17 mar. 2014

My Review: Mr. Peabody and Sherman (7/10)

"If a boy can adopt a dog, I see no reason why a dog can not adopt a boy." 

As soon as the credits began rolling my little brother looked at me and said "wow, this was even better than The LEGO movie." I wouldn't go as far as him, this isn't on the same level, but I was surprised considering I never thought this film would be any good. My expectations for this movie were really low, but as soon as Mr. Peabody and Sherman's excellent adventure through time began I was hooked. It was a fun little history ride as we got to travel with the characters to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, the battle of Troy, and the French Revolution. Some of the characters in this film were hilarious (I'm pointing at you Leonardo Da Vinci) and the gags and puns were witty. Mr. Peabody & Sherman is based on the Rocky and Bullwinkle segments from the 50's, "Peabody's Improbable History," and it was directed by Rob Minkoff (who has had more success directing animated films such as The Lion King than live action films like Flypaper and Forbidden Kingdom). This was a very pleasant experience and an animated film children and adults will enjoy  alike.

The screenplay was adapted by Craig Wright from Jay Ward's short animated series. We are introduced to Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell from Modern Family), an advanced canine who happens to be a genius inventor. In order to teach his adopted son, Sherman (Max Charles), history lessons he builds a time machine called WABAC, and travels with him to the past. Together they share thrilling adventures, but the greatest adventure of all turns out to be Sherman's first day in school where he is bullied by a fellow student named Penny Peterson (Ariel Winter). After biting her for calling him a dog, Mr. Peabody is called to school by Ms. Grunion (Allison Janney) who threatens to take his son away from him. In order to make things right, Mr. Peabody invites Penny's parents, Paul (Stephen Colbert) and Patty Peterson (Leslie Mann), to dinner. Sherman gets into trouble again when he shows Penny the time machine and both of them end up in Ancient Egypt causing all sorts of trouble. Mr. Peabody goes to their rescue before Penny's parents discover anything is wrong, which would hurt his chances with Ms. Grunion to maintain his parenting rights.

Beside all the fun adventures through time, the film also happens to be a delightful and good hearted movie about father and son relationships. The supporting cast is memorable and Stanley Tucci's Leonardo Da Vinci is the standout. Some of the sweet and tender moments don't work as well as they should and there are also several poop and butt jokes that don't work, but despite those flaws the film manages to stay afloat thanks to some clever and witty jokes and some entertaining and colorful adventures. It's an engaging animated film that works much better than the trailers would lead you to believe. I had a fun time, but by no means is it as witty and engaging as the LEGO movie, but it works just as well.

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