Customer Reviews: Mr. Popper's Penguins
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on July 4, 2011
You live in an apartment in New York City and work within sight of the Empire State building. Your life is hectic but predictable.

Imagine getting a very unusual gift (turns out, later, to be from your father). It is a live gentoo penguin. Wanting to send it back, you ask for a return crate. You get a new crate all right--filled with five new penguins.

What a mess your apartment soon becomes! You get snipped at and dumped on by the penguins. You give them names, such as Nimrod, Stinky, Captain, etc. They are perpetually playful! The penguins swim in the bathtub and spill water all over. Your children from a terminated marriage come to visit, and, having long been alienated from you, absolutely fall in love with the penguins.

A nosy neighbor wonders what the noises are from your apartment and, suspecting that he is on to something, wants to tell the board about it. Worse yet, your new nemesis, a penguin specialist who works in the zoo, keeps spying on you. He has a behaviorist view of animals (making animals little more than machines made of flesh), and is determined to take your penguins from you. To him, penguins are simply fish-eating machines. He doubts if a non-specialist can properly care for penguins, and especially ridicules the notion that a loving bond has developed between the penguins and you.

In time, you turn your apartment into a winter wonderland, complete with snow, ice skating, etc. Some of the penguins lay eggs, and you are determined that they hatch. Your colleagues from work stumble upon your transformed apartment, and think that you have totally lost your mind. Your penguins follow you around wherever you go, and this produces its own share of comic events.

Everything comes to a head from the nosy neighbor, the penguin specialist, the kids, Popper's ex-wife, and his work colleagues. Popper is accused of breaking the law by housing penguins. He is fired from his job. He tries to win his ex-wife back. The penguin specialist has all of Popper's penguins. The apartment is normal once again, and the visiting children are heartbroken. And then... I will not spoil the ending by revealing it.

This is a very entertaining and heartwarming movie for the whole family. If you are an animal lover, this little tale is definitely for you.
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on June 17, 2011
Took my 7 year old daughter to see this movie today & Im really glad we went!
From the previews I thought the movie was going to be boring & lame, but I was pleasantly surprised with the movie!

The movie ran at a fast & very entertaining pace...
The theater audience laughed, laughed & then laughed some more...

The movie has comedy for sure, but also tells a great story & has a few very good life lessons in it...
The lengths Carrey takes to take care of these Penguins is just AWESOME!!!

Jim Carrey did a fantastic job as the lead actor...
He shows signs of his old hillarious humor from his early films, but is not sooooo over the top in this film as he was in past films...
He showed true heart & was very believable in his role!!!

The Penguins were unbelievably funny & simply amazing! They must have had some serious training!
The supporting acting was pefectly done by Mr. Poppers kids & ex wife...

Overall I give this movie an A...
I would recommend going to see this movie while its in the theaters...
I would also recommend it for adults & children...

Thanks for reading my review!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 30, 2011
I'm sorry. I forfeited all objectivity once the first penguin waddled on camera. Jim Carrey's past few flicks have been hit or miss with me, and maybe a part of it is that I've gotten accustomed to his schtick, despite the impressive rubber face and manic body contortions that would make a yogi master weep. And maybe I'm still holding NUMBER 23 against him. But what's cuter than an infestation of penguins? My niece and nephews adored this film. MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS, with its predictability and obvious gags, rises above the dreck by dint of penguins. Plus, it's got Carla Gugino, hotness personified.

Jim Carrey plays Tommy Popper, a businessman severely focused on his career. But, first, we see Tommy as a child who spends a span of years communicating with his father via ham radio. His dad is an explorer who is always away on exotic expeditions, and, over time, we witness young Tommy grow disillusioned with his absentee father. Thirty years later, Tommy Popper is divorced with custody of his two kids on alternate weekends. Tommy himself has become a neglectful parent. All he's focused on is securing a partnership in his firm, a position guaranteed him once he bags a primo piece of real estate called the Tavern on the Green.

