Mr. Popper’s Penguins is out today on DVD (and Blu-Ray combo pack). At first I was a bit skeptical about this movie, because I’m not a big Jim Carrey fan. I wasn’t into the whole Ace Ventura and The Mask craze that swept the masses, but I was pleasantly surprised within the first few minutes of this film. Perhaps it’s because he’s playing a mature realtor and divorced father of two, or maybe he’s just actually growing up now. Not only did I not mind him in this film, but I actually liked Mr. Popper (Carrey’s character.)
In spite of the name of this movie, the penguins aren’t really the stars of the show. They are, on the other hand, entertaining supporting characters that add additional comic relief. But this film is a heartwarming story about a father, Mr. Popper, who has lost touch with everything that’s important to him in life. He’s divorced from his wife and has a very strained to almost nonexistent relationship with his two kids. He receives a package in the mail after his distant father passes away. The package turns out to be a penguin, and somehow more and more penguins keep showing up — till there are six of them living under Popper’s roof. These mischievous penguins run amok not just in Popper’s house, but his professional life, too. Eventually the penguins not only help Popper bond with his children again, but lead him back into his ex-wife’s heart.
The Botton Line
The movie stays true to the classic family-film formula: two estranged parents are reunited, with the help of their kids, and in this case some wacky penguins. That said, it’s still more than watchable. Plus, there are also some fun elements to this movie. Beside the obvious penguins—whose presence is strictly for your children’s enjoyment—I personally enjoyed Mr. Popper’s personal assistant, Pippi (Ophelia Lovibond), who only speaks using words that start with the letter “P.” There is a pesky next-door neighbour, who is constantly trying to out Popper’s penguins and get him thrown out of the building (played by the recognizable and personal fave, David Krumholtz, from the TV show Numb3rs). And let’s not forget the determined penguin expert from the New York Zoo, who seems to get stuck in a lot of sticky situations trying to take Popper’s penguins away. Mr. Popper’s Penguins is no doubt a fun watch for a family night in —and we’ve got plenty of cold and wintery ones coming up.
Note: Probably suitable for children ages 7 years+
Download the Mr. Popper’s Penguins Activity Book, which includes a fill in the blank letter to Santa as well as a learn how to draw a penguin page, as well as other entertaining activities to keep the kids busy.
Watch the Trailer