Disregarding WC Fields’s famous precept, ‘Never work with children or animals’, a game Jim Carrey holds his own alongside a bunch of cute penguins in Mr Popper’s Penguins, a jolly family comedy about a divorced dad whose life turns upside down after he unexpectedly inherits six birds from his late explorer father.
The antics of the CGI-enhanced penguins provide a sprinkling of slapstick laughs and Carrey matches them with his own genial clowning. The story is very slight – slick Manhattan real estate broker Tom Popper learns to cope with his feathered charges, tries to pull off a property deal involving restaurant owner Angela Lansbury, and attempts to reconnect with his wife (Carla Cugino) and children – but Carrey and his human and avian co-stars make it consistently engaging.
Look out for perky Brit Ophelia Lovibond, who provides a perfectly pleasing performance as Popper’s alliteration-prone assistant, Pippi, who peppers her pronouncements with a profusion of ‘p’s.
Released on DVD & Blu-ray on Monday 12th December by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner.