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Mr. Popper’s Penguins (Blu-ray Review)

10 Dec, 2011 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Box Office $68.2 million
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 DVD w/penguin plush, $39.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG’ for mild rude humor and some language.
Stars Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Angela Lansbury, Madeline Carroll, Clark Gregg, Jeffrey Tambor, Ophelia Lovibond.

A cutesy family film, Mr. Popper’s Penguins opens with a young Tommy Popper, affectionately called “Tippytoe,” communicating via radio with his world-traveling father, checking in as “Bald Eagle.”

While this may seem like a precious relationship, Tom Sr.’s absence hardens Tommy (Jim Carrey), who as an adult is a divorced businessman (now called “Popper”) with two children of his own: the precocious Billy (Maxwell Perry Cotton) and the lovesick teen, Janie (Madeline Carroll).

Popper’s father dies and leaves him his most valued worldly possessions. Here’s where the penguins come in. Popper’s pops sends him six Gentoo penguins, which wreak havoc on his swanky New York penthouse in all the imaginable ways.

He wants the waddly, nipping little buggers out of his life for good, until his son becomes enamored with them. They soon capture the hearts of Janie and his ex-wife, Amanda (Carla Gugino).

Popper begins to care for the penguins like his own children, turning his home into a winter wonderland suitable for the birds and a fun zone for his kids. At this stage, Carrey shines, acting his usual wacky, animated self.

Though not a Christmas movie per se, Mr. Popper’s Penguins embodies the spirit of the holiday: the warmth of family, goodwill toward mankind and so on. The extensive bonus materials are enough to keep the holiday cheer going all year long.

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