Jim Carey stars in this movie adaptation of the book Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater. It is the story of a successful businessman Thomas Popper, Jr., (that in his own childhood had an absent father), who, because of his success (long hours, trips, etc.), is divorced and has a shaky relationship with his two children (played by Madeline Carroll and Clark Gregg). He receives an unexpected gift from his late father…penguins, much to the delight of his kids.
This is a great movie for the whole family. Carey, as Popper, pulls off a wonderful performance as a dad with lots to learn. You do need to suspend your disbelief quite a lot, with the premise of penguins living in downtown New York a little hard to believe.
The performances are great, Carla Gugino as Popper’s ex-wife’s shows a real soft side with her ability to let him back in to her life, and willingness to let the father of her children be present when he can. The consensus in our house was that if all divorced parents could get along this well, it would be a good thing. Clark Gregg as the young Billy (Popper’s son) and Madeline Carroll as Popper’s daughter Janie, add the right amount of ‘wise child’ to counter Carey’s goofball antics. A terrific performance from Angela Lansbury tops it all off.
My whole household liked the film, from mom and dad to the youngest. We laughed out loud a lot during the course of this movie…it was great. One thing we learned after watching special features and found quite surprising, was that 80-85% of the scenes that included penguins were filmed with real penguins, and not CG. What an amazing feat this was.
All around a great movie, I would definitely recommend it for a nice family movie night.