Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Directed by Rob Minkoff
Starring Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter
Review by Jordan
There is simply something hysterical about an animal who thinks its human. Well, to me anyway. I can’t exactly put my finger on why, but the sight of Mr Peabody (Ty Burrell) walking, talking, cooking, driving and inventing had me instantly charmed, and when paired with the lovably goofy and smitten Sherman (Max Charles) I discovered an animated duo that made me laugh on cue and who were more-than worthy of the rare time I dedicate to kids flicks.
There may be better animations this year, but I doubt that there will be any others as enjoyably breezy, lighthearted or optimistic as this; a 92 minute journey featuring an abundance of colorful characters (the standouts being the Stanley Tucci voiced Leonardo da Vinci and the decisively unsubtle Trojan soldier Agamemnon, voiced by the instantly recognizable Patrick Warburton) and wonderfully designed, imaginative environments. The narrative may be somewhat convoluted and the finale reasonably underwhelming, but Mr. Peabody & Sherman earns massive kudos from presenting a world unfamiliar to most cinema-goers and being instantly endearing.
Some have argued that it’s source material is in fact unavoidably dated, being the 1960’s animated television series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, but great characters can endure well past their expected expiry date and the juxtaposition these two create through their personalities, coupled of course with the very sight of our ultra intelligent canine attempting to serve up the world’s best dinner party while his naive adopted human son sulks into frame after showing his primary school crush their time machine should mean that families will be choosing this to re-watch on cold Saturday mornings for a long time to come. The plot here revolves of course around a certain dog who from a very early age realizes he is different to others, not understanding the logic in playing fetch among other things, and instead devotes himself to being fluent in multiple languages, winning Olympic medals and conquering the business sphere, before embarking on his greatest challenge of all: raising a child… and all goes swimmingly until Sherman’s first day of school, when after being taunted he bites class know-it-all Penny (Ariel Winter) bringing his dad to the attention of a particularity aggressive child welfare worker and eventually resulting in a treacherous trip back through time.
It should be no surprise that the large time-traveling element has it’s dead ends and structural flaws, most films dealing with this topic do, but what most experienced film lovers may in fact find surprising is just how great this slice of good-natured fun is.