Movie Review: Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)

Mr. Peabody and Sherman movie still

Mr. Peabody & Sherman annoys at first, but it grows on the audience through its own style of humour and history

I gotta admit, the trailer didn’t attract me. I thought it wasn’t going to be funny at all and it was probably meant for kids. The beginning of the story does seem like it was going to be just as boring as the trailer suggests and has almost no likable characters, but it sticks with its own mild slapstick-style humour and “intelligent” puns mixed with hilarious play-around with the historical figures. It even follows a theory of time travelling which works well enough to make time paradoxes a non-issue in the story. The voice acting are commendable as well.

The titular characters Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell) and Sherman (voice by Max Charles) are adopted father and son who are forced to use their time travelling machine the “WABAC” to retrieve the mischievous little bitch Penny (voiced by Ariel Winter) who’s unwilling to come back to present time. Like the more familiar Ted & Bill’s Excellent Adventures (1989), the characters experience historical moments and interacts with the historical figures like Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, Agamemnon, former US presidents, King Tut and many more (somehow they all speak English… but who cares anyway). The original cartoon segments its based on were way before my time so I don’t know much about it nor do I even care to compare.

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Although the film lacks magic that Disney and Pixar animated films have and is not as massively fun and humourous as Lego Movie released earlier this year, its ending, despite being formulaic, is surprisingly heartwarming and it’s smarter than expected as its bold message could go as far as saying that dogs are better than human beings in a certain extend even when reflected back to reality. Humans may be the ones who adopt dogs as pets, but it is they that make us feel unconditionally loved. Dog in the movie could also represent the minority who are treated unfairly in a social society.

The only thing that irritated me was how the characters tend to not say the things that they should say just so that the movie can drag out to the ending it’s predictably telegraphed for. It also fails miserably to develop the “romance” between the two kids and yet its written for Sherman to have a crush on Penny after he has bitten her and she has just caused all that trouble. If only the film can be as honest as this:

Mr. Peabody movie still meme

What I would’ve named the film: “Why You Shouldn’t Have Kids”

Censorship in Malaysia: There are mild dirty jokes (surprisingly) but I doubt any scenes were cut.

To watch in 3D? I watched it in 3D but I didn’t feel the impact. 2D is probably just as good, since its humour is more impressive than its visuals.

Second opinion: My girlfriend liked it as well, saying that it’s interesting and the humour “isn’t lame”.

Verdict: Intelligent and irritating at the same time, definitely better than Free Birds. For those who’re exposed enough with world history may find this quite hilarious for most parts. It can be educational for kids but I bet most of them will go, “I don’t get it.”

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Mr. Peabody and Sherman movie poster malaysiaBased on: The characters from the “Peabody’s Improbable History” segments of the 1960s animated television series “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show”

Rated: P13
Genre: Sci-fi adventure family animation
Running Time: 92 minutes
Director: Rob Minkoff
Screenwriter: Craig Wright
Cast: Ty Burrell, Allison Janney, Max Charles and Stephen Colbert

Malaysia Release Date: March 20th 2014
Local Distributor: 20th Century Fox Malaysia
Studio(s): DreamWorks Animation, Pacific Data Images, Bullwinkle Studios

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