 3 Fast Facts About the Disneynature Documentary
Though the production of Penguins may seem small on the outside, there was plenty going on behind-the-scenes of this Earth Day documentary.
1. An Impressive Tomatometer
We know not to gauge every movie based on its Rotten Tomatoes score, but Penguins has such an impressive one that it’s hard to ignore. Based on 63 critic reviews, Penguins holds a 92% on the Tomatometer. For reference, that’s only 5% less than Toy Story 4 and 2% less than Avengers: Endgame.
2. More Footage Than Needed
Sure, filmmakers always cut down the amount of footage used to produce a movie that’s coherent and not drawn out. For Penguins, it was quite a bit more drastic than what we’re used to showing up on the Deleted Scenes of a DVD release. By the time filming of Penguins was completed, there were 900 days of filming to create the 70-minute movie.
3. Be Sure to Watch the Credits
Where did much of that 900 days of footage go? While so much wound up on the cutting room floor, Penguins’ closing credits offered a glimpse into the lengthy production. Stay for the credits and viewers will be treated to production footage, including an adorable montage of Steve and company tinkering with the cameras.
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