I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when my 4-year old daughter and I “popped” in Mr. Popper’s Penguins. As I’ve mentioned before, I have kids now so I see a pretty full spectrum of movies for children. Popper’s stars Jim Carrey, which could be a make-it-or-break-it for many decision makers. I myself am a fan of Carrey, especially of older work like Fire Marshall Bill (In Living Color), Ace Ventura, and Me, Myself and Irene.
It is pretty well known that Carrey has tried his hand at several other types of roles like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Truman Show, The Number 23, etc. Some people have different perspectives on how successful he has been at these but I mention it because I would say that Popper’s is a return to form for him. My review of the Blu-ray after the jump:
Carrey acts silly enough to entertain children (and at least this adult) while still pulling off a realistic dad role. Fear not, Ace Ventura-haters! Carrey will not be on the screen talking to your child through his bum.
The movie is based on the fact that Mr. Popper has basically inherited penguins and the hijinks that ensue. The penguins are obviously CGI but not to the point that it takes away from the movie. For example, my daughter never mentioned that she thought they were fake. She did, however, think that they were cute and hilarious.
Underneath the penguin-centricity of this film lies a mostly heartwarming story of a family and its love of the members for one another. It was fun to watch this movie with my daughter, hearing both of us laugh at the many funny moments, seeing her genuinely interested in the well-being of the Popper family, and happy when everything inevitably worked out.
There is some pulling of the heartstrings but nothing I would call over the top (at least not for a 4-year old). In comparison, we saw Toy Story 3 in the theater and (MINOR SPOILER ALERT) – while it was excellent – many of the children in the crowd at the theater we went to were screaming when it seemed like the main characters might actually die (not a typo – DIE). It also brings to mind a part near the end of Marmaduke (a not-so-excellent movie) in which what appears to be a child’s version of Armageddon happens. No screaming was heard this time around, thankfully.
The edition I reviewed included three discs: Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital version. This was helpfuI as we watched it while travelling for the holidays and could find SOME technology that we could watch it on wherever we were. In summary, I would recommend this package for someone with children that like any animals and parents that enjoy watching a sort-of-crazy-but-not-over-the-top Jim Carrey.