Tuesday, March 11, 2014

[Review] Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Based on a segment of the 1960s animated Rocky and Bullwinkle series, Mr. Peabody & Sherman is polished up with crisp, rounded 3D animation for contemporary times.

Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burell) is a genius dog with world renowned accomplishments, and he has an adopted son, Sherman (Max Charles), who has gained lots knowledge from the teachings of Peabody. Their backstory is told early on in a cute and sentimental montage.

After a few adventures via Mr. Peabody's highly advanced invention, the WABAC machine (a time machine), it's time for Sherman's first day of school. During lunch, Sherman gets picked on by a classmate named Penny (Ariel Winter), and the two get into a fight. Mr. Peabody gets called into the school to have a chat with the principle and is questioned about whether he's a proper guardian for Sherman.

Mr. Peabody invites Penny's family over in hopes to resolve the conflict. Peabody keeps the parents entertained, while Sherman and Penny attempt to make up. It doesn't go so well until Sherman decides to show Penny the WABAC machine (even though Mr. Peabody told him to keep it a secret). Penny ends up warping to Ancient Egypt, and Sherman and Peabody journey back through time to find her. This results in a wild chain of events and several detours to Renaissance-era Florence and the city of Troy, all in order to complete the mission of getting back home.

All of this looks odd on paper, but in the world of cartoons, it makes so much sense. Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a fun ride that also operates as an educational lesson that explores different time periods and introduces several prominant historical figures, while spouting out facts and tidbits left and right. The film is only mildly humorous, but it has a considerable amount of heart, mostly stemming from the *ahem* (Dog)father and son relationship.

The film won't blow your mind, and it pales in comparison to the greatness of last month's Lego Movie, but you won't regret taking the trip.


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