By Melissa Platero, CCNN Head Writer
DreamWorks’ Mr. Peabody & Sherman brings the once popular 1960s cartoon characters into modern cinema with style, comedy, and a bit of educational history to boot. As genius dog Mr. Peabody and his adopted human son Sherman go on a time-traveling quest to save history, the tongue-in-cheek dialogue, gorgeous animation, and stellar voice acting keep your heart beating fast and a grin perma-plastered on your face. The blend of silly humor and clever inside jokes tickles the funny bone in a way that provides laugh-out-loud material for parents and kids, and while the whole “save the world with time travel” theme is nothing new, DreamWorks pulls it off with confidence.
The original cartoon characters were introduced in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show back in the 1960s, which was mainly about a flying squirrel and his moose buddy taking on villainous Russians like Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. Whereas the old Mr. Peabody and Sherman were traditional cartoon illustrations, their 2014 debut features impressive digital art and animation that creates likeable, emotionally expressive, and eye-catchingly colorful characters. Rather than just being a filler movie to tide DreamWorks fans over until June’s How to Train Your Dragon 2, this flick legitimately brings smart writing, imaginative world-building, and cartoonish good times together.
The misadventures begin when Sherman bites Penny, a school bully, and Mr. Peabody organizes a get-together with her parents to make peace between the two kids. Penny bullies Sherman into showing her Mr. Peabody’s time-traveling invention, the WABAC (pronounced “way back”), but they end up ruining the balance of time and history when Penny becomes 9-year-old King Tut’s fiancée! Soon, the trio is off to fix the disrupted universe, stopping along the way to chat with Leonardo Da Vinci, do battle with Agamemnon in the Greek war against the Trojans, and embark on an Indiana-Jones-worthy adventure in Egypt. The historical characters that show up along the way are so well-realized and charming, kids will want to go home and dive into those dusty history textbooks to learn more. Despite the unoriginal storyline and often predictable plot, this movie has enough spectacular action scenes, memorable characters, and educational history lessons to make it worth a trip to the movies. Our final verdict? A solid “A-”.
Images courtesy of Mr. Peabody & Sherman Facebook.