MR PEABODY AND SHERMAN [2014]: in cinemas now [short review]

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Directed by:
Written by: ,
Starring: , , ,

IN CINEMAS NOW

RUNNING TIME: 94 min

REVIEWED BY: Dr Lenera, Official HCF Critic

 

mr peabody movie poster

Mr. Peabody is a business titan, inventor, scientist, gourmand, two-time Olympic medallist and genius…who also happens to be a dog. On his first day of school, Peabody’s adopted boy Sherman Sherman comes into conflict with another classmate, Penny Peterson. The adoption agency informs Peabody that they will reclaim Sherman if any more incidents occur. To complicate this issue, Peabody invites the Petersons over to break the ice. After Sherman’s misuse of their time travelling WABAC machine to impress her has disastrous and comical results, it is up to them to put things on track before the space-time continuum is irreparably destroyed….

A step up from The Croods and Turbo [both of which were still entertaining] if not quite as wondrous as Rise Of The Guardians, the latest animated movie from Dreamworks is hugely entertaining. It’s based on the characters from a segment called Peabody’s Improbable History of a 1960’s animated TV series called The Rocky And Bullwinkle Show. It was originally planned as a live action feature in 2003, and it might have worked just as well as one, though watching this movie did remind me why I enjoy watching animated movies so much, its free-wheeling nature and imagination resulting in great escapist nonsense, albeit nonsense that is actually quite educational for kids, dealing as it partly does with various periods and characters from history. Bits of it reminded me of Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure and, though I haven’t seen the original series, I wonder if the time travelling adventures were an inspiration for those in Family Guy.

Lightning paced, it throws us immediately into a French Revolution-set adventure before briefly coming back to modern America. Sherman is your archetypal nerd who is picked on at school, and I couldn’t for the life of me see why he begins to like Penny Paterson, the female bully who is one of those thoroughly rude types who would rather muck about on their phone then interact with someone, and a character who takes ages to become likeable. Mr Peabody is the prissy-sounding fountain of all knowledge who also supplies many of the jokes. Some of the puns are groan-worthy as the three have adventures in various places, and it doesn’t get more sophisticated than them being farted out of the Sphinx [though the film does drop in an Oedipus joke], but much fun is had mocking famous historical figures [plus the best variation on “I am Spartacus” in ages] who eventually all end up in the present day. It’s all very inconsequential and the emotional beats are very predictable, while the animation is nice though nothing special. Immense fun though, and your kids may learn some stuff while never being bored either. I’d like to see Mr Peabody and Sherman return for new adventures.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

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About Dr Lenera 1985 Articles
I'm a huge film fan and will watch pretty much any type of film, from Martial Arts to Westerns, from Romances [though I don't really like Romcoms!]] to Historical Epics. Though I most certainly 'have a life', I tend to go to the cinema twice a week! However,ever since I was a kid, sneaking downstairs when my parents had gone to bed to watch old Universal and Hammer horror movies, I've always been especially fascinated by horror, and though I enjoy all types of horror films, those Golden Oldies with people like Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee probably remain my favourites. That's not to say I don't enjoy a bit of blood and gore every now and again though, and am also a huge fan of Italian horror, I just love the style.

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