I am so glad I have a kid, because I can go to childrenâ€™s movies without looking like a complete weirdo. While occasionally, it might suck to get dragged to the movies to see some crappy piece of merchandizing by Disney (i.e. The Croods), occasionally, it just plain rocks when I get to see films like Mr. Peabody and Sherman.
Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell) is a dog who is a lot like the US Armed forces. He accomplishes more before 6 am than most people do every day. By his side is the mischievous boy sidekick Sherman (Max Charles). The two use their WABAC machine (time machine) to go on crazy adventures though time. Then, Sherman hijacks the machine and accidentally rips a hole in the space/time continuum. Itâ€™s up to Mr. Peabody to fix Shermanâ€™s mistake and keep some of the most important events in history from disappearing entirely.
You know when I really like a childrenâ€™s movie? When it is truly educational and doesnâ€™t fudge facts to fit a stupid plotline (like â€˜Barnyardsâ€™ male cow lead or â€˜Free Birdsâ€™ complete obliteration of the facts of the first Thanksgiving.) Mr. Peabody doesnâ€™t fudge facts or pander. In fact, he give a socially conscious satire of many things that might fly over the heads of a childrenâ€™s audience, but will still resonate with adult viewers.
If youâ€™re old like me, then you know that this movie is based on an old cartoon of the same name. I donâ€™t know what it was, but when I was a kid, Mr. Peabody could be kind ofâ€¦well, a snarky asshole to be honest. For some reason, Ty Burrell gives this character a cuddliness that he didnâ€™t have before. His sarcasm and clever quips come across as more â€œeverybody laugh with meâ€™ than â€œIâ€™m the smartest guy in the roomâ€™.
Rob Minkoff, who gave us Stewart Little and the Lion King, manages the direction of this film perfectly. There is never a slow moment and the movie rips through one fast paced bit after another, dropping a little knowledge along the way.
The animation is 3D computer animation, which gives Mr. Peabody and Sherman a new life from the old flat one dimensional cartoons. The movie is a pleasure to the eye, with characters that pop and scenes that captivate the imagination.
I could have done with a bit less puns. To be 100% honest, this movie is not nearly as smart as the original cartoon, but thatâ€™s ok with me. I like to laugh along with cartoons, not feel like theyâ€™re laughing about how stupid I am.
If youâ€™re a parent, then you can rest assured that seeing Mr. Peabody and Sherman wonâ€™t be a chore. It will be a rare treat. The right casting gave Mr. Peabody some softer edges, while staying true to the original educational nature of the show gave it credibility. Whether you are a baby boomer fan of the original, or looking for a movie to entertain you and your kids, Mr. Peabody and Sherman is worth the watch.