The status quo gets topsy-turvied when Tommy receives a shipment of penguin to his upscale New York apartment. And then another crate of five more penguins. When his kids come over for a visit, they fall in love with them. From there the plot unfolds in by-the-numbers fashion. You may guess that Tommy Popper turns over a new leaf and becomes a better father, to the detriment of his career. You may conjecture that he becomes smitten with his ex-wife all over again, although how in heck do you fall out of love with Carla Gugino in the first place? There's fun in watching Popper gradually convert his swank Manhattan duplex into a sub-arctic region, just to accomodate the birds and to connect with his kids. Other than the usual thorny family dilemmas that inevitably crop up, the narrative conflict hinges on Clark Gregg's (a.k.a. S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Agent Colson) scheming NYC zoo official who covets the six penguins because they're of the rarer gentoo breed.

I was somewhat impressed when I learned - thru the bonus features - that there's a higher percentage of real penguins in action here than one would assume. (Obviously the scene in which Carrey dances with the penguins is CG-rendered.) Several of the penguins are given enough character traits that they stand out. We learn that "Captain" suffers from flight envy. That "Nimrod" tends to bump into and fall over things. That "Stinky"... well, you can guess his specialty. The others - Lovey, Bitey, and Loudy - are descriptive enough. The birds' ridiculous antics won me over. Jim Carrey tones his stuff down, as well, and this is a welcome thing. And I did love his compulsively alliterative personal assistant Pippi (Ophelia Lovibond). I recommend this family flick for those who think penguins are funny. But for those who couldn't care less about penguins - meaning that there's no buffer or filter thru which the bad bits can be digested - there are moments in the movie that simply defy believability (like a penguin hang-gliding) and they well may hike up ye olde blood pressure. MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS is not subtle. You'll see every plot point coming, predict every pratfall. It'll be as if you're watching the addled Mirror Universe version of the MARCH OF THE PENGUINS. But the kids will laugh themselves silly. I did, too.

The DVD's bonus material:

- Audio Commentary by director Mark Waters, editor Bruce Green, & visual effects supervisor Richard Hollander
- All-New Animated Short: "Nimrod & Stinky's Antarctic Adventure" (00:06:08 minutes)
- Gag Reel (00:01:58 minutes)
- 2 Deleted Scenes with optional commentary from the director, editor, & visual effects supervisor (totaling 00:02:08 minutes)
- "Ready for Their Close-Up" - A behind-the-scenes look at the real stars of the film: them penguins (00:08:25 minutes)
- "Ladies and Gentoomen" - SeaWorld San Diego's senior level aviculturist Jessica Perry divulges fun (or informative, anyway) facts about gentoo penguins (00:05:53 minutes)
- Original Story Sampler - enjoy the first three chapters of the 1938 children's book - MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS by Richard and Florence Atwater - on which the film was based
- Theatrical Trailer
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on July 15, 2011
Between Mr. Popper's Penguins and The ZooKeeper, ... I liked them both, but I liked Mr. Popper's Penguins more. Kids loved it too. Nice story. Has been while since I saw a Jim Carrey movie,... thought he did a good job in this role. And the penguins are hilarious! I didn't quite get that incredible name of Mr. Popper's assistant,.... with the fun voice and accent, ... miss P (?),... but I liked her character/role too. So many fun scenes in this movie. We had a good time.
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on May 26, 2016
This is a gem of a movie that parlays Jim Carrey's considerable talent and a delightfully amusing concept of an unexpected gift of six penguins into a heartwarming but hilarious film that never sits still for long. Carrey's performance goes beyond the simply goofy, slapstick characters he played early in his career to become more nuanced and human, yet still terrifically funny as always. A man whose own father neglected him, Carrey's character is an exceptionally successful business executive who is on the verge at first of becoming the same kind of father that his own father was, but taking care of the adorable but quirky and demanding penguins wakes him up to the fact that family is the most important thing in his life. At the end, a letter from his father helps him realize what he must do in order to get his life back into balance, and he brings his fragmented family back together and gets his life back.

