‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’ Blu-ray Review
20th Century Fox has released its latest family fun movie, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, on DVD and Blu-ray. Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a movie loosely based on a 1938 book. The movie stars Jim Carrey as Thomas Popper, a divorced father who is a successful entrepreneur/realtor with a stilted and awkward relationship with his kids and ex-wife (Carla Gugino), and definite daddy issues. When a box from the Antarctic arrives contained a live penguin, “Popper” thinks it is simply an error. A telephone miscommunication to rectify the issue simply results in more penguins. Insert slapstick humor, crazy physical antics, and Mr. Popper’s Penguins becomes dangerously close to being every other Jim Carrey movie. Thankfully, it did not end that way.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins was not the horrible movie I thought it would be. Although I am not the hugest fan of the comical stylings of Jim Carrey, I have enjoyed a lot of his movies, especially those not entirely focused on his facial expressions. In the end, I enjoyed this one as well. It was not an easy win over for me. I quickly drew tired of how many times “Popper” was thrown around. I get that it is the title of the movie and it is the lead character’s last name. It also provides for some fun alliteration. However, it is strange when your kids call you Popper and it is their last name too. Once the film moved past the original premise and started to explore the penguins effect on Popper and his family, I started to change my mind and enjoy the ride. Did I mention that Angela Lansbury is in it? Although I always think of Murder, She Wrote whenever I see her, it is still good to see her. The true winners in the movie are the penguins. They were my favorite and stole every scene they were in.
The Mr. Popper’s Penguins Blu-ray also includes a DVD and digital copy of the movie. The Blu-ray is in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Descriptive Audio 5.1 Dolby Digital, AVC @ 31 MBPS, 50GB Dual Layer and Widescreen 1.85:1. Also included with the Blu-ray are quite a number of extras including:
Deleted Scenes – with optional commentary. There were 12 deleted scenes ranging from a minute long to a couple of minutes long. The two that I wish they had kept in the movie were “Popper, Kent and the Board” and “Popper Meets Kent.” They provided much need information fillers.
Gag Reel – mostly involved Jim Carrey thinking he was funny. Just under 2 minutes long.
The Legacy of Mr. Popper’s Penguins – discussion about the book the movie was based on and the changes that were made. Just under 4 minutes long.
Ready for Their Closeup – a behind-the-scenes look at the penguins themselves and how they were handled, housed and directed during filming. This one is just over 8 minutes long and one of the best extra features. I am a sucker for the penguins.
Stuffy Penguin Theater – showed when the CGI penguins were used and how they determined where they would go during filming. Just over 5 minutes long.
Penguin Pandemonium – talks about how they did sequence shots with commentary from the director, Mark Waters, the editor, Bruce Green, and the visual effects supervisor, Richard Hollander. Just a couple minutes long.
Audio Commentary – with the director, editor and visual effects supervisor.
Nimrod and Stinky’s Antarctic Adventure – a cartoon short with the penguins and the zookeeper trying to capture them. Something that the children will actually enjoy. Just under 6 minutes long.
Ladies and Gentoomen – talks about the specific types of penguins.
I will candidly admit that I was expecting to instruct you to avoid this movie at all costs. However, Mr. Popper and his penguins won me over. Even with the rocky start, the movie sat well with me and I actually plan to revisit it from the beginning with new eyes. So go out and rent this one, or even buy it. I think you will enjoy it.