Mr. Peabody and Sherman review

Director:
Rob Minkoff
Cast:
Ty Burrell
Max Charles
Ariel Winter
Allison Janney
Rated: PG

This movie was like an ocean of puns, and it was great.

“Mr. Peabody and Sherman” is a film based on animated shorts that were featured in the “Rocky and Bullwinkle” show. The movie, which expands on the original concept, follows the title character Mr. Peabody (Burrell), a genius dog who can do practically anything including building a time machine called the WABAC. Mr. Peabody also is the adopted father of a boy named Sherman (Charles) and teaches him about various historic moments.

Conflicts start up, though, when a mishap occurs at Sherman’s school when he gets into a fight with a girl named Penny (Winter). This brings in a social worker named Ms. Grunion (Janney) who doesn’t think Peabody makes for a good father.

On top of that, Penny visits Sherman’s house during a dinner party and in the process the two take the WABAC and upset history. Penny, Sherman and Peabody then have to go on an adventure to fix the many issues they face.

“Peabody” has a fairly straightforward story and there are plenty of plot cliches to go around making for somewhat of an unoriginal experience. To their credit though, the filmmakers didn’t have exactly that much to work with as the source material is just animated shorts. With that in mind, they were actually able to flesh the film out to a feature length using a good heartfelt father-son relationship to build interest in the characters and an exciting adventure to help with the pace.

Despite the rather simple story, the film has a fun and whimsical atmosphere and continues to shoot jokes at the audience which leads to a movie that never drags or slows down. It keeps the film from getting dull or uninteresting. The emotional moments of the film are good, too, especially a solid montage early in the run-time.

The voice performances are nicely done and it never feels as though the actors are phoning in their work. Ty Burrell is great as Mr. Peabody, giving a performance that shows off the genius of the character and at the same time provides the emotion for the more heartfelt moments.

The younger actors are both good, too, giving good characterization to Sherman and Penny. Additionally the film included some nice cameos for the historical figures.

Undoubtedly, though, the best part of the movie is the humor. The film never stops throwing jokes, and while not all of them hit, eight or nine times out of 10, they do. Not only is there a ton of humor, it’s also really smart, witty and most of all funny. It’s always refreshing to see an animated film that uses more witty comedy and doesn’t just rely on pop culture references.

In terms of animation, “Peabody” doesn’t exactly have the best. There isn’t exactly anything that makes a person say “wow.” However, thanks to the comedy, the film didn’t have to rely too much on visuals. The character and setting designs also fit the mood of the film itself.

“Mr. Peabody and Sherman” won’t be remembered as an animated masterpiece or classic. The story is rather simple and the animation isn’t the best. However, the film becomes a good experience through the charm of its humor, characters, and fun adventures. Low 4 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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