Mr Popper’s Penguins
(PG) Jim Carey
In the opening frames we are introduced to Tom Popper, who from a very early age learnt to deal with an absent father. It’s no surprise, when we fast-forward to Tom’s (Jim Carrey) adulthood, that he too is an absent father and husband.
His kids visit him every other weekend in his gleaming apartment and Popper’s life is ordered in every way.
This is a well-worn premise in moviedom — it even worked for Carrey in another comedy, Liar Liar — that the workaholic and absent Dad needs a wake-up call to bring him around to being a loving father.
So what will save Mr Popper from a life of unfulfilment and strife?
Penguins of course! Tom soon finds he is in possession of six Gentoo penguins — which go about taking over his ordered apartment, nesting in the freezer section of his fridge and being entertained by Charlie Chaplin films. There are also a lot of animal bodily function jokes, which are either gross or hilarious depending on your age.
Based on a classic children’s book by Richard and Florence Atwater from which it gets its basic premise, what the film does really well among all the penguin flatulence and poop is engineer a heart-warming and engaging tale about the importance of family and working together.