Cool Off with Penguins 3D at the IMAX

The newest movie at the Indiana State Museum’s IMAX theater is sure to help audiences cool down during the dog days of summer. Penguin 3D  opens this Friday, June 27,  and it takes the audience on an adventure to South Georgia Island they won’t soon forget. We meet ‘our penguin’ as he waddles out of the water after three years at sea, and follow him as he navigates Penguin City.

The brown downy coat keeps a penguin chick warm.

The brown downy coat keeps a penguin chick warm.


Penguin City is what researchers call the penguin colony that dominates South Georgia Island. Six million king penguins a call Penguin City home when they mature and are ready to mate. They know to return to this island after spending their youth at sea, and will return again and again to mate and raise penguin chicks, one at a time.

The audience soon learns that the mating and egg laying is the easy part of raising a penguin chick. We see ‘our penguin’ dutifully hold the fragile egg on his feet for months on end. It was fascinating to watch the partnership that the male and female king penguins develop. With no cover or shelter, they take turns (often for weeks or months at a time) between  guarding the chick and going to sea for food.

The film illustrated the challenges these birds face from the birds of prey that threaten the young, to the killer whales that lie in wait for adult penguins to enter the sea. There are close ups of leopard seals, elephant seals and killer whales, all on potential penguin predators.  There’s humor in watching three lost penguins navigate through a seal colony. Most of all, there’s relief when the penguin chick the audience has become attached to safely makes it to the ocean for the first time.

This 39 minute movie beautifully documents the sixteen months it takes to successfully create and raise a penguin chick. The landscape is stark, and the animal life that’s teeming on the island is a sight to  behold. This movie will leave you with a sense of appreciation for the harsh circumstances these regal birds encounter day in and day out.

After seeing this movie, a trip to see the penguins at the Indianapolis Zoo may be in order. In the Oceans biome, visitors can see penguins up close, and watch these funny birds swim and interact with each other.

Penguins 3D will be playing at the Indiana State Museum’s  IMAX throughout the summer, and makes a great double feature when paired with Islands of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D (this film’s run has been extended for the summer).  It’s suitable for all ages, but as my son said, “It’s not boring, but it is serious.” It’s a documentary made with all audiences in mind, but children sensitive to animals preying on other animals may need to close their eyes in parts. Tickets are $9.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, and $6 for children. Tickets can also be purchased in combination with museum admission.