Film Review: Mr Popper’s Penguins (2011)

| 27 June , 2011 | Reply

Directed by: Mark Waters
Staring: Jim Carey, Carla Gugino, Angela Lansbury

Very loosely based on Florence and Richard Atwater\’s 1938 book of the same name, there is not much fans of the original story will find paralleled in Mr Popper\’s Penguins: except for the presence of Mr Popper, and of course, his penguins.

But that is not to say that Twentieth Century Fox has not done a good job of updating the plot for a contemporary audience. Tom Popper (Jim Carey) spent his childhood waiting by the two-way radio for his globetrotting adventurer father to simply give him a call. Fast forward 30 years and Tom, though living in the same city as his children, is just as absent from their lives as his father was from his. A surprise gift of six rowdy penguins from his late father turns Tom\’s sleek city life around, and helps him to realise just how much he has been missing out on.


But harbouring six mischievous penguins in your posh Manhattan apartment isn\’t easy; and Tom must sidestep seemingly endless obstacles to keep his new family united and his life intact.


Better suited for children aged seven and up, the film does take a little while to get started for younger audience members although once the penguins do appear there are enough exciting escapades to keep the children entertained. Jim Carey has taken a mature approach to his performance; restrained enough not to scare the kiddies, and subdued enough to let the only cast members who are going to matter to them share centre stage (here\’s a hint: they\’re of the CGI variety). Unfortunately that does mean that some of the appeal for adults is lessened.


Mr Popper\’s Penguins is a pleasant romp though snow capped NYC that will keep your children giggling and you feeling good for the rest of the day.

Mr Popper\’s Penguins opens nationally on the 30th of June.



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Category: Film & TV

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