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Emperors of Antarctica

Television (Full Length) – 1992

This film tells the story of Antarctica’s emperor penguin (the inspiration behind Happy Feet) and how they survive vicious blizzards and -50°C temperatures. It also retraces the epic “worst journey in the world” which explorer Edward Wilson made to discover these remarkable birds. Max Quinn won a best director award at the 1994 NZ Television Awards for the Antarctic Trilogy Emperors was part of. The trilogy helped establish NHNZ’s relationship with Discovery Channel. As this backgrounder explains, the scene of a penguin falling through ice (clip one) became a YouTube hit.

Key Cast & Crew

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Max Quinn

Director, Camera

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Neil Harraway

Producer, Writer

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Mike Single


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Jack Jenniskens


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Marilyn McArthur


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Timothy Cowling

Executive Producer

See all 15 credits