Our Mr. Peabody & Sherman review has to start with the impeccable casting and astounding voice-over work Ty Burrell does with the character of Mr. Peabody.
For those who don’t know, Mr. Peabody is the world’s smartest dog. Heck, he may be the smartest anything on the planet. Feeling emptiness in his heart, he adopts a little boy named Sherman (Max Charles). As the Mr. Peabody & Sherman trailer teases, Sherman is about to head to school for the first time.
He has had the most original of preschool programs with Mr. Peabody, thanks to the dog’s invention of the WABAC machine… a time machine. Sherman has met numerous historical figures, so it’s no wonder on that first day of class he has a disagreement with a fellow student, Penny Peterson (Ariel Winter), over something George Washington supposedly did – that Sherman knows he didn’t.
The school principal insists that Mr. Peabody, Sherman, Penny and the girl’s parents get together to work this out. Things are going swimmingly at Mr. Peabody’s house with everyone... that is until Penny’s disbelief of Sherman’s George Washington claims comes to a head once again.
Sherman seeks to prove he's right by taking her to the WABAC machine and having her see for herself. Except, they don’t go back to Washington’s time… and that’s where our time traveling issues start.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is based on the wildly popular classic cartoon from Jay Ward. And it is with loving care that director Rob Minkoff has taken this story and brought it into our century.
What makes the film work so well is the evenhandedness with which Burrell delivers his performance. He plays Mr. Peabody as a know-it-all, yes, but a humble one. He has patience with those who don’t understand that not only is he the most intelligent soul they will ever meet, but the fact that he is a dog is neither here nor there. Without that element, the entire story would not work.
Through the means of traveling through various points in time, it is the somewhat rare animated movie of today that entertains while it enlightens. To think that you could be driving home with your kids and having a talk about Michelangelo is stunning… and joyous!
Will we see more adventures of Mr. Peabody & Sherman? We hope so because Burrell and Charles make a terrific tandem and we wouldn’t mind getting into that WABAC machine again to see where else we could go and who else we can meet.
In an animated movie mood from the same studio? Why not watch How to Train Your Dragon online!