Mr. Peabody & Sherman (U)
Directed by: Rob Minkoff
Starring: Ty Burrell, Max Charles and Stephen Colbert
Running time: 92 min
Using his most ingenious invention, the WABAC machine, Mr. Peabody and his adopted boy Sherman hurtle back in time to experience world-changing events first-hand and interact with some of the greatest characters of all time. But they find themselves in a race to repair history and save the future.
Before we get into it, it must be known that what we get with this movie is nothing that we haven’t seen before. But it is a fun, colourful and mildly educational romp with a few laughs and touching moments. Still with us? Good.
The movie starts of by introducing us to Mr Peabody (Modern Family’s Ty Burrell), an intelligent dog who’s scientific discoveries have changed the world, and his adopted son Sherman (Charles). The two live a very happy life where Mr Peabody strives to educate Sherman on life, the universe and everything by frequently taking him on trips through time in his machine the WABAC (pronounced ‘way back’). And everything is just blissful until Sherman meets Penny (played by another Modern Family star, Ariel Winter), the resident school know-it-all who is cute, smart and nasty as hell when Sherman contradicts her in school about a particular historical event.
It is from this point the story of the movie unfolds…and a situation arises that sees Mr Peabody fighting for the right to keep Sherman as his son and, as the day the social workers arrive draws ever closer, things inevitably go a little ka-ka (Quantum Leap pun FTW)… will Mr Peabody win the right to keep Sherman? Or will he lose him forever?
The movie races along at an enjoyable pace, with the lead characters all playing their parts admirably as they rocket through time meeting famous historical characters – a sort of technicolour dreamcoat Bill & Ted – while they all learn who they really are and how important love, friendship and education is. All very admirable and, given the target audience, the movie hits more than it misses. The adults in the audience will have fun too, but unlike many modern animated adventures, there’s not very much to engage on another level – the one oedipus gag which is delivered by the always fantastic Patrick Warburton as Agamemnon will make the mummy and daddy audience smile, but otherwise the laughs and tone are straight down the line for kids. Which is fine, of course.
Overall an enjoyable trip, the kids will love it and the adults will stay awake… it it possible some of it missed this particular critic because the original series got very little air time here in the UK, in fact my only real exposure to the characters was that one fleeting clip in The Simpsons (here) where Mr Peabody tells Sherman “Quiet you!” as they fall through time with Homer… by the way, he doesn’t utter those words here at all.
Colourful, fast paced, funny and fun, with great animation and several well thought out set pieces, it hits the right spots while never truly being exceptional… oh, and I kept wanting to shout “What’s the plan, Phil?” at the screen.
3 out of 5 Nerds
Using his most ingenious invention, the WABAC machine, Mr. Peabody and his adopted boy Sherman hurtle back in time to experience world-changing events first-hand and interact with some of the greatest characters of all time. They find themselves in a race to repair history and save the future.