Movie Title: Mr. Peabody and Sherman
PG, 1 hour 32 minutes
In a Nutshell: You may remember these lovable guys from the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon from the 1950’s and 60’s. They finally get the feature animation they deserve. Back then we didn’t realize that Mr. Peabody would invent tear-away pants and Zumba.
True to the TV series, there are a lot of silly puns that will make you laugh and moan at the same time. There were potty-humor gags that kids tend to love, such as when a ship flies out of a Sphinx’s rear end, as well as wordplay references to movies that kids won’t recognize, but parents will enjoy, like when King Tut yells “Runaway Bride!” Sherman often said “I don’t get it” when the adult jokes would fly over his head.
The WABAC machine (pronounced “Way Back”) is used to transport various characters in the movie to different periods of time and was originally created on the TV show to poke fun at the names of some of the first computers (UNIVAC and ENIAC). Surprisingly, it is still a term used in some internet applications (Wikipedia) to describe the ability to go back to older content…”Not where, but when.”
Bill and Ted’s kids will get a kick out of this animated run through select historical moments.
Uplifting theme: Be proud of who you are and whose you are. It’s a sweet, perhaps overly-sentimental, father-son movie that will leave you grinning as you walk out the movie theater. Every dog should have a boy.
Things I liked:
• I thought it was cute when Mr. Peabody found Sherman as an orphaned baby in a box wearing glasses.
• I got a kick out of hearing funnyman Steven Colbert voice Paul Peterson. He called Sherman “Dos Shermanos” when he got a little tipsy from Mr. Peabody’s dinner party drinks.
• I can never get enough of Allison Janney, Stanley Tucci, Leslie Mann, and Ty Burrell. I was tickled to hear Mel Brooks brings Albert Einstein to life.
• The audience laughed with delight during the scene when Mr. Peabody plays a bunch of different audiences.
• A recurring gag occurred every time someone dropped something in Egypt; a servant would race by, pick it up and say something so fast I couldn’t quite tell…was it “I got it!?”
• The audience I sat with instantly fell in love with Agamemnon. Patrick Warburton always knocks it out of the park with his awesome voice and timing. I thought his armpits were hilarious. I thought it was cute when he called Sherman “Shermanis” to fit in with the Greeks. One of his many funny lines was “My father is half man, half minotaur, all judgment.” I thought the Trojan war scene was amusing how they tried to make it look like the movie 300 with slow-motion action sequences.
• Adorable Sparticus scene with Kirk Douglas cameo.
Things I didn’t like:
• The animation design of the hills outside the city of Florence was disappointing. I loved the detail on the famous Ponte Vechio and the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. I was in beautiful Florence a few months ago and was reliving my trip through those scenes. Unfortunately, the ocean water animation was also poorly done.
• It was hard to cheer for Penny Peterson who was such a brat. I didn’t care if she got left behind in another time or not.
• I was kind of surprised when Mr. Peabody said something about booby traps and Sherman giggled “You said boobie!”
• “When Sherman says “I love you Mr. Peabody”, his adopted dog father says “I have a deep regard for you, as well, Sherman.”
• “Pictures were taken for insurance purposes.” - Principal Purdy
• “Wait, what kind of cake?” – a French man in the crowd during the French revolution scene, responding to Marie Antoinette’s famous line “Let them eat cake!”
• “A cantaloupe? The lowest of the fruits!” - A French man
• “When it comes to my daughter, nothing is more important than…(answering cell phone suddenly) Shello? Sure, I’ll take a survey.” - Mr. Peterson
• Penny asks Sherman “Do you do everything Mr. Peabody says?” “Yeah.” She asks “Do you know what that makes you?” “An obedient son.” “No, a dog.”
• “Oy plagues. Why did I ever move to Egypt?” – A random Jewish man in the crowd
• “You can’t marry him! His name rhymes with butt!” - Sherman
• “This is a little home-spun concoction I like to call ‘Einstein on the Beach.’” – Mr. Peabody
• “So, he’s literally a dog.” (Mr. Peterson) “I prefer the term “literate” dog.” (Mr. Peabody)
Things to look for:
• Van Gogh with bandages on his ears
• The little boy in Sherman’s classroom whose feet can’t reach the floor when he’s sitting down at his desk.
• Boxers with hearts on them
• The dog with the cone on its head at the beginning of the movie.
• Try to figure out what the mystery meat is on the cafeteria food trays.
• The picture of cats hanging in Principal Purdy’s office at school.
• Picture of Ghandi next to Sherman’s bed.
• Rubic’s cube (Hint: look for Einstein).
• “I love New York” t-shirt and underwear.
• Bill Clinton cameo.
Tips for parents: Some inappropriate jokes, but mostly harmless. Parents and children watching the movie in the audience I sat with enjoyed the movie equally. It’s certainly no Frozen magic, worthy of an Oscar, but it’s very energetic and fairly entertaining family fun. The visits through time should spark some conversations with your kids about history….”not where, but when.”