Mr. Peabody & Sherman – DVD Review 4/5 stars
There are times I think I may be watching a few too many time travel pieces. In recent weeks I’ve seen I’ll Follow You Down, Edge of Tomorrow (review to come shortly) and of course Doctor Who every week. I suppose you could call me a fan. Psychiatrists would probably think other things. The other thing I love of course is humour. I love all sorts of humour, good humour (and that includes the ice cream bars), bad humour, dark humour, puns, gags, slapstick, witty banter, you name it, I laugh at it. As a kid I loved the Rocky and Bullwinkle show and part of those cartoons, of course, were the Peabody’s Improbable History segments. This genius talking dog (voiced by Ted Key) had invented a time machine (called the WABAC or Wavelength Acceleration Bidirectional Asynchronous Controller) and took his adopted boy Sherman (voiced by Walter Tetley) through history with him, believing that a boy should have room to run. The show originally ran from 1959 to 1960, flash forward 54 years, and the brilliant dog and his boy are starring in their own feature film.
I laughed a lot through this one as everything I loved in the original series was brought forward. Full of puns, and featuring a variety of celebrity voices (Ty Burrell as Peabody; Max Charles as Sherman; Ariel Winter as his nemesis Penny with Stephen Colbert and Leslie Mann as her parents; Allison Janney as the social worker who objects to a dog adopting a boy,and Patrick Warburton as Agamemnon), Mr. Peabody & Sherman delivers the same delightfully whimsical look at history that I remembered.
After Sherman is bullied by a girl at school, Mr. Peabody is informed that social services might take his boy away from him. Setting up a dinner with the girl and her parents, Peabody hopes that the two families can work it out with just two warnings to Sherman: be nice to Penny and don’t teller her about the WABAC machine. Of course you know what happens next as Penny is left in ancient Egypt engaged to King Tut… Mr. Peabody and Sherman race back through time to save Penny, and visit various other historical periods on their way back to the present where Sherman has helped create a temporal paradox that threatens all of creation. Can the genius canine and his boy save the world? Of course they can, but it’s still a lot of fun watching them do it!
I was pleasantly surprised at how well the short five minute cartoons adapted to a feature length film, without being repetitive or feeling like a bunch of shorts just strung together with willy nilly historical trips for no reason. The story gave each character a nice back story, and infused them with some heart. Clearly the creators cared about the property they were dealing with. The opening sequence of the film as Mr. Peabody introduces himself is nearly identical to the opening sequence of the very first Peabody cartoon, something I only know because of the extensive special features on the Blu Ray. Quite a few vintage cartoons (including some Rocky and Bullwinkle and a Fractured Fairy Tale), interviews with the cast, a behind the scenes piece with Patrick Warburton; I was surprised at how much came on the disc. This was good, because in the back of my head I was hoping they would include a vintage episode or two. Finally someone thinks the same way I do!
Bottom Line: Well animated, well paced, very funny, great for the whole family or just a night when you need a bit of nostalgia and a good laugh.
Posted on 14-10-15, in 4 Star, General, Movie Reviews and tagged Allison Janney, Ariel Winter, Leslie Mann, Max Charles, Mr. Peabody, Patrick Warburton, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Sherman, Stephen Colbert, time travel, Ty Burrell, WABAC Machine. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.