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Production Information (Cont'd)
Filmmakers wanted to showcase Antarctica's expansive setting. "We wanted a helicopter aerial to give a sense of the amazing scenery around Antarctica," says Fothergill, who accompanied aerial cinematographer Ted Giffords and field producer Jason Roberts and to the Phantom Coast. "I'm pretty certain helicopters have never flown over these areas because they're so remote. We got a wonderful variety of scenery that appears all the way through the film."

According to editor Andy Netley, the aerial imagery is a highlight of the film. "There are big, sweeping aerials of the male Adelies marching out on the ice," he says. "It's really quite cinematic. It's just terrific seeing it on the big screen. Magic."

For Wilson, who's probably spent more time in Adelie colonies than any other filmmaker in the world, telling their story is both a dream and a nightmare-in the best possible way. "It's sometimes filled with dread and always filled with awe," he says. "Working amongst 500,000 screaming penguins, in 24-hour daylight, often for 30-hour days (because you can), hauling more than 65 pounds of gear with temps dipping to 13 below (F) is mentally very challenging. Trying to develop a character story in those conditions takes focus and resolve. But more important than the achievement of the capture of the film is the fact that when I have shown the film to my boys, the screams of delight, the stomach-originating guffaws and the endless questions about Steve make doing something like this worthwhile. It is still hard to believe that I get paid to make my kids excited about the natural world. That's a double win."

Moviegoers Who See "Penguins" to Benefit Penguins Around the Globe
For every ticket sold opening week (April 17-23, 2019), Disneynature will make a donation to the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) to help protect penguins across the southern hemisphere. "People love penguins," says Dr. Pablo Borboroglu, founder and president of the Global Penguin Society (GPS). "We feel attracted and emotionally connected to them. Maybe it is because they walk upright, or just because they are cute and cuddly. Perhaps it is their tendency to waddle, or just because they look so well-dressed that we identify with them. Or it could be that we feel attracted by their devotion to their partners and offspring, because they have to make a living, provide for their chicks and commute to find food.

Founded in 2002, WCN invests in a select network of on-the-ground conservationists, including top experts in the field of penguins like the GPS. The worldwide leader in science-based penguin conservation, GPS champions specific programs that align with Disneynature's conservation mission. "For example, one of our aims is to track different species of penguins' movements across four continents in the southern seas," says Borboroglu. "Penguins swim thousands of kilometers to migrate and look for food. What they encounter during their journeys determines their survival, affects the viability of their species and informs science and conservation action. We are also dedicated to cleaning plastics from the beaches, breeding areas and seas impacting penguin populations. Campaigns to clean up beaches around penguin colonies along selected coastal sectors will help secure a healthy and safe habitat for penguins."

"Disneynature has an amazing platform," says Charles Knowles, president and cofounder of WCN. "They're able to reach a global audience in a way that we can hardly fathom. They are uniquely positioned to tell the real story of penguins and the challenges they face. By teaming up with Disneynature- which is so strongly aligned with our own mission-we are able to uniquely communicate about the species we care so much about.

"We should care about penguins because they are to oceans what canaries are to coal mines," continues Knowles. "They tell us about the health of our oceans because that's where their food source is. If oceans are not healthy enough to sustain penguins, they're not going to be healthy enough to sustain human communities."

The WCN's mission is to protect endangered wildlife by supporting conservationists who ensure wildlife and people co-exist and thrive. WCN invests in a select network of on-the-ground conservationists, offering the financial resources, tools and services they need to effectively protect wildlife. WCN also creates large-scale Crisis and Recovery Funds, investing in projects that can protect a threatened species across its entire habitat. As no one organization or person can save wildlife alone, WCN emphasizes collaboration, connecting conservationists and supporters and creating a community united in a passion for wildlife. Learn more about WCN's unique approach to saving wildlife and the work of our conservation partners at

Harry Gregson-Williams' Score and 1980s Songs Help Bring Steve's Story to Life Disneynature is known for its unique storytelling style, and a major aspect of that storytelling is the music. "Penguins" takes it up a notch or two with a soundtrack that dares moviegoers not to smile. "The music is twofold," says director Jeff Wilson. "The tone of the film is driven by drawing from a genre of music that should speak to every parent, regardless of whether you're an uber-cool parent or not."

According to Wilson, filmmakers turned to Steve to help populate the film with songs that serve as his tonal motif. "We say that Steve has chosen the songs because these are the kind of tracks that are playing in Steve's mind when he's wandering around the colony, trying to find the stones, or when he's out there trying to get food for his kids."

The penguin-approved songs hail from the 1980s and include "Stir It Up" by Patti LaBelle, "Can't Fight This Feeling" by R.E.O Speedwagon, "Work to Do" by Average White Band, and "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake.

"Harry Gregson-Williams has written a massive orchestral score," says director Alastair Fothergill. "He's done an amazing job. It's a wonderful combination of intimate and amusing with big epic landscape-type pieces and we're pretty happy."

Adds producer Roy Conli, "Harry is an amazing artist. The spirit of the music in this film is flawless. It carried a significant weight and helps drive our story."

The score was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, utilizing a large orchestra and a choir. Says Gregson-Williams, "It has a wide range of emotions-from mischievous and humorous for the young and rather clumsy Steve when we meet him, to epic and awe-inspiring to reflect the extraordinary landscape and environment that these penguins live in."

The composer created individualized thematic material for Steve, Adeline, the chicks and predators like the leopard seals. Additional themes represent the changing of the seasons as well as a central theme for the penguins as a whole. "The music in a Disneynature film can be critical-just as it might be in a mainstream feature, but perhaps more so in this instance," says Gregson-Williams. "Given the fact that the story is told via a single voice, the narrator, the music has to play a large part in setting the tone."

The orchestral score also features ukuleles, a saxophone quartet, guitars and unusual percussion. "The melody for the penguins' march was whistled by the choir, who often found themselves doing more than just singing on this score," says Gregson-Williams. For "Penguins," the power of music is best summed up by the early directive given Gregson-Williams. "Alastair Fothergill wasted no time in pointing out to me that penguins don't smile. They can't. So a lot of the fun and color had to come from the score."

As an actor, writer and comedian, ED HELMS (Narrator) has established himself as one of Hollywood's most beloved performers with scene-stealing roles on both film and television.

His latest film, "Corporate Animals," co-starring Demi Moore, recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Screen Media for a summer 2019 release. Helms produced the film under his production banner, Pacific Electric Picture Co., which he founded in 2012 with Mike Falbo. Pacific Electric also produced the Comedy Central special "The Fake News with Ted Nelms," a subversive, apolitical news show satire, hosted by a guy who kind of looks like Ed Helms. The special was recently honored with the Writers Guild of America Award for the best comedy/variety special. Among his diverse list of credits, Helms is known for his tenure on NBC's award-winning comedy series "The Office," and the box office smash-hit film trilogy, "The Hangover."


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