Mr. Popper's Penguins | Indy Week

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Rated PG 95 min. 2011

Like Eddie Murphy, Fred MacMurray and Glenn Close before him, it's a shame to see Jim Carrey reach the "animal co-star" portion of his film career. Very loosely based on the 1938 children's book, Carrey plays Popper, a career-driven NYC real estate speculator whose efforts to purchase Tavern on the Green from its geriatric owner (Angela Lansbury) are sidetracked when he receives six penguins shipped by his estranged, recently deceased father. Popper gives them characteristic nicknames like Bitey and Loudy; not much imagination is needed to know how each bird gets its moniker. This particularly applies to Stinky, as director Mark Waters wallows in the grating poop/flatulence gags that have infested today's low-brow children's movies. Typical silliness ensues, as the foul fowl—portrayed by actual, periodically CG-accented penguins—teach Popper life lessons and heal his strained relationship with his kids and ex-wife (Carla Cugino). As was also the case with Murphy's similar efforts, only Carrey's quick-witted ad libbing keeps this kiddie comedy semi-watchable.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Mark Waters

Writer: Sean Anders and John Morris

Cast: Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Maxwell Perry Cotton, Andrew Stewart-Jones and Curtis Shumaker


Mr. Popper's Penguins

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