“Why can’t children be simple?” asks Mr. Peabody. Leonardo da Vinci responds, “Children are not machines Peabody! I tried to build one, it was creepy.”
DreamWorks Animation’s newest film is based off of the short segments titled, “Peabody’s Improbable History” that aired during “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” in the 1960s. Directed by Rob Minkoff, who hasn’t made an animated film since 1994’s The Lion King, Mr. Peabody and Sherman tells the story of a genius dog and his adoptive son.
Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell) is the smartest and most accomplished dog in the world. He lives in a New York City penthouse with his 7-year-old adoptive son Sherman (Max Charles). Mr. Peabody created