Just Once…

I’d like them to make a movie that’s actually appropriate for my kids to watch.

I Wanted to take the kids to see Winnie the Pooh, but we missed it at the $ theater. :( So what IS playing? Zookeeper and Mr. Popper’s Penguins, which I happen to be reading to the kids every night (we are on chapter 8). So I look them up. WHY must they make such nasty movies for KIDS?? I know they’re rated PG but COME ON!!

Zookeeper, just a few of the really bad things, there’s much more:

Bears, for instance, tell Griffin how important it is to walk around with one’s crotch (referred to several times as a “pudding cup”) thrust forward. “Show ‘em the goods!” they say. A wolf advocates turning every date into a “home game” by marking territory with urine.

A bear brags about how his own paramour has an extra claw “and she knows how to use it.” Someone makes a crass reference to breasts.

Griffin and a co-worker have so much destructive fun at a wedding reception that they jokingly mull making a career out of it; Griffin further suggests they knock off a convenience store. (They don’t.)

Characters say “h‑‑‑” four times and misuse God’s name nearly a dozen. We also hear a few curse word stand-ins such as “frick,” freak” and “jeez.”

One bear suggests to another that he’s been defecating in the drinking water. “You said that was vitamin drops!” the other bear exclaims. There’s a reference to a “hot stinking pile,” accompanied by a great deal of talk about urination, defecation and boogers. A wolf is caught licking his private parts. “I certainly wasn’t cleaning my basement,” he says.

This summertime slip-up of a flick, which carries the brand of Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions (Sandler himself voices the astoundingly annoying Donald the Monkey), is a kids’ movie only in the sense that it’s childish and juvenile. And it’s only a comedy in the sense that it’s kinda funny that anyone thought this was a good idea for a movie.


Now we haven’t finished Mr. Popper’s Penguins, but being 1/3 of the way through it I just can’t see that it’s going to end up being ANYthing like this movie. In the book the main characters are married and have two kids. It sounds like, in the movie, the parents are estranged. Hmm, maybe just read the synopsis of the movie and then of the book and we can all wonder together WHY IN THE HELL they had to take a wholesome story and EFF it all up so I have to tell my kids they can’t watch it after reading the book.

Tom refers to an older man’s energy as “viagratality,” a winking reference to sex and the little blue pill. He also uses the word “sexy” and quotes Beyoncé’s song “Single Ladies.” When talking of single women, Tom tells Janie that Martha Stewart is a powerful woman who sleeps with her dogs (which is just vague enough to earn a tentative double entendre warning). In a cold room, Tom indirectly refers to his erect nipples. Gonorrhea comes up in conversation when Tom and Amanda pretend to be infectious disease experts.

Janie asks what to do when unrequited love hits hard and a boy kisses someone else. As they mend fences, Tom and Amanda—who already has a new boyfriend—flirt. Lovey is just that, and it’s said that he fathers several chicks.

The s-word, almost used in reference to the penguins’ poop, isn’t fully said. “Freakin'” stands in for the more obscene word once or twice, and there are a couple of incomplete exclamations of “what the …?” We clearly hear one each of “h‑‑‑” and “d‑‑n” in song lyrics played during the closing credits. God’s name is misused around 10 times. Tom calls his ex-wife a “buzz kill” in front of their children.

Tom’s neighbor rightfully complains about the mess and noise of penguins, but to no avail because Tom tends to think laws or even the need for common courtesies don’t apply to him. Some of his business deals are shady. And his attitudes can be seen coming from his kids, too. Janie, in particular, can be pretty disrespectful to her dad.

Long-time fans of Richard and Florence Atwater’s Mr. Popper’s Penguins, the 1939 Newberry Honor book, might think the many liberties this contemporary film adaptation takes with a much-treasured story are about as appealing as eating raw sardines. And, it’s true, the movie version certainly won’t go down in box office history as an award-winning must-see.

I’m just so irritated and tired of it. Why can’t they just make a GOOD movie for my kids that’s not Pooh?