Directed by: Rob Minkoff
Back in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s one of the back-up segments to the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show was Peabody's Improbable History where Mr. Peabody (a beagle) and his boy Sherman (a human) would travel through time (in their WABAC (or Wayback) machine) to visit some important time or event ion the far-flung past. Each episode was somewhat goofy in nature often chock full of puns. Well, flash forward half a century and here we are with a full-blown, feature-length, big-screen adaptation of that glorious Saturday Morning cartoon (in 3D no less!).
As in the TV show, the film has Peabody as perhaps the most accomplished sentient being on the planet. He is a business magnate, inventor, scientist, Nobel laureate, gourmand, and two-time Olympic medalist, plus he invented Zumba. One day, Mr. Peabody decides to adopt his own human son. In an alley, he meets Sherman, a dorky, glasses-wearing, orange-haired boy and decides to adopt him. And so their life together begins, with Mr. Peabody as the most accomplished dog in the world, and Sherman his mischievous adopted boy who use The WABAC to go on the most outrageous adventures known to man or dog. However, when Sherman takes The WABAC out for a joyride to impress his schoolmate, Penny, they accidentally rip a gaping hole in the space-time continuum, which wreaks havoc on the most important events in world history.
Now, before the past is forever altered, Mr. Peabody must face the most daunting challenge of any era how to not only save history, but figure out how to be a parent. Together, Peabody, Sherman, and Penny, will have to make their own mark on history and make things right again.
Well, the addition of Penny to the cast is a great idea as it gives a whole new depth to this fondly-remembered cartoon. As with the TV show, the film is full-to-overflowing with puns, visual sight gags, and outrageous silliness (all the while remaining historically (if hilariously) accurate to the past — making it not only a very enjoyable film experience, but an educational tool as well). We get to meet Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Antoinette, King Tut, as well as Presidents Washington, Lincoln, and Clinton. Yep, this is really one funny film, that should be seen by kids and their parents as well.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.