Mr. Peabody & Sherman – 3 out of 5
Growing up, I used to watch reruns of The Bullwinkle Show and particularly enjoyed the segments titled “Peabody’s Improbable History.” The snarky little dog with his adopted pet human named Sherman were quite amusing to my little boy brain. However, as time passed by and I grew up, I ultimately forgot about the time travelling duo…until their cartoon was adapted for a feature length film.
|"Punch it, Mr. Peabody...make sure to not hit any wayward phone booths with|
two smart-ass teenagers in them."
Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell) is a genius but, like most geniuses, he feels alone and he ultimately adopts a young boy named Sherman (Max Charles). In an effort to educate Sherman on history, Mr. Peabody invented the time machine called the
WABAC (“way back,” get it? Good...maybe you can explain it to me...I don't get it.).
Unfortunately, it’s not easy being a human with a dog for a daddy and
Sherman starts to get harassed by fellow classmate Penny (Ariel Winter). Her bullying leads to Sherman biting her and
this brings about the attention of child services. In an effort to prove he’s a good father, Mr.
Peabody decides to smooth over the ordeal himself but Sherman ends up causing
even more trouble when he shows Penny the WABAC. Now, time is screwed up and Mr. Peabody must
fix it…and stop child services from taking away his son.
|He may be smart but he's still naïve enough to believe there is aerobic|
benefits to yoga.
Watching the trailer—this trailer…
I was reminded about the days of coming home from school and prolonging any homework long enough to watch a rerun of The Bullwinkle Show and laughing at the emotional abuse that Sherman was clearly going through but I was powerless to stop due to the chuckles. I was sold on seeing the film and sold on seeing it in the theaters…well, the budget theater, anyway. While the movie received a lot of positive reviews, I walked out with a sorta “meh” feeling and saw the movie as nothing more than an average adventure for me. The movie was entertaining, had a few funny moments, and never really gets bad at any time but it just wasn’t spectacular enough to be anything more than a middle-of-the-road thing for me.
|The sheen on that floor, on the other hand...that's a 5 out of 5 shine!|
First off, while the movie has some humorous moments, the film never really had me in laughing fits. I wasn’t honestly expecting a laugh riot because, even though I would laugh at the original cartoon, I never found the source material to be gut-busting. However, the film did have its moments that kept the film flowing and stopped it from being completely boring. Additionally, the film has some tremendous voice actors doing their thing and really helped the movie stand out.
|The WABAC looks like one of those uncomfortable "egg" chairs from|
the 70s. Which, somehow, makes me want one even more.
|You look at this character's design and it just screams,|
"Have Patrick Warburton voice me."
|Geez, his arm is about to detach itself and fly into orbit...|
|"Why does my dad always scoot his ass across the |
|Their running through the sewers would have moved faster if Peabody|
didn't have to stop and roll in everything.
The one thing that kept me from enjoying this movie as much as I was hoping I would was the way the film couldn’t balance the two points of conflict in the story. So, the story has the threat of Peabody having Sherman taken away from him but it also has the consequences of saving Penny and Sherman from the destruction they’ve caused to the timeline. While it is a requirement to have time travel in the story (that was the whole point of the cartoon, after all) and the additional point was made to have the relationship be a little more affectionate in the film, the two elements just end up not merging well. The threat of losing Sherman is thrown in right away and is the main focus for the begin quarter of the film but once the romp through time is inserted, this element is regulated to only a few casual mentions right next to talks about how hard it is to raise children. The threat doesn’t feel like it is still there until it is suddenly once again released on the plot like a rabid monkey at a buffet table. Suddenly the threat is there again but it is quickly pushed away for the consequences of messing with time. Then, at the end, the threat of losing Sherman is just tossed aside and resolved in a manner that is more convenient than lesson-learning.
The marriage of these two conflicts could have worked if the right balance was secured but, as it is, it didn’t feel locked down to me. While messy, the film is still watchable but it just didn’t feel as feathered out as it needed to be.
|Yeah...that could be a problem.|
Mr. Peabody & Sherman isn’t a terrible animated film, it just wasn’t the strongest one for me. As a family film, the movie might bore some younger viewers as the film drags in parts and the whole CPS aspect might fly over their heads but the film has a great voice acting cast, some decent humor, Peabody and Sherman’s relationship and the evolution it takes is tender and sweet, and all this equaled out to be just entertaining enough to be a one-shot viewing for me...although it was weird that a segment of the film is dedicated to the inaccuracies that are taught in history class and the film proceeds to have some major discrepancies in their own representation of the past. This would be a great time for Mr. Peabody to suddenly show up and say, “Quiet you!”