Box art for Mr. Popper's Penguins

Mr. Popper's Penguins

children & family, comedy, drama

Chill out with the funniest family comedy of the year! Jim Carrey stars as Tom Popper, a successful businessman who's clueless when it comes to the really important things in life...until he inherits six adorable penguins.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 6
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
Educational value
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
1 out of 5
Violence & scariness
1 out of 5

Carrey's penguin antics are predictable but still funny.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this live-action comedy was inspired by the classic Newbery Award-winning children's book Mr. Popper's Penguins. Like the book, the movie is fine for early elementary-schoolers, who will giggle at Jim Carrey's slapstick antics and all the messes the penguins make. Language is tame -- with the occasional "butt," "poo," "pee," and "stupid" thrown into the dialogue -- and there's some flirting/kissing, as well as one joke with a Viagra reference. Kids may pick up a thing or two about how to care for penguins, but this movie is ultimately about learning to put family first ... and laughing at sight gags.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the popularity of animal movies. Why are we so entertained by human-acting animals who are lovable but wreak comedic havoc?
  • How is the movie different than the book? Is it important for movies to be faithful to their source stories, or is OK for them be "loosely adapted" or "inspired by," like this movie? What are your favorite books-turned-movies?
  • How does taking care of the penguins change Mr. Popper? Kids: How have your pets changed you?
  • Parents, talk to your kids about the way Mr. Popper reacts to his father's death. Do they understand why Mr. Popper was mad at his dad? How does the movie demonstrate that there are better ways for families to behave?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: A mildly amusing specimen of a genre that has produced some of the most unspeakable atrocities of recent cinema.

- A.O. Scott, New York Times, Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fresh: "Mr. Popper's Penguins," a mildly amusing flight of fancy for the family crowd, is far better for its penguins than its Popper.

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fresh: The director, Mark Waters, moves things briskly along and lets the charming absurdity of penguin behavior rise to its inherently good-natured heights.

- Bruce Diones, New Yorker, Monday, June 27, 2011

Audience Reviews

1 star

Just because is with Jim Carrey, doesn't mean that it's funny.

- fb100002359227440, Monday, July 23, 2012

4 stars

Absolutely adorable. Funny. Charming. Jim Carrey at his best!!

- itsjustme2004, Monday, January 23, 2012

3 stars

Cast: Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Madeline Carroll, Angela Lansbury, Ophelia Lovibond, Jeffrey Tambor, Philip Baker Hall, James Tupper, Clark Gregg, Dominic Chianese, Kelli Barrett Director: Mark Waters Summary: In this live-action adaptation of Richard and Florence Atwater's classic children's book, Jim Carrey takes on the titular role of Mr. Popper, a businessman who inherits a small flock of penguins and must transform his Manhattan apartment into an arctic habitat. My Thoughts: "I enjoyed the movie. I thought it was charming and funny. Jim Carrey is a favorite and it's hard not to find him entertaining in any film he does. Although I do think the penguins may have outshined his performance. They were adorable. It's a great film for the family and kids."

- LWOODS04, Friday, January 6, 2012