We were thrilled to learn they were adapting Mr Popper’s Penguins for the big screen from the beloved 1930s novel by Richard and Florence Atwater. While the movie doesn’t quite live up to expectations, our sneak-peek revealed a film that will delight little penguin lovers, if no one else.
Mr. Popper, a career-driven businessman played by Jim Carrey, unexpectedly inherits several penguins from his deceased explorer dad. He fumbles as he tries to mend frayed relationships with his children and his ex-wife, played by Carla Gugino—all with the help of the penguins!
Kids will laugh at the mishaps, confusion, and mess the penguins cause Mr. Popper as he turns his New York apartment into a “winter wonderland.” And, at the heartwarming conclusion, it turns out that Mr. Popper has inherited a lot more than penguins: he also gets a lesson that it took his absentee dad a lifetime to learn—family comes first and keep those you love close to you.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins has a relatively predicable plot that won’t wow parents, but that kids—especially those who love penguins—will greatly enjoy. Don’t expect any particularly stellar performances by the humans in the film—the penguins definitely steal the show! And while this movie is unlikely to be a blockbuster, or held up as a classic kids’ film, it’s a fun way to cool off on a super-hot day if your kids are animal lovers.
Fun fact: The film features both real and computer simulated Gentoo penguins. According to Larry Madrid, their trainer, the penguins were only filmed inside the apartment, which was kept at a chilly 7°C or below. A large freezer, kept at 0°C, was used as their housing.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins is rated PG, and in theatres today!