Penguins are all the rage these days, so it was only a matter of time before Richard and Florence Atwater’s classic children’s novel about a man and his penguins was adapted for the big screen. Now, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is available for viewing on your small(er) screen and with the holiday season upon us, it’s only a matter of time before your local discount retailer is offering you copies of this film on DVD or Blu-Ray (or perhaps a DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack). Is it worth buying? That’s what we’re here to discuss.
Diverging quite a bit from the original novel (which admittedly, I have never read, but did look up on Wikipedia before writing this), the film features Jim Carrey as a cutthroat realtor who tends to be a bit too focused on his job and not focused nearly enough on his life. You know the type, as you’ve undoubtedly seen it in so many movies before: obsessed with work to the point that he leaps out of bed on a Monday morning, glad that the weekend is over, connected to his smart phone and hyper-organized to the point that it’s driven a wedge between him and his kids (and ex-wife, played by Carla Gugino). It’s not that Thomas Popper is a bad guy; he’s just lacking in people skills. No doubt this is due to the fact that his father was always off on one globe-trotting adventure after another, rarely home to spend any quality time with his son.
Shortly after Popper’s father passes away, a crate arrives at his doorstep containing a troublemaking penguin. A miscommunication leads to another crate, and five more penguins, arriving to stir up more trouble. You can probably guess where it goes from here: Popper wants to donate the flightless avians to the local zoo, but his kids fall in love with the lovable little guys and before you know it, the kids start to fall in love with their dad again too. As the penguins begin to lay eggs, Mr. Popper begins to relearn what’s truly important in life and in the process, begins to see how much he takes for granted – including his ex-wife, and the two begin to reconcile.Now, there’s more, but I won’t get too into it for fear of spoiling - - actually, you know what? It’s impossible to spoil anything in this movie. You already know exactly what happens next, don’t you?
Read the rest of my review on Cinema Sentries ...