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[日期:2006-06-29]   [字体: ]


Ever since Walt Disney immortalized(使…成为不朽) interspecies friendships and talking teapots, anthropomorphism (attributing human traits and emotions to animals or objects) has been a movie staple(主要产品).

自从Walt Disney将种间友谊以及人化的物品(talking teapot)带入人们的思想,拟人论(赋予动物及物品以人的特征和情感)遂成为后世电影的一个主要题材。

Now some scientists are criticizing the movie March of the Penguins for portraying the Antarctic seabirds almost as tiny, two-tone humans.

目前很多科学家批评电影March of the penguine (应该是:帝企鹅日记) 几乎把南极的海鸟刻画成矮小的双色人。

The poster for the surprise hit film reads, "In the harshest place on Earth love finds a way." And the movie describes the annual journey of emperor penguins to their breeding grounds as a "quest to find the perfect mate and start a family" against impossible odds.


The penguins are the only animals that make a home above the ice in the subzero temperatures and blistering winds of the Antarctic winter. They overcome incredible odds just to survive, never mind breed and nurture new life.
But is it love?



会说话的动物(Talking Animals)

The filmmakers behind the English-language version of March of the Penguins—which is distributed by Warner Independent Pictures and National Geographic Feature Films—toned down the anthropomorphism of the original, French release(发行).

March of the penguins 的英语版通过Warner Independent Picture 和 National Geographic Feature Films 联合发行,其制作人在影片中淡化了法语原版的拟人风格。

In the original documentary the penguins "spoke" their own dialogue, like Bambi or Babe the pig. The version released in the United States uses a narrator, actor Morgan Freeman, to tell the story.

原版电影中企鹅有自己的对话,就像Bambi 或Babe the pig 一样。美国发行的版本,采用了Morgan Freeman 朗读的旁白。

Still, the film describes the emperor penguins as "not that different from us" in their pouting(噘嘴), bellowing(吼叫), and strutting(昂首阔步地走).


The bond(联结) between the star penguin parents is called a "love story." And the penguins seem to have emotions— grieving over the loss of an egg or a chick, rejoicing at the return of a mate, loving their families.


"In a few places it's a little over the top," said Alison Power, director of communications for New York City's Bronx Zoo and the affiliated Wildlife Conservation Society. "But I thought the filmmakers did an excellent job in not anthropomorphizing the animals."

New York City’s Bronx 动物园及附属的野生动物保护协会的交流主管,Alison Power表示“很少的几个地方有些许的过火,当制片人弱化了拟人风格是明智之举。”

Marine biologist Gerald Kooyman studies penguins at Antarctica's "Penguin Ranch," and he begs to differ. He said the portrayal of the penguins' mating rituals as a love story is a "major" case of anthropomorphism.

海洋生物学家Gerald Kooyman身处极地企鹅农场研究企鹅,他极力表示对电影的意义。他说电影中的婚配仪式纯粹是艺术化的拟人。

So do the birds experience emotions at all? "Zoologists would say, Probably not," said
Kooyman, who works for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "A lot of what looks to us like love or grief is probably hormonally driven more than some kind of attachment" to the egg, chick, or partner, he said.

那么其他鸟类是否拥有情感呢?“动物学家会说,也许没有,” Scripps海洋学研究所的Kooyman回答说“很多像爱和悲伤等类似人类的行为可能是激素导致而不可能是其他任何原因”,无论是针对卵,幼仔,还是配偶。

For instance, there are several scenes in the film when a parent seems to grieve over a broken egg doomed(注定,命定) never to hatch(孵化), or appears to mourn over the body of its frozen chick.


Instinct, hormones, and the drive to reproduce influence a lot of the penguin behavior, Kooyman said.


"What gives the impression sometimes of sorrow is that they fool around with the [broken or frozen] egg, or other birds try to take an egg away," Kooyman said. "There's just a drive to incubate, to participate in breeding behavior at that time of year for these birds."


The film also shows multiple shots of two adult penguins cuddling side by side, their beaks touching and forming almost a heart shape. It looks like love, but is it?


Despite the beautiful imagery, it's not certain that each posturing pair is actually a mated pair.


"If it's in August or September, the two are probably mates," Kooyman said. "In April it could easily be two birds that get together and then decide that they wouldn't make good partners.


"You also see such posturing at the ice's edge. There's a lot of social behavior between adults," he added.


临时家庭(Temporary Families)

Unlike nesting birds, penguin parents actually spend very little time together.


The penguins make the grueling journey across some 70 miles (110 kilometers) of Antarctic ice each April to return to the breeding grounds where they were born. After the courtship period, the couple forms a strong bond until the egg is laid in May or early June.


However, as soon as the egg is transferred to the father, the mother takes off to return to her feeding grounds. She returns some two months later. The starving male, who hasn't had a meal in months, immediately leaves.


The two trade off rearing their fish and returning to the sea to feed for about five months, until the chick is old enough to be left on its own. After that point the parents will probably never see each other—or their offspring— again.


"In a way, the film anthropomorphized the lives of the penguins, but I think it's OK," Kooyman said. "Simplifying some aspects of the penguins' life story makes it more accessible to the general public."


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