Some motion pictures that come out have me wondering if they’ll even be worth watching. They get relegated to our ‘to watch when it won’t cost us anything’ list… so we wait until a copy is on the shelf at the library or it comes on a cable station.
Sometimes it is apparent rather quickly that the film isn’t worth the time given up to watch it. But, sometimes the film exceeds the low expectations we had for it. Mr. Poppers Penguins falls into that second category and will most likely be viewed more than once in our house.
Jim Carrey stars as Tom Popper, a successful businessman who’s clueless when it comes to the really important things in life…until he inherits six “adorable” penguins, each with its own unique personality. Soon Tom’s rambunctious roommates turn his swank New York apartment into a snowy winter wonderland — and the rest of his world upside-down.
Our Thoughts ~
First off, this is one Jim Carrey film that the boys can watch without me thinking I need to block the screen at times. (There are some scenes in the Grinch and Bruce Almighty that are fine for adults, but really push the limits for younger ages.) It also struck me that he repeats faces, accents and mannerisms in many of his films. The boys still find it funny, but my older adult brain is thinking that after a while it all starts to look the same. But, I guess that’s why he’s more typecast into physical comedy roles than other ones.
Overall, the film is entertaining with very little of the common offenders in films these days (profuse use of vulgarities, blatant flaunting of all things sexual, or gratuitous violence.) You do see his kids showing some attitude towards their dad, including them calling him by his last name at times rather than saying dad. (And, that was something my boys picked up on and asked me about.) There’s also some potty style humor with regard to passing gas. That’s something my boys find hilarious (it’s a boy thing, I know!) and even my teen ager was laughing over the farting penguin.
I do like how the story uses an extremely unlikely situation (6 penguins in a NY apartment that bond to Mr. Popper) to tell a story about the need for family. I enjoyed seeing Angela Lansbury on the screen again and really admire the poise she possesses. While her character can be viewed as supporting in the story, I found her role to be pivotal as an anchor point for the way Mr. Popper should be living his life versus the way he had been.
So, if you are looking for a movie for a day when you just want to stay indoors, Mr. Popper’s Penguins could be that film. I noticed on Amazon that there’s an older version of the film out which has me curious to see it. (I often find the original versions to be better than the remakes.) And, of course, the book from 1938 that started the whole story might be the best bet of all. (Links to the movie and book on Amazon are below.) There’s also A Guide for Using Mr. Popper’s Penguins New in the Classroom for all my homeschooling readers who might want to incorporate this into some fun school studies.
This post has been submitted for inclusion in The Christian Home, Issue 67 hosted here. As the featured columnist for the Movies and Music category, you can be looking forward to weekly posts on what we are watching or music we’ve enjoyed.
Feel free to leave suggestions for me as well that are family friendly or uplifting for adults. While I have movies and some music selections in mind, I’m always on the lookout for other great choices.