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Mr. Popper's Penguins (movie) facts for kids

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Mr. Popper's Penguins
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mark Waters
Produced by John Davis
Screenplay by Sean Anders
John Morris
Jared Stern
Starring Jim Carrey
Carla Gugino
Madeline Carroll
Clark Gregg
Angela Lansbury
Music by Rolfe Kent
Cinematography Florian Ballhaus
Editing by Bruce Green
Studio Davis Entertainment Company
Dune Entertainment
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox
Release date(s) June 17, 2011 (2011-06-17)
Running time 94 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $55 million
Money made $187,361,754

Mr. Popper's Penguins is a 2011 American comedy film distributed by 20th Century Fox, directed by Mark Waters, produced by John Davis, co-produced by Davis Entertainment Company and Dune Entertainment, written by Sean Anders, John Morris and Jared Stern with music by Rolfe Kent and starring Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Madeline Carroll, Maxwell Perry Cotton, Angela Lansbury, Desmin Borges, Philip Baker Hall, Dominic Chianese, Clark Gregg, Ophelia Lovibond, Jeffrey Tambor, David Krumholtz, Henry Keleman, Dylan Clark Marshall with Frank Welker and James Tupper. It was loosely based on the children's book of the same name. The film was originally slated for a release on August 12, 2011, but was moved up to June 17, 2011. The film received mixed reviews from critics and it earned $187.3 million on a $55 million budget.


In an opening flashback, Thomas Popper, Jr., is a kid whose father traveled around the world during his childhood in the 1970s. Popper rarely gets to see his dad during his travels and communicates to him through shortwave radio.

In the present time, Thomas Popper, Jr., is now a divorced real estate entrepreneur and a father of two children. After coming home from work one day, Popper learns that his father has died during an adventure to Antarctica and, as per his will, has left him with a "souvenir" from his adventures in Antarctica. The following week, a crate containing a gentoo penguin, named Captain, shows up at his door. Popper gets immediately annoyed with the penguin and locks her in a bathroom before going to work. After Captain accidentally floods his house with bath water, Popper calls his father's organization asking to return the penguin, but, due to a miscommunication, ends up receiving a shipment of 5 more penguins.

Popper intends to give them away to the zoo, but changes his idea when his children, Janie and Billy, think that the animals are Billy's birthday present. An incensed Popper is forced to spend evenings taking care of the penguins and bribing the apartment clerk to not rat him out to the board, as pets are not allowed in the apartment. At one point, he receives an offer to take the penguins off his hands from Nat Jones, the antagonistic zookeeper at the New York Zoo, who warns him that the penguins won't survive at his house.

At work, Popper is given the task of buying Tavern on the Green, the only privately owned real estate in Central Park that is an old restaurant where he used to eat with his father when he was a child. However, its elderly owner, Selma Van Gundy, will only sell it to a person of true value. Popper has unsuccessful meetings with her, and she refuses to sell the restaurant to him.

As time goes on, having the penguins around helps Popper become closer to his children. He also begins dating their mother, Amanda Popper again. The penguins lay three eggs. Two eggs hatch, and one doesn’t. Popper becomes obsessed with seeing the last egg hatch, causing him to lose his job. Eventually Popper realizes that the egg can’t be hatched, and, by persuasion from Nat Jones, decides to donate the penguins to the New York Zoo. Then, he is re-employed but his children and former wife are disappointed by his decision.

Popper finds a letter from his father- included in the original crate with Captain but lost when Popper broke the crate by accident- telling him to hold his children close and love them and apologizing for not being a better father that Popper needed. Having second thoughts, Popper asks his children and former wife to help him get the penguins back from the zoo. They find the penguins, free them and they get away and flee to the tavern. Upon seeing how Popper had reunited his family and saved the penguins, Van Gundy sells him the restaurant. Popper decides to renovate and reopen the restaurant. Popper and his family travel to Antarctica with the penguins, allowing them to live with their own kind. Popper's first penguin, Captain, reveals to have laid another egg. Popper tells his children that they'll visit them when the baby is born.


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