In the wake of claims of staging adorable polar bear cub scenes in his Frozen Planet series, David Attenborough and his team have (sadly) come clean about penguin body doubles in his new 3-D film, possibly ruining the whole idea of his latest nature documentary. Attenborough's new flick, The Bachelor King, follows one King Penguin in Antarctica, but it's actually more like a synthesis of multiple penguins--which kind of stretches and bends, if not breaks, the truth-telling factor that's integral to documentary film-making. "A lot of penguins were used, I don't think we counted them," said one of his producers at last night's screening while The Guardian adds that, "Sir David, who narrates the heavily anthropomorphic film, which is also geared to the American market, said it was made to be a theatrical experience." Doesn't "theatrical experience" sound awfully close to fiction? The Guardian does note that there's an advisory about the multiple penguins during a part where no one watches the film's final credits. Attenborough's and his team's admissions come days after news broke that Attenborough's nature show, Frozen Planet,filmed polar bear cubs in captivity and tried to pass them off as wild Arctic ones--which, at the time, seemed like a learning moment for the world's most famous naturalist, but now seems like one for his audience as well.
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- David Attenborough