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Parents' Guide to

Mr. Popper's Penguins

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Carrey's penguin antics are predictable but still funny.

Movie PG 2011 95 minutes
Mr. Popper's Penguins Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 35 parent reviews

age 5+


This is a movie about a workaholic father with Daddy issues and a crumbling relationship with his separated wife and kids who gets evil penguins in the mail who proceed to destroy his home and ruin his career whilst saving his marriage because what lady can resist a man with evil penguins to entertain the kids and make a gawd awful mess? I know that I absolutely love the idea of a relationship with a man who is willing to convert his living space into a penguin sanctuary. But in all seriousness this is a charming movie and the evil penguins causing mischief is the best part.
3 people found this helpful.
age 11+

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (35 ):
Kids say (61 ):

MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS is a surprisingly entertaining family comedy. Like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, this isn't a faithful adaptation of the original kids' book -- but considering that the original book was written in the 1930s, it's somewhat understandable to update the story. And since any movie dealing with animals is almost by definition sugary sweet, we can excuse some of the plot's predictably sentimental aspects, like the "all work, no family time" dad who realizes that "less work, more play" is a better way to parent. Once you're aware that the movie is more of an homage than a pure adaptation and that you pretty much know what's going to happen from the first moment you lay eyes on Carrey's malleable face, you just sit back and enjoy.

No, this isn't the kind of kid-friendly movie you immediately pre-order the DVD for after seeing, but between the penguin choreography (expect kids to do the shuffle-hop-step/"Word" tap dance for a few days), the slapsticky shenanigans, and Carrey's comedic gifts, there are enough laughs to keep parents awake and interested. One of the best parts of the movie is the fact that the penguins are pacified by watching Charlie Chaplin movies on TV; they just can't get enough of the legendary comedian. Then there's the adorable supporting character Pippi (Ophelia Lovibond), who speaks solely in alliterations beginning with the letter P. Just when you expect the gimmick to grow old, it keeps making you smile -- like the movie itself.

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