Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Andrew Brandt, Staff Writer

Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Directed by Mark Waters
June 17, 2011
4 out of 5 stars
Mr. Popper is a successful real estate developer in Manhattan. He lives in an apartment on Park Avenue and is in the process of being partners in a large company. However, his life changes when he receives a gift from his late father, a live penguin. Which he tried to get rid of but soon ordered 5 more penguins. These 6 penguins are named Captain, Loudy, Bitey, Stinky, Lovey, and Nimrod. Popper intends to give them away to the zoo but changes his idea when his children, Janie and Billy, think that the animals are Billy’s birthday present. Popper is forced to spend evenings taking care of the penguins and bribing the apartment clerk to stay quite as pets are not allowed in the apartment. At one point, he receives an offer to take the penguins off his hands from Nat Jones, the antagonistic zookeeper at the New York Zoo, who warns him that the penguins won’t survive at his house. At work, Popper is given the task of buying Tavern on the Green, the only privately owned real estate in Central Park that is an old restaurant where he used to eat with his father when he was a child. However, its elderly owner will only sell it to a person of true value. Popper has unsuccessful meetings with her, and she refuses to sell the restaurant to him. As time goes on, having the penguins around helps Popper become closer to his children. He also begins dating their mother, Amanda again. The penguins lay three eggs. Two eggs hatch, but one does not. Popper becomes obsessed with seeing the last egg hatch, causing him to lose his job. Eventually, Popper realizes that the egg cannot be hatched, and, by persuasion from Nat Jones, decides to donate the penguins to the New York Zoo. He is re-employed but his children and former wife are disappointed by his decision. Having second thoughts, Popper asks his children and former wife to help him get the penguins back from the zoo. They find the penguins, free them and they get away and flee to the tavern. She sells it to him and he releases the penguins back to the wild.

I was recently reminded of this movie by a good friend and I had to watch it again. While this is a silly family movie I couldn’t help but laugh and have a good time watching the movie. That in itself deserves 3 stars. But why 4 stars? That’s because of the CGI and the fact they use real penguins. Jim Carrey stated that they had 6 penguins on the set that a local zoo provided and they would use the animals in most of the senses but when it was required to use CGI they did to keep the animals safe. This is a dumb silly movie that I wouldn’t buy tickets to see in the theater but if you have 1 hour and 35 minutes to waste it isn’t a bad idea.