Blu-ray Review: Harmless Family Entertainment of ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’

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CHICAGO – I have to admit that I went into my review of “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” expecting to feel torture not unlike when I suffered through “Yogi Bear” or “Gulliver’s Travels.” Live-action family entertainment has been the other side of the coin to the influx of quality animated entertainment. For every Pixar, there’s a “Chipwrecked.” For every “How to Train Your Dragon,” there’s a “Zookeeper.” To that end, I found “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” totally harmless, mostly because Jim Carrey gives it his all and brings enough manic glee to the proceedings to keep it from falling flat. Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.5/5.0

Like SO many family films, “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” is about a selfish, wounded man learning to be a good father. It’s remarkable how many writers work out their issues with their parents through family films. The dad in question is, of course, Mr. Popper (Carrey), a man whose distant, world-traveling father has made him a distant, world-traveling father. Business takes priority over parenthood. That is until he receives a shipment of six personality-filled penguins. Most of the film is devoted to either wacky, penguin-related humor or lessons that Mr. Popper learns about valuing the time when his offspring are actually children.

Jim Carrey’s career continues its unique “one for me, one for them” mentality. He’s long followed creative choices like “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Man on the Moon” with mainstream fare like “Bruce Almighty” and “Yes Man.” Now, he follows up some of the best reviews of his career for “I Love You, Phillip Morris” with this predictable slice of entertainment. Still, when you’ve got something relatively routine like this script, it goes a LONG way to have someone as talented as Carrey to pull it off. He’s starting to seem a little long in the tooth for the physical humor he did twenty years ago, but he’s still an incredibly charismatic family comedy lead. The script is still predictable and generic, but little ones who liked the “Happy Feet” movies and “March of the Penguins” may be curious and their parents don’t need to dread this one as much as I did.

Mr. Popper's Penguins
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Photo credit: Fox

Special Features:
o All-New Animated Short: Nimrod & Stinky’s Antarctic Adventure
o Deleted Scenes
o Gag Reel
o Penguin Pandemonium
o The Legacy of Mr. Popper’s Penguins
o DVD Version
o Digital Copy
o And More!

“Mr. Popper’s Penguins” stars Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, and Angela Lansbury. It was directed by Mark Waters and released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 6th, 2011. content director Brian Tallerico

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