Mr. Popper's Penguins - The Movie, Not the Book

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  The charming story from 1938's children's book is almost unrecognizable in this un-charming movie.  There are indeed penguins.  And there is a Mr. Popper.  But the similarities end there.


Rather than stick to the original storyline, Mr. Popper has been "modernized" into the familiar construct of Divorced Dad Who is Always Disappointing His Family.  Is anyone else tired of this worn out trope?


Jim Carrey runs through the motions of being alternately hangdog and spastic, and tries to repair his broken family while learning life lessons about caring for other creatures.  And because this is a Jim Carrey Movie, there is scatological humor to spare.  Therefore, this will be another fun-looking "kid" movie that my kids are going to beg to see because they see commercials about penguins sliding down the bannisters of an NYC apartment, and I have to be the bad guy who doesn't want them to see it.  I've pretty much had enough of the coarseness that's pervading the movies targeted at my kids right now.  I'm trying not to be a killjoy here, but geeze, is it really necessary?  I think not, and the movie would have been better without it.


One bright spot was the absolutely amazing special effects.  I have no idea how they made the penguins look so real, and perhaps they were real penguins in some scenes.  The scene where Carrey's character dances with the lineup of penguins is an adorable homage to Dick Van Dyke's penguin dance in Mary Poppins.


I might be alone on this, but for me, Mr. Popper's Penguins is a wait-till-it's-on-at-3am-and-you-need-to-fall-asleep movie.

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