Mr. Peabody And Sherman(2014)
- RatedG /GenreAdventure, Animation, Family
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
To those who are old enough, ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ is a modern-day rehash of ‘Peabody’s Improbable History’, 2D shorts from the 1960s cartoon series, ‘The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show’.
This interpretation aims to capture new audiences who are unfamiliar with this time-travelling duo and their WABAC (pronounced “way back”) machine.
Mr Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell) is an extraordinary dog who favours intellectualism over frivolity. It knew from a very tender age that it was going to be different from the other puppies. Peabody matures into a genius and excels in every field known to man, from art and music to science and diplomacy, even going on to win a Nobel Prize and somehow achieving world peace.
Mr Peabody chances upon a baby boy abandoned in an alley, and adopts him. The boy grows up to be Sherman (Max Charles) and the two make an adorable pair, zipping through time and learning about history on Peabody’s secret time machine.
This unusual father-son relationship soon hits a setback when Sherman gets into trouble on his first day of school, biting Penny Peterson (Ariel Winter) in retaliation for her relentless bullying.
Hoping to make amends, Mr Peabody invites Penny and her parents over for dinner. And on this occasion, Sherman disobeys instructions from his father and takes Penny on an unauthorised trip back in time.
Needless to say that little excursion did not go smoothly, and much of the duo’s misadventures involves trying to get Penny back to the present day.
FANCY 3D WORK
Director Rob Minkoff (‘Lion King’, ‘Stuart Little’) partners scriptwriter Craig Wright (‘Six Feet Under’, ‘Lost’) and transforms this tale into an excitingly dizzy, pun-heavy, time-travelling animation for all ages.
Dreamworks have truly outdone themselves visually, using 3D animation to the fullest extent as the time machine traverses though wormholes, or when Sherman and Penny dart through Renaissance-era Florence on Da Vinci’s flying machine prototype.
Yet despite the fancy 3D graphics, Mr Peabody’s pedantic, lecturer-like demeanour and Sherman’s wide-eyed curiosity and recklessness have been retained from the original.
The father-son interaction between the unlikely duo, although doing very little for the story, keeps it moving along and forms a basis for most of the (rather bad) gags.
History is distorted for the purpose of comedy, and the plot is kept childishly simple: a bully becomes sympathetic, a boy falls in love for the first time, and a stiff genius learns to express love to his adoptive son.
‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ is the kind of movie you take your five-year-old to see, being wholesome fun for the family.
Of course, there is a happy ending, but a history lesson for children it is definitely not, so be prepared to spend the journey home trying to explain to your child the historical events depicted in the movie are not quite what really happened.
‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ is now showing in cinemas