Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a fun family DVD. At the same time, the many storylines give you the feeling Mr. Popper’s Penguins is not quite sure what kind of family friendly movie it wants to be. There is certainly a great amount of comedy here but there is also a story about corporate greed, an evil-ish zookeeper, and a romantic element. Still, you can’t really go wrong with Jim Carrey and six Emperor penguins.
When he was a boy, Popper (Carey) would communicate by ham radio with his father who was always on an expedition somewhere. His father stopped communicating and Popper became a slick businessman with a talent to get people to sell their property to his company. The latest target is a Central Park landmark his bosses want to tear down and replace with a high-rise building.
Popper receives a penguin from his late father. He accidentally orders five more. He finds himself living with six penguins in a Manhattan apartment. The penguins allow him to connect with his young son and teenage daughter as well as with his ex-wife. In the end, Popper learns lessons about relationships and being a better man so all is well that ends well.
The stars of Mr. Popper’s Penguins are of course the penguins. They are the original element that make this family DVD work. The scenes involving the penguins are funny, smart, interesting, and sometimes over the top.
The movie features live penguins but just as often they are CGI. Spotting which is which is impossible unless you ask yourself if a real animal could do that or that could be done to a real animal.
Special features for Mr. Popper’s Penguins DVD are an animated short: Nimrod and Stinky’s Antartic Adventures, a two-minute gag reel, deleted scenes, features on the penguins, and a making of.