This DVD was so much fun to watch that after watching it the first time, I watched it again right afterward with the commentary turned on, and then I watched it again the next day with my 85-year-old mother, who laughed at various points in the story. This to me is the kind of movie that never loses its appeal. Far more so than the ubiquitous "A Christmas Story," this movie has the kind of lasting appeal that really works--not just because of nostalgia but because it is endlessly entertaining and it satisfies the heart. In addition, the filmmakers include just enough character actor roles to make this film pop. The bellman who figures out how to make money off Carrey's flouting the building's rules and Angela Lansbury, who plays the little old lady with a lot more verve and irreverence than you would expect, plus the p-obssessed assistant, all add their own bit of humor to the story and people it with wonderful elements of comedy worked nicely into the already preposterous plot (see, I'm doing the p's too).

If you need a movie that everyone in the family is likely to enjoy, this is the one. Jim Carrey is at his best ever, the casting is outstanding, and the movie just works. From beginning to end, its fun interwoven with heartfelt moments captivated me and made me laugh. I love this movie, and I hope they're planning a sequel to it with more impossible but ridiculously funny circumstances demonstrating the new grace and warmth that Carrey shows in this film. Rent the DVD and see if you feel the same way about it. If so, you'll want to buy it and make it part of your family DVD library for those days when you need a laugh or the comfort of a warm family moment. It's definitely a keeper.
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on January 16, 2012
Mr. Popper's Penguins definitely wasn't one of Jim Carrey's top vehicles, but it was watchable. Although targeted toward adults, the situations seemed to be geared toward the teen crowd. I probably won't be watching this one again for a number of years...if ever. If you have younger people in your household (or you happen to be one), you may enjoy this rather odd movie. Lots of reviews out there so I don't have to repeat everything. Jim Carrey didn't do it for me this time, but I'm still a fan.
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on February 2, 2016
I never ever watch TV but I LOVE penguins so decided to watch this movie on evening with my husband and a friend. Jim Carey is hilarious in his role and for a movie that sounds unbelievable he makes it so believable. By that I mean that this could actually happen. In the movie he inherits 2 penguins from his deceased father, now the funny part is that he lives in a NYC up scale apartment. He wants to get rid of them but then things change as you will see in the movie. Mr. Popper (Jim Carey) is divorced with 2 children a boy & a girl. His job is some sort of big shot real estate tycoon & no way can he take care of penguins in a NYC apt. BUT he tries like heck.
This is a great family movie , funny and in the end a lesson is learned.
Watch the movie and you will see, I have not sat through a whole movie in over 10 years but I did.
Maybe my love of penguins or just because I didn't want to miss what was going to happen next, never a dull moment in the entire movie.
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on September 14, 2012
Recorded this movie for our grand son not knowing that a lot of it centered on the sale of Tavern On The Green in New York City (one of the buyers wanted to buy it and tear it down - Jim Carry worked for the firm and it was his job to convince the owner (played by Angela Lansbury). Our senior group from Virginia was one of the last patrons to have breakfast there, because it really was up for sale and closing for good. The city purchased it and made it a tourist "station". The room where a lot of the scenes in the restaurant centered around was the room where I took pictures of my wife and some our friends.Decided to purchase the CD. The movie is funny and leave you happy at the end. Plan to show it, on the bus, at our next New York trip in December. Most of the seniors were at the Tavern before it closed. Those of us young and old that have eaten at the Tavern will rememeber it's uniqueness,colofulness and location.
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on June 30, 2015
I have a home daycare and got this for the kids to watch on pajama day. We had the movie & popcorn afternoon, they loved this movie. I am really glad that I bought this movie. I looked at the previews and they weren't great, but decided to try it anyways. I was pleasantly surprised with the movie, it was fast pace & entertaining. It kept the kids attention and we did a lot of laughing.
It is a comedy, but also tells a great story & has some very good life lessons. The Penguins were unbelievably funny & simply amazing! They must have had some serious training!
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on October 15, 2015
This was not a personal favorite for me. I'm not a Jim Carey fan. But the slapstick, predictable humor style was fun for my husband and daughter. Kids love the penguins and I think they were absolutely the best and funniest part of the movie (though they often appeared fake, but what are you going to do, really?). The story line is predictable and much like others in this genre, but my daughter did enjoy watching it several times.
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