Personnel: Stephen Coleman, Alice Wood (programming).
Audio Mixer: Greg Townley.
Recording information: The Eastwood Stage, Warner Bros., Burbank, CA; The Newman Stage, Twentieth Century Fox Studios.
Director Mark Waters' big screen rendering of Richard Atwater & Florence Atwater's beloved children's novel Mr. Popper's Penguins puts elastic funnyman Jim Carrey in the title role and Rolfe Kent (Sideways, Charlie St. Cloud) in the composer's chair. Kent, who possesses a Gershwin-ian lightness that can elevate even the silliest or sappiest film into a tolerable affair, casts a fine spell here, establishing some memorable themes, especially the "Popper's Life" cue, which manages to sound both grounded and magical. Elsewhere, "To the Tavern and Van Gundy" offers up a summery, jazzy vibe, while the appropriately somber "Life Without Penguins" remains just aloof enough to foreshadow the aquatic, flightless birds' inevitable return, ~ James Christopher Monger