Mr. Popper’s Penguins parents guide

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Parent Guide

For audiences paying for a break from reality, it's nice to have an ending that is pleasantly positive.

Overall B

When Mr. Popper (Jim Carrey) inherits six penguins, the businessman finds the responsibility of caring for the little creatures from the bottom of the Earth is turning his own life upside-down.

Release date June 17, 2011

Violence B
Sexual Content A-
Profanity B
Substance Use B

Why is Mr. Popper’s Penguins rated PG? The MPAA rated Mr. Popper’s Penguins PG for mild rude humor and some language.

Run Time: 94 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Of all the beasts in the animal kingdom, penguins seem to have secured the best marketing department. Since their notable appearance in a song and dance routine with actor Dick Van Dyck in the 1964 film Mary Poppins, these little black and white creatures have scored numerous screen roles in films like Madagascar, Cat’s Don’t Dance, Surf’s Up, Happy Feet and this fall’s sequel Happy Feet Two.

It should come as no surprise then that an adaptation of the 1938 children’s book Mr. Popper’s Penguins would come to theaters. It is after all about penguins. However, children who read the book in elementary school will find this movie deviates widely from the novel.

The Mr. Popper (Jim Carrey) in this case is a slick New York property purchaser who buys up iconic buildings around the city and demolishes them to make way for something bigger and better. After work, he comes home to a pristine but lonely penthouse. His former wife (Carla Gugino) and children have moved on. Janey (Madeline Carroll) and Billy (Maxwell Perry Cotton) visit every other weekend but only if they have to. Then Popper receives a special delivery package from his recently deceased father, an adventurer who managed to be absent from his own son’s life for most of his childhood.

Popper’s inheritance? A passel of penguins!

While a New York City skyscraper is hardly an appropriate home for these cold loving birds, Popper’s children are thrilled with the new arrivals. So like any father desperate to rekindle a relationship with his disinterested offspring, Popper decides to keep the birds and turns his expensive apartment into a winter wonderland complete with ice and snow.

His efforts are charming at first. After all, it’s not everyday you can have a snowball fight inside the house. But as Popper becomes more and more involved with his little houseguests, he frankly starts to get a little weird, especially when he becomes obsessed with an egg that has not hatched. For many young viewers, this section of the film will lose their attention if it doesn’t disturb them.

Fortunately the script is salvaged by some of the secondary characters including Popper’s perky personal assistant Pippi (Ophelia Lovibond) who has a penchant for putting a preponderance of p’s into every pronouncement she produces. The animation of the lively little creatures is also visually captivating.

Because this story is pure fantasy, everything works out—so well in fact that the ending almost feels like a saccharine overdose. Still for audiences paying for a break from reality, I guess it’s nice to have one that is pleasantly positive.

Directed by Mark Waters . Starring Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Angela Lansbury. Running time: 94 minutes. Theatrical release June 17, 2011. Updated

Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Rating & Content Info

Why is Mr. Popper’s Penguins rated PG? Mr. Popper’s Penguins is rated PG by the MPAA for mild rude humor and some language.

Violence: During frequent scenes of slapstick violence, a man is hit in the groin and the head with a ball. A man bribes a desk clerk who later blackmails him. Characters are hit or knocked down by animals. A penguin bites several people.

Sexual Content: A man makes a joke about Viagra. He tries to discourage his former wife’s relationship with her new boyfriend.

Language: Numerous terms of Deity are used in the script.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Alcohol is served at social functions. Characters drink at home. One man guzzles from a wine bottle.

Other: One character suffers from flatulence. Several "poop" gags are included.

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Mr. Popper’s Penguins Parents' Guide

What impact does Popper’s absentee father seem to have on him? How has that apparently affected his ability to parent his own children? How might children of divorced parents view this movie’s ending?

What does this script say about using television as a babysitter?

Should filmmakers have the right to change a story significantly when they adapt a book to a film? Which story do you prefer?

You can find the original children’s novel by Florence Atwater at your local library or bookstore.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Mr. Popper’s Penguins movie is December 6, 2011. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Release Date: 6 December 2011

Mr. Popper’s Penguins releases to home video on December 2, 2011, in the following packages:

Mr. Popper’s Penguins (Blu-ray + DVD+ Digital Copy) includes:

- Feature Film

- Animated Short: Nimrod and Stinky’s Antartic Adventure

- The Legacy of Mr. Popper’s Penguins

- Ladies and Gentoomen

- Ready for their Closeup

- Stuffy Penguin Theater

- Penguin Pandemonium

- Original Story Sampler

- Gag Reel

- Feature Audio Commentary

- Sneak Peek: Tooth Fairy 2

- Theatrical Trailer

Mr. Popper’s Penguins (DVD) offers:

- Feature Film

-Animated Short: Nimrod and Stinky’s Antartic Adventure

- Ladies and Gentoomen

- Ready for Their Closeup

- Original Story Sampler

- Select Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary

- Gag Reel

- Feature Audio Commentary

- Sneak Peek: Tooth Fairy 2

- Theatrical Trailer

Mr. Popper’s Penguins (DVD and Penguin Plush Toy)

- Feature Film

- Nimrod and Stinky’s Antartic Adventure

- Ladies and Gentoomen

- Ready for Their Closeup

- Original Story Sampler

- Select Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary

- Gag Reel

- Feature Audio Commentary

- Sneak Peek: Tooth Fairy 2

- Theatrical Trailer

Related home video titles:

A country doctor finds his career going to the dogs when he begins treating animals instead of humans in Doctor Dolittle. These charming seabirds have also been the star attraction in the films March of the Penguins and 3 2 1 Penguins -Trouble on Planet Wait-Your-Turn. Another man inherits an animal from his estranged father in Larger Than Life.

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