Mr. Popper’s Penguins …. Movie Night

Last night Kennith and I took Connor to watch Mr. Popper’s Penguins at the Nu Metro V&A.

We can discuss our bad parenting and how we dragged our son out to a movie theatre on a school night in another post.

What is tragic is this is the only time that I have been to a movie house to see a movie in about two years – and I love movies. (The last movie I saw as The HangOver and I had Isabelle with me and she was about 7 days old, so suffice to say, it has been some time since I parked my bum onto plush seats and hooked my foot up into that space that the arm rest makes in the seats in the row infront of you.)

We got (really good) pasta, a glass (insert large) of wine at Primi and then headed to the movie with a trough of popcorn, and about a gallon of Coke (lite, because that will help, of course).

Connor has been very keen on a pet for some time.  Before we even got to the cinema, I had the “we are not getting a penguin” conversation, just to reinforce that there was no possibility of begging/pleading and nagging once we got out of the dark cinema.

No matter how cute and civilized penguins appear when they do synchronised dancing, I really do not want one!

My concern with Jim Carrey is that he is always “Ace Ventura” no matter what movie he is in.  I must confess to being a tad (very) reluctant to go and see this movie based on that fact.

But I reasoned that I did like him a bit more when I saw him in the rather dark comedy/drama “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and I thought he was really good as Count Olaf in “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.”  So with that in mind, maybe there was hope ……

So how was Mr. Popper’s Penguins, I hear you ask?

Carrey was funny as he monkeyed around with the penguins and he managed not to be outclassed by them too much.  He also managed not to steal the entire show.  I thought he was funny, but he did not appear to be trying so damn hard to be funny all the time, which is a relief.

Short summary:  The penguins enter Mr. Popper’s Jnr’s life as a final gift from his father who had visited every corner of the globe except his own home. The “now very absent (read dead)” Mr. Popper Snr means
to reinforce the importance of family on his son — an idea he evidently embraced very late in life — through these loving and loyal birds (I stole that blurb from somewhere).

Obviously Mr. Popper Jnr is having his own “family separation” issues and the idea that maybe pursuing “the next big thing” in life is not as important as finding ways to connect with his kids and estranged wife, is brought home to him with the aid of these huddle of penguins (proper collective noun there, who said I don’t teach you stuff?)

Good parts:  Jim Carrey is quite good and his physical comedy is pretty good. He is tall and wiry and does the bouncing around bits pretty well – he looks daft just standing there, so add a furry hat and sliding around on ice in his flat and he does not look any more daft.  The penguins are pretty cool, and each has it’s own personality – I liked Nimrod.

I thought there was a good balance between ridiculous and sanity, and there were a few funny quips along the way which made me smile.

Connor guffawed in several places!

Bad parts:  Jim Carrey is supposed to be this rather mean-spirited guy who is changed when the penguins come onto the scene and show him the error in his ways.  The problem is that Jim Carrey is always, well, Jim Carrey, so he does not really get this one quite right.

But I did think the point does come across, eventually, though in the usual saccharine sweet way of family movies.

At the end of the day, the movie is about penguins, them sliding around lots of ice, and a few “aawwww” moments, a few sprinkles of happy families and the message that sometimes we forget our families in the rush of life — and need a penguin (or 6) in a crate to remind us of that fact.

Connor liked the “butt” “poo” “pee” and “stupid” parts thrown into the dialogue – I saw him snorting with laughter at many spots.

He quite enjoyed the part where the penguin found itself spinning around inside the toilet, bowl – but toilet humour is pretty much Connor’s pinnacle of high-end comedy.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I would give this a 3 to a 3 1/2 as a family show – but I cannot stress this is only as a kid’s show.

Do not attempt to take your date to this show unless, you really are only hoping for one date (though there were 3 couples in the cinema without kids, who seemed to enjoy it.)

I asked Connor if he could tell 5 people about the movie how many he would tell (pick a number from 1 to 5 stuff), he said everyone.  So I said “so you would tell 5” and he said “no, I would tell 700!”

Take the kids, it’s easy, makes you smile more than it makes you cringe, and makes the kids laugh.

Leave a comment


  1. Thanks for the review. Amazing how boys naturally gravitate towards toilet humour. I showed my 2year old nephew a blob of prestik I keep on my car’s dashboard – never know when one would need it. His first question was whether its “poopies”. Next question if it’s “snollie” and then tried to stuff it up his nose to illustrate.

    • reluctantmom

       /  June 23, 2011

      Totally,nothing makes Connor roar with laughter than something that either goes into our out of a bum —- in a non-sexual way!!!!

      • Charne

         /  June 23, 2011

        Has he seen HOP – I reckon he would love/loved the bit where the bunny poops jelly beans!! I thought it was ridiculous of course, but no doubt boys or even men (judging from my BIL’s laughter) would find this idea funny.

        • reluctantmom

           /  June 23, 2011

          Nope, but must add that to the list ….. a bunny pooping jelly beans that sounds like a useful pet to have!!


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