Aquarium Screened Christmas Movies So Their Penguins Are Prepared For Returning Visitors

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s officially time to deck the halls, pull out the ugly holiday sweaters, and settle in for some festive Christmas movies. This year, many people have gotten into the holiday spirit a bit earlier than normal. Radio stations started playing Christmas music earlier, people put up trees in the fall, and some even enjoyed Christmas movies through summer. It’s 2020, so it’s totally understandable.

But humans aren’t the only ones enjoying the Christmas movies this year. Gentoo penguins at an aquarium in London are also enjoying watching some Christmas movies, including Elf. Unlike humans though, the penguins aren’t doing it to get into the holiday spirit.

Instead, London’s Sea Life Centre is streaming the movies as part of an “enrichment process” to help the penguins prepare for the re-opening of the aquarium.

Because of COVID-19, the aquarium has been closed since November 5. Because they’re scheduled to re-open December 2, they wanted to ease the penguins back into having visitors – and they’re doing this with the help of Christmas movies.

According to the Metro, aquarium manager Leah Pettit shared that they’ve had challenges keeping the penguins engaged this year, especially with the changing numbers in visitors thanks to COVID-19. She stated, “We’ve had to get creative. It’s great to see how much our gentoo penguins are enjoying the Christmas movies we’ve put on for them. We know that they watch and listen to our visitors just as much as the visitors enjoy watching the penguins.”


Photos and videos are circulating of the lucky penguins enjoying the beloved film, Elf. We’re not sure what other films they’re enjoying, but they’ll probably stick to holiday movies with real-life actors, to help the penguins get accustomed to visitors again.

As Pettit shared with the Metro, “Whilst they are enjoying these festive films, they’re still, just like us, very much looking forward to our real-life guests returning this week.”

Watch the video below to see the penguins enjoying the film:

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