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'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' wanders aimlessly into theaters

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Mr. Peabody & Sherman

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Orphaned and unadopted, Mr. Peabody embraced knowledge in a way that no other dog ever had. Through education and hard work, he became a well respected and world renowned scientist and intellect. Further enriching his life, Mr. Peabody adopted a baby, his boy, Sherman. Raised and taught by Mr. Peabody, Sherman enters his first day of school, with knowledge well beyond that of his classmates and some instructors. After all, not every child has a parent who educates them by traveling through time to experience history. Despite his academic advantages, time travel never prepared Sherman for the interpersonal dynamics of school and especially not for girls like Penny Peterson.

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Heralded by a technically adept short called 'At Home,' "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" is based on a series of animated shorts called "Peabody's Improbable History," which aired on television in the late 1950s and early 60s. Not unlike "Almost Home," the feature film was technically impressive, but relatively simplistic and formulaic in its telling. In spite of a consistent sense of awkwardness and a regular barrage of bad puns, the film had lots of fun and interesting visuals. The animation, including everything for basic interactions to complex fight sequences and dancing, 'Mr. Peabody' exhibits the strong technical and creative abilities of the artists at DreamWorks Animation. Unfortunately, it also exhibits the hit or miss pattern which has always plagued their animated features. Even though the title characters may strike a cord for filmgoers old enough or knowledgable enough to recall an animated segment from "The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show." It is doubtful that "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" will resonate with modern audiences enough to justify the time and expense put into what is just another TV to film translation, which inevitably loses something in the translation. If you enjoy iffy puns, great visuals, and animation, this film maybe be worth the price of admission or less costly streaming rental.

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