Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Peabody & Sherman / Fairytale Rapunzel
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Director: Rob Minkoff
Writers: Jay Ward, Craig Wright, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Michael McCullers
Voice Cast: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Lauri Fraser, Guillaume Aretos, Patrice A. Musick, Ariel Winter, Karan Brar, Joshua Rush, Stephen Tobolowsky, Allison Janney, Dennis Haysbert, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, Zach Callison, Steve Valentine
Synopsis: The time-travelling adventures of an advanced canine and his adopted son, as they endeavor to fix a time rift they created.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild action and brief rude humor
7.7 / 10
- Animation was good. Nothing groundbreaking, but still very nice
- Voice acting wasn't half bad
- Jokes were funny
- Deeper emphasis on the father and son relationship between Mr. Peabody and Sherman adds a lot of well needed depth to the characters.
- Interesting historical figure cameos that are integrated nicely into the story.
- Predictable story line that relies on various cliches, and stereotypes
- Pop cultural references in the jokes make the film dated; unlike the cartoon shorts that had a timeless feel to them.
An animated film of historical proportions...Pun intended...
Well, it was only a matter of time before we finally got a "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" animated movie; especially in this day and age of modern cinema, where rebooting old franchises are starting to become more of the common trend in Hollywood.
The film is essentially based on the old cartoon shorts that were originally featured in the classic, "Rocky and Bullwinkle Show." The cartoons weren't that long, as many of them ranged to be around ten minutes or less, but they were surprisingly enjoyable for what they were. Mr. Peabody was essentially a dog that was born as a natural genius. Not only is he an accomplished inventor and scholar, but he even manages to adopt a boy named Sherman into his custody. Although Mr. Peabody is the only father figure that Sherman has ever had, Peabody insists that he never addresses him as father. Instead, he prefers to be called Mr. Peabody, or on less formal occasions to be known as simply Peabody.
Together, the two share a father and son type of bond that's merely implied on the original TV shorts, but it's a bit more emphasized in this film. And like the original shorts, Mr. Peabody builds a time machine (simply known at the "way back machine) as sort of a gift for Sherman, to help him learn about history; while also giving him a present that would allow him to stretch his legs.
Sure, one could question Peabody's logic of wanting to build a time machine in the first place for Sherman, while also questioning his logic of conversing with well known historical figures; considering that even the tiniest interaction with them could influence future events. However, it's just a cartoon based on an old cartoon short, so you'd have to be willing to let a few things slide to enjoy the movie. Hell, if the original cartoon shorts never bothered to address this questionable plot point, then you can't really blame the animated movie for being faithful to that aspect. It would be like calling out how stupid it is that nobody in Metropolis recognizes that Clark Kent is obviously Superman; whenever you're critiquing one of the Superman movies. Sometimes, you have to let something like that slide for the sake of plot convenience.
As I mentioned earlier, the film emphasizes Mr. Peabody and Sherman's relationship a bit more. Unlike the original cartoons where the father and son aspect was merely implied, this one takes it a bit further by showing just how much these two genuinely care about each other. At some points, Mr. Peabody acts like a father figure would around his child, as he scolds Sherman whenever he does something bad. But at the same time, he's not afraid to tell him how proud he is whenever he does something right. In fact, Mr. Peabody acts like you'd expect a father would around his son, and Sherman genuinely loves Peabody like his father; while still acting no different than any other boy out there. It's rather touching in how the film sets it up, as it's pulled off quite nicely here.
However, that's not to say things are perfect for them though, as Sherman is given a very hard time because his adopted father happens to be a dog; particularly by a young girl named Penny, who serves as Sherman's bully/love interest in this film. Add in the fact that you have a nasty child services worker named Ms. Grunion, who'd give anything to see Peabody screw up as a parent because she doesn't believe dogs can raise children, and you pretty much have a general idea about the conflict that goes on in this film.
However, things start to get even more complicated when Sherman and Peabody accidentally cause a tear in the space time continuum, so it's up to our heroes to set things right. Along their adventures, they encounter many historical figures that audiences will recognize, while giving us a few good laughs along the way.
Although the film is a bit predictable to say the least, as the movie tends to rely on various cliches and stereotypes half the time. Overall though, movie is fairly decent for what it tries to be.
The humor is in ilk of other Dreamwork related family comedies, in that it makes a lot of references to modern pop culture. Whereas the original cartoon shorts, they had more of a dry contemporary sort of humor that had a timeless feel to it.
But, I'm sure younger audiences will probably be more drawn to the humor in the film rather than the original shorts, as the delivery in the new movie is a lot more direct. As far as the animation goes, it's fairly decent. Although, it's hardly anything groundbreaking that audiences haven't seen before, but it's serviceable, and gives you exactly what you'd expect.
The 3-D cinematography wasn't half bad, and you'll definitely get your money's worth if you see it in 3-D.
In the end, I wouldn't call "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" a great animated feature, nor would I call it a bad one either. No, it's just a fairly average one that's serviceable for all families to enjoy. Parents will obviously love it for the nostalgia factor of growing up with the old cartoon shorts, while the new fast paced humor, and various references to pop culture, will easily appeal to many of today's younger audiences.
Warning: This video contains Adult Language, racial slurs, and adult situations that may not be suitable for kids. Parental discretion is advised
© 2014 Steven Escareno
More by this Author
When an all girl band shows up to Canterlot High, Sunset Shimmer fears they might have some devious intentions once their music starts to tear the school apart.
The students of Canterlot High go to summer camp, for some R&R, only to discover a mysterious magical force at Camp Everfree.
- 0Critic's Corner: My current thoughts on arguably the world's most controversial adult film star, Mia Khalifa
In this month's topic, we will be discussing arguably the world's most controversial adult film star, Mia Khalifa.