Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Release date: March 7, 2014
Running time: 92 minutes
Starring: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Colbert, Ariel Winter, Allison Janney
Who to see it with: Someone with nostalgia for the cartoon and doesn't care about the most accurate history.


In Mr. Peabody & Sherman, the cartoon made popular by the Rocky and Bullwinkle show gets a feature-length film. Peabody, a supremely brilliant and talented dog adopts Sherman and teaches him about history by going back in time. Peabody, as the overconfident, overprotective parent, feels the need to take care of Sherman completely, which translates well with what occurs in the cartoon. In the cartoon, Peabody lectures Sherman and holds his hand throughout their adventures; however, in the movie, he must learn to let Sherman be more independent if he's going to grow up.

The animation is beautiful and Dreamworks has done a great job translating the original, hand-drawn cartoon (and much of the original story) into a computer generated movie. They've also made the time machine itself, and those sequences utilizing it, much more impressive than what occurred in the cartoon. Much of the film takes place in the past. Although history buffs might not enjoy that aspect of the film, I thought that it provided fun glimpses of history. Additionally, these short takes on historical events might encourage some of the kids (and adults) watching it to do their own research and learn about the past. These sections are not the most accurate depictions, and plenty of them are highly stereotypical, but for a cartoon I thought it did a pretty good job of entertaining while introducing these historical time periods. The place where the movie shined were the jokes. There was plenty of humor for both young and old to enjoy, and plenty of jokes that kids aren't going to get but will have adults laughing out loud. The best animated movies can be enjoyed by all moviegoers and this is no exception. Additionally, although the film touches on some good lessons for kids to learn, such as bullying and family. I wasn't expecting great things out of this film, and if I could I would go back to tell myself to give the movie more credit. Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a perfect example of Hollywood translating a beloved old property into a modern, and enjoyable movie.


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