Movie Name: Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
Release Date(s): February 7, 2014 (UK)/March 7, 2014 (US)
MPAA Rating: PG
Mr. Peabody is a genius, created a time machine, and adopted a boy…and he’s a dog. When Sherman starts school and gets in trouble with Penny Peterson, Peabody runs the risk of losing Sherman forever to child protective services. Trying to rectify the problem by inviting Penny and her family to dinner leads to danger when Sherman and Penny use the WABAC Machine without Mr. Peabody’s permission…and end up in an adventure in time and space!
Directed by Rob Minkoff, Mr. Peabody & Sherman is an animated feature length film. The movie is based off of the cartoon short which premiered in 1959 as part of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. The film was received with positive reviews but fared poorly at the box office.
I loved The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show and Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman were a great part of the series. Having been burned multiple times by cartoons being put to the big screen, I didn’t really have much hope for Mr. Peabody & Sherman, but now having seen it, I think it is pretty fun (and as a kid I would have loved it).
The story is just a fun kid’s adventure that doesn’t go overboard with the jokes for adults. As a kid, I enjoyed movies with kid themes and lots of excitement mixed with the jokes. You never think that Peabody and Sherman are going to get in too much trouble but there still is the hint that everything could go south but it also does not have that more-for-adult feel that Pixar films have. Putting a time aspect into the story is also dangerous, but the movie does a decent job dumbing it down without completely ignoring any time travel theory.
The voice actors are pretty strong. Ty Burrell and Max Charles are good as Peabody and Sherman and manage to not be annoying (which is the danger of kids’ movie voiceover work). Ty Burrell’s TV daughter Ariel Winter provides the voice of Penny Peterson while Stephen Colbert and Leslie Mann are the voices of her parents. Allison Janney gets the play the evil Grunion and Stanley Tucci, Patrick Warburton, Mel Brooks, Lake Bell, and Dennis Haysbert also provide voice work.
Computer animation has virtually become the norm and Pixar still leads in this category. While the movie does have some nice nods to the original animated series, the animation is pretty average and nothing very special.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman remembers that it is primarily a kids’ movie which is inner-laced with a nostalgia movie and a movie that adults can enjoy. I was surprised to find that much of the film revolves around the weirdness of the cartoon (a dog owning a boy) and not the time travel. The movie is not serious, fun, and relatively fast paced for the entire film. There are definitely worst kids movies out there. As part of a promotional tie, an updated version of The Peabody & Sherman Show was released on Netflix…and this movie has me wanting to check it out.