Mr. Popper’s Penguins embraces the old adage of love conquering all. It conquers animal neglect, lying, conniving, cheating, greed, deadbeat dadding and shrewdness. It can even teach penguins to poop in toilets instead of on people’s faces. But no amount of love can make Mr. Popper’s actually pop beyond its surface-value cash-in on cute and cuddly flightless birds and Jim Carrey’s cartoonish qualities. Which is just fine, actually. Based on the classic 1938 kiddie favorite by Richard and Florence Atwater, Popper’s ditches the story of a poor painter who comes into possession of precarious and precocious penguins (the alliteration of “p” words runs rampant throughout) for the story of a rich divorcé who inherits penguins, which in turn teach him to be a better dad and husband while pooping and pecking all over his winterized New York penthouse. Carrey dives into his usual hamming and rubber-facing with manic glee, elevating the dumb-as-rocks story with his cartoonish charm. The film’s sweetness prevails, but its sentimentality goes cold toward the end. (How many life lessons can penguins teach? All of them.) As far as mindless kids’ popcorn fare goes, it’s better than mediocre, but only by a fin.