From screen to real-life: a look at the penguins from new Disneynature film

A new film from Disneynature is in theaters this week. 

"Penguins" is a coming of age story about an Adélie penguin named Steve, who joins hundreds of thousands of fellow males in Antarctica looking to build a nest, find a life partner and start a family. We talked to Bonnie Van Dam, the Associate Curator of Birds at the Detroit Zoo, to get some more insight on the life of a penguin.  

Building a nest a process that can take some time because, as we learn, apparently penguins can be theives.

"It's a constant, constant process, and you always have to go and collect rocks; you can never have enough rocks. And you might go and collect a rock and put it in your nest and when you come back ... that said rock will have been placed in somebody else's nest," she told us. 

When Steve ultimately does begin a family, he quickly learns what many young parents already know. Raising kids, or chicks in this case is hard work.

"Penguins" was shot over 3 years with footage on land, underwater, from boats, helicopters and on foot over 900 camera days' worth of material. 

When movies like this come out, of course it generates more interest in the little ones. 

"We love it when we have kids come through and they're talking about previous movies on Penguins, and they ask questions and they remember things and it really does get to the kids when they come through and they start pointing out things in the penguins that they learned in the movie," Van Dam said. 

"Penguins" is in theaters now and is rated G. And of course the penguin exhibit at the Detroit Zoo - the largest in the U.S. - is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. this time of year. You can learn more about the penguin exhibit online here.