"MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN" from DreamWorks Animation opens Fri., March 7, 2014.
STARRING: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Patrick Warburton, Ariel Winter, Stephen Colbert, Allison Janney, Ellie Kemper and Stephen Tobolowsky.
DIRECTOR: Rob Minkoff ("The Lion King")
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Peabody (Burrell) is a business titan, inventor, scientist, gourmand, two-time Olympic medalist, a genius--and a dog. Using his most ingenious invention, the WABAC machine, Mr. Peabody and his adopted boy Sherman (Charles) head back in time to experience world-changing events firsthand. But when Sherman and his classmate Penny (Winter) break the rules of time travel, our two heroes find themselves in a race to repair history and save the future.
It couldn't be much better. DreamWorks doing the animation, directed by Mr. Lion King, a solid cast of talented voice actors, a good tight story with music by Danny Elfman. It's sophisticated, polished, fun, funny, interesting--technically perfect. And there's the problem.
When Peabody and Sherman were introduced on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show way back in the 1960s, they were line drawings, colored in, basic animation in its purist form. The humor was basic and to the point and the whole thing was geared to spark a child's imagination with no frills. It worked and helped make that show a hit. It was based on Ted Key's comic strip Peabody's Improbable History.
This film embraces all those elements and delivers big time. It's just not the same to a relic of those simple by-gone days on Saturday morning. Lying on the floor in front of the television, gorging oneself on Post Sugar Crispies, laughing like an idiot. Those were good days--good times. It's very hard to re-capture that feeling with all this new-fangled 3D animation and all. Too bad there is no real WABAC machine.