Release date: March 7, 2014
Written by: Craig Wright
Directed by: Rob Minkoff
Official website: MrPeabodyandSherman.com
The good thing about a movie like "Mr. Peabody & Sherman", is that it really wants to be able to do something that most animated movies seem to avoid trying to do. Educate your children and maybe even trick them into realizing that history is fun and kinda cool.
Based on the cartoon characters that appeared in shorts during episodes of "Rocky and Bullwinkle" during the 50s and 60s, "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" is about a hyper educated dog, Peabody, voiced by Ty Burrell, who adopts a boy. Together, they travel through time with the WABAC machine, getting into adventures and learning about science and how human history has affected who we are and fun stuff like that. It's kind of like an animated "Dog-tor Who".
Of course, being a time traveling genius isn't Peabody's only duty. He's also a father. When his boy, Sherman (Max Charles), is bullied by a girl, it raises concerns about Peabody's ability to parent. Hoping to be able to work something out, Peabody invites the girl and her parents for dinner. When the kids end up getting tossed around through time, visiting ancient Egypt and renaissance Italy, Peabody has to figure out how to save the kids, salvage his parental reputation, and prevent time from collapsing on itself.
The story keeps it pretty simple, but it's little nuances that make it more than just an average animated kiddie flick. Much like in the old animated shorts, Mr. Peabody explains the science that goes into his plans. A lot of the time, it's probably moving too fast for kids to really grasp what is being said, but even if its able to inspire a small percentage of the youngster audience to want to learn more about science, history, and math, then mission accomplished.
The voice cast led by Ty Burrell (Modern Family), who voices Peabody. He's a great choice and handles the puns well, which anyone who knows their Peabody knows that little dog loves his puns. Steven Colbert, Leslie Mann, and Stanely Tucci lend their voice talents as well and it wouldn't be an animated movie without Patrick Warburton making an appearance.
The animation is solid and the jokes are relatable for both adults and kids, even if it does resort to poop jokes a little more than you'd hope a movie would when it's trying so hard to inspire higher thinking. But as far as animated 3D movies go, it's fun and more importantly, it dares to inspire kids to learn. Never a bad thing.
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