This is one of those rare films where the title itself is funny because of the natural "popping" of the "P's" when you say "Mister Popper's Penguins." We know from the title and that Jim Carrey, who plays the lead of Mr. Tom Popper, that this film will be a hilarious romp going in weird amusing directions.
Tom's father travels the world, leaving his son on his own to make his own way, but stays in contact with his son by sending him reports of his exotic adventures. Unfortunately, on the last adventure in Antarctica, Tom's father is killed, but not before he is able to send something to his son about the trip. He sends him a penguin. The penguin arrives at Tom's fancy apartment in New York. Tom tries to send it back but because of a miscommunication with the ship's captain that sent him the first penguin, instead of getting rid of the one penguin, Tom gets more penguins sent to him. He ends up with six. He wants to give them away to the animal rescue because he has no way to take care of penguins in a fancy New York apartment but his son sees them and his son thinks they are a fantastic birthday gift from his father.
Because Tom suffered so much from his father being away on adventures all of his life, the last thing he wants to do is disappoint his own son. Because of this, he goes along with the penguins being a birthday gift for his son. His son thinks this is really incredible. As part of the taking care of the penguins they convert the fancy New York apartment into a place that penguins will thrive. This is complicated by the fact that his apartment building does not allow pets of any kind and he has a nosy neighbor out to get him in trouble. Tom turns his apartment into a cold environment that even has snow when the penguins lay eggs so that they can be in a space that resembles their natural environment.
Tom is a real estate executive that is assigned the task to convince an eccentric old woman to sell a restaurant in Central Park so that they can tear it down and put up condos. She will only cooperate with Tom if he convinces her of his personal integrity. She remembers him as a little boy coming to her restaurant with his adventurer father. Through his love of the penguins and his children, Tom convinces her to sell, but instead of tearing down the restaurant to build condos, he decides to re-model it much to the chagrin of the real estate developers.
Finally it is discovered that he is keeping penguins which is against the law. The police are ready to arrest him for animal abuse, but he tells them to test him to see if the penguins have been abused or not. Even though the penguins are offered their favorite food of fish, they come to Tom instead to prove to everyone how much they are Mr. Popper's Penguins.
Best part of story, including ending:
The comedy is very good especially how Tom tries to hide the fact that he is keeping penguins inside a very fancy apartment in a building that does not allow pets of any kind.
Best scene in story:
One of the best scenes is when Tom and his children are playing with the penguins inside the apartment that has been turned into a kind of winter wonderland. It is a child's dream come true.
Opinion about the main character:
What is nice to see is how much Tom goes out of his way to prove to his son that he is there for him, because Tom felt so neglected by his father and he does not want to repeat this mistake with his own son.