Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mr. Popper's Penguins

We always read "the book" before we go see "the movie."  In this case, we had read and reread the book every time there was a 1st grader in our homeschool, so we were looking forward to Mr. Popper's Penguins.  But the modern movie adaptation made it hard to recognize the 1938 book (written at the end of the Great Depression).  It wont he Newbery Honor Medal and was illustrated by Robert Lawson!  The tale is about turning lemons into lemonade, following your childhood dreams, and not being afraid to like geography in the midst of a prejudiced, small town.  The movie, however, is about a divorced father trying to look cool on custody weekends.  The penguins eventually melt his icy Park Avenue heart and help him win back his kids' hearts, his wife, and the quaint restaurant of his childhood.  The humor is Jim Carrey style (goofy gags) but the negative content is surprisingly closer to a G rating than many PG movies these days.  It's not the beloved story of our homeschool treasury, but it was worth a couple of laughs at the $2 theater.