Saturday, 18 October 2014

Grytviken, South Georgia


     
In the animated movie HAPPY FEET the young emperor penguin Mumble leaves the South Pole to find out why there is a shortage of fish. He gets help from four adélie penguins and one rockhopper penguin.

Grytviken, South Georgia, 9 December 2013
During their search the penguins end up in an abandoned whale station. The animators where inspired by Grytviken, a settlement in South Georgia founded in 1904 by whalers from Norway. The whale station was closed in 1966 and ever since the buildings are deteriorating and have become rusty. The only inhabitants today are scientists who also run the post office and museum for the tourists who visit the islands.

South Georgia is a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean and can only be reached by ship. It is British overseas territory and there are no permanent residents, besides the animals. We visited South Georgia in December, one of the less cold periods of the year in Antarctic region.

In the film Mumble first sees the little church. It was built in 1913 by the whalers but was rarely used by them, they preferred the cinema. In reality the church is white and is not located on a rock but near the other buildings. It is still being maintained and on special occasions used as a church. The graveyard is not next to the church but a bit further away. The explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried here, his grave is marked by a large tombstone.

Happy Feet, 1:09:35
Norwegian church, Grytviken, South Georgia, 9 December 2013
Graveyard, Grytviken, South Georgia, 9 December 2013

When Mumble and the other penguins approach they have a view on Grytviken. The large silos where used to store the whale oil. On the far left are a few piers that could collapse any minute. Nowadays many sea elephants and sea bears are lying on the beach.

Happy Feet, 1:09:45
Grytviken, South Georgia, 9 December 2013
Grytviken, South Georgia, 9 December 2013
Grytviken, South Georgia, 9 December 2013

Although there are several whale bones near the water there is no complete skeleton. There are however a few rusty ships. The chimney of the shipwreck in the film is almost identical to the original.

Happy Feet, 1:10:21
Grytviken, South Georgia, 9 December 2013
Grytviken, South Georgia, 9 December 2013

Screenshots © Warner Bros

No comments:

Post a Comment