a critiQal film review Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)

Plot: Mr. Peabody, the most accomplished dog in the world, and his mischievous boy Sherman, use their time machine - The Wabac - to go on the most outrageous adventures known to man or dog. But when Sherman takes The Wabac out for a joyride to impress his friend Penny, they accidentally rip a hole in the universe, wreaking havoc on the most important events in world history. Before they forever alter the past, present and future, Mr. Peabody must come to their rescue, ultimately facing the most daunting challenge of any era: figuring out how to be a parent. Together, the time traveling trio will make their mark on history.

378 words (Est. Reading Time 1m 53s)
  • ...a rare mix of education and some nostalgic throwback, this "family" film will actually entertain both kids and adults.

Recently, we came across Mr. Peabody & Sherman, a film we hadn’t gotten around to seeing.  Figuring now was as good a time as any, we decided to give it a shot.  Would this feature-length adaptation of barely-remembered short cartoon segments from “Rocky and His Friends” (TV) be worth our time, or should this never have gotten the full-length movie treatment?

The voice actors do a solid job in Mr. Peabody & Sherman.  Ty Burrell, who’s garnered fame lately thanks to his role in “Modern Family” (TV), is nigh unrecognizable as Mr. Peabody.  Him and Max Charles (as Sherman) are able to let viewers escape into the story without picturing the faces that go with the voices.  Even most of the other voices are unrecognizable, with the exception of Patrick Warburton, who has proven many times before that his face doesn’t interfere the viewer’s enjoyment of the characters he voices (and Agamemnon proves that again here).

The story line of Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a bit convoluted, true, but any story about “a dog and his boy” who time travel is bound to be.  Thankfully, there’s a bit of a nostalgic nod to the original segments that should entertain adult viewers even while the new sleek animation and some of the silly puns will entice young viewers.  It’s rare that a so-called “family” film is able to actually entertain the kids and the adults (usually leaning one way or the other too much), this and The Lego Movie (2014) made for 2 films in the same year that managed to actually be “family” entertainment.

The animation of Mr. Peabody & Sherman is decent, if not spectacular.  Viewers these days have become spoiled by Pixar’s impressive CGI, and this film can’t compete like that.  Still, while this one is maybe a bit on the too-cuddly side in looks, it manages to deliver a more cartoony throwback feel that isn’t half bad.

With a solid voice cast, decent (if not spectacular) animation, and a story line that manages to deliver both nuggets of education and a not-too-gooey story about a strange father-son relationship, Mr. Peabody & Sherman never wavers from its intent – to provide a family film that both young and old will actually enjoy.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.

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