I Go for Penguins

There’s something about penguins that just feels right. Like all things it starts with fashion, which, in their case, is fabulous. Their look is equal parts pious nunwear and twinkle in their eye, dapper man about town. They are full of innocence and mischief, have terrible table manners and bladders the size of, well, penguins. They’re like well-dressed children.

Except they are not children. They are wild beasts that look great in a bow tie. No matter how easy they make it look in the movies, caring for wild animals is a lot of hard work. Also like children.

And then there are the conspiracies.

Do you have your tinfoil hats on? Good. Here are some theories that I have about penguins:

Penguins like people that pop. What does that mean? It means that the two greatest penguin movie moments to date, with all apologies to Morgan Freeman, involve central characters with those letters, “popp” to be exact, in their name: Mr. Popper and Mary Poppins, respectively. (Sorry, Happy Feet, you’re too preachy, even for a liberal elitist like me. You’re like the Michael Moore of animated family films. Honorable mention to Madagascar.)

Coincidence? I think not.

Penguins like to dance. Let’s look even closer at the two films in question. In Disney’s classic Mary Poppins we are treated to one of my favorite scenes in any movie ever, when Bert, played by Dick Van Dyke, dances with animated penguins.

In Mr. Popper’s Penguins we are treated to a scene, albeit too brief, where the title character, played by Jim Carrey, does a similar soft-shoe with CGI penguins.

Thanks to 20th Century Fox I was able to sit down with Carrey, so I pressed him on the issue (because that’s what conspiracy theorists do).

Whit: I thought there was a little nod in Mr. Popper, where you were dancing with the penguins, that was very Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.

Jim Carrey:   Well, exactly. That’s not a mistake.  That comes from my love for him.  And I invited him to the premiere and he’s coming to the premiere.

Whit:  Cool.

Jim Carrey:  Pretty cool.

And then I got to dance with the penguins. Where dancing is kind of a strong word. Yet it was a moment for me because of the moments above, and I was a little nervous and a little hungover, and the one penguin kept falling on his ass, but it happened.

The boys, especially the youngest who loves penguins and Mary Poppins like other kids love penguins and South Park, are beside themselves. They don’t know the difference between a Dick Van Dyke, a Jim Carrey, or their dad. They only know what they like, and they like penguins.

The other suspicious thing I was going to discuss about penguins is the similarities between Mr. Popper’s Penguins and Mr. Holland’s Opus, because Opus, obviously, is a penguin. But I think that’s the only similarity, so I’ll stop there.



And I won’t even go into this:

Bottom line, I go for penguins. I bet you do, too.


Want to know more about Mr. Popper’s Penguins? Please see these posts that I have written elsewhere because that’s where I get paid:

How to Raise Penguins in the City at JoeShopping.com

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Giveaway at BabyCenter

Mr. Popper’s Penguins: A Review at BabyCenter

Meet the Cast of Mr. Popper’s Penguins at BabyCenter

Know Your Pole From a Hole in the Ground at UpTake (coming soon)

In Which Jim Carrey and I Talk Parenting at DadCentric (coming soon)

I was a guest of 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles for an overnight trip which featured a screening of Mr. Popper’s Penguins, a copy of the book and quality time with the cast. No penguins were hurt in the making of this post.

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