By LEONARD PIERCE, CALAMITY JON MORRIS, GUTBLOOM, DUNCAN PFLASTER, BEN FLASTER, and BRODIE H. BROCKIE
While this summer's Hollywood offerings of big-budget action movies, remakes, and sequels are mostly failing at the box office, this documentary about the mating habits of penguins in antarctica is thriving. Here are the reasons why...
- Audiences love marching, audiences love penguins. What's to figure out?
- Morgan Freeman is testing his pact with Satan that any movie he narrates with gross at least 60 million dollars.
- Cold Antarctic winds, hot penguin sex.
- Confused by commercials featuring pint-sized stars with large beaks, audiences think this is another Tom Cruise movie.
- Waddling motion of penguins visually stimulates senior citizens to help maintain regularity.
- Teenage boys watching movie in hopes of a polar bear wreaking carnage about the birds.
- Multiple viewings by stoners, who seek to find the perfect combination of penguin movie with a Zeppelin, Floyd, or Phish album.
- Audiences intrigued to see Morgan Freeman playing against type as "sedate black man."
- Relative paucity of penguins in daily life (Does not apply to Antarctic researchers, Falkslands Islands sheepherders, some zoo employees).
- The unexpected lightsaber battle with a Sith Sealion.
- No one told them there'd be penguin sex.
- Everyone looks good in a tuxedo.
- Lingering Gen X affinity for video game "Pengo."
- Crocodile Hunter too annoying.
- Lack of Danny DeVito in this year's version of "Batman". Also: Burgess Meredith? Dead!
- All of America feeling wave of "Penguinspiration!"
- Increasing conservative backlash has led to dearth of movies featuring humans having sex, leaving a gap that can be filled by penguins.
- As film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum put it, “This film redefines the entire visual vocabulary of nature documentaries. What Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will did for Nazis, it does for horny flightless waterfowl.”
- Capitalizes on residual ‘80s nostalgia of Opus the Penguin slashfic writers.
- Only film currently playing that does not feature Dakota Fanning.
- Leaves audiences eager for the sequel, “April of the Penguins.”
- Dearth of nun-related movies (Where's this year's "Sister Act"? Mais Où Sont Les "Nuns on the Run" D'Antan?).
- American men fascinated by a process that requires "building up fat stores" and developing a healthy "brood pouch" in preparation for sitting on your ass for 70 days.
- Since male and female emperor penguins look exactly the same and differentiate between sexes chiefly by call, audiences enjoy the part where the prisoner penguin says "it's not gay sex if he doesn't get a chance to squawk."
- Penguins are becoming the new symbol of unrestrained society. They are comfortable with their pear shaped bodies and aren't afraid to regurgitate fish in public.
- Everyone likes the part where the orca jumps up on the ice burg and tells this joke:
A penguin is driving through Arizona (as they do) on a hot summer's day when he notices his oil light is on. He gets out of the car and, sure enough, it's leaking oil all over the road. The penguin drives around the corner to a service station and asks the mechanic to take a look at it.
The mechanic says he has a few others to look at first but if he comes back in an hour he can tell the penguin what is wrong with his car. The penguin agrees and goes for a walk.
He finds an ice cream shop and thinks a big bowl of vanilla ice cream will really hit the spot since he's a penguin and it's Arizona in the summer, after all. He sits down at the counter and starts in on his ice cream.
Of course he has no hands so it is rather messy. By the time he is done he has ice cream all over his flippers and his mouth-a total mess.
He walks back to the service station and says to the mechanic, "Did you find out what is wrong with my car?"
The mechanic replies, "It looks like you've blown a seal."
"No no," says the penguin. "It's just ice cream!"
- Because of the alternatives.