With the win of Happy Feet for Best Animated Feature Film at Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, that makes two consecutive years in which a movie featuring penguins has won an Oscar (last year March of the Penguins won Best Feature Documentary). It may seem like the success of March of the Penguins has spawned the current crop of penguin-centric films, but Hollywood has had a long love affair with the waddling ones, as witnessed by this list of films.
- March of the Penguins: This amazing French documentary, narrated by Morgan Freeman in the English version, follows a colony of Emperor penguins during their annual inland migration in Antarctica.
- Farce of the Penguins: Written and directed by Bob Saget (of America’s Funniest Home Videos and Full House), this parody of March of the Penguins features a multitude of comedic talents providing R-rated commentary for live-action footage of penguins.
- Happy Feet: This animated film, featuring the voices of Elijah Wood, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, and Robin Williams among others, recently won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year.
- Surf’s Up: Scheduled to be released in Summer 2007, the cast of this animated movie about surfing penguins includes Zooey Deschanel, Jeff Bridges, James Woods, and Michael McKean.
- Madagascar: Although they are not the stars of this film, a quartet of sneaky penguins nearly steals the show.
- The Pebble and the Penguin: Directed by legendary animator and director Don Bluth, who was behind such hits as An American Tail, The Land Before Time, and Anastasia, this film features Martin Short as the voice of Hubie the penguin.
- Wallace & Gromit in The Wrong Trousers: The second Wallace & Gromit adventure produced by Aardman Animation, The Wrong Trousers won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 1994, and revolves around a plot cooked up by a mysterious penguin.
- Cry of the Penguins: This 1971 British film, originally called Mr. Forbush and the Penguins, stars two-time Oscar nominee John Hurt and Oscar winner Hayley Mills.
- Batman Returns: Tim Burton’s 1992 sequel to Batman stars Danny DeVito as the Penguin, one of Batman’s wily foes.