Though gooey with guano, director Mark Waters’ loose adaptation of Richard and Florence Atwater’s Newbery Honor book from 1938 is otherwise unproblematic. And its hopeful theme of marital reconciliation between Tom and Amanda – a potential reunion egged on, of course, by their youngsters – will gratify viewers committed to scriptural values.
A stray, thoroughly out-of-place mention of Viagra, which may represent a misguided attempt to keep parents amused, is of course less welcome. But, that fleeting element in Sean Anders, John Morris and Jared Stern’s script aside, “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” registers as a mostly pleasant distraction for undemanding tots.
The film contains several scatological sight gags, a single adult reference and at least one mild oath. The Catholic News Service classification is A-I – general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG – parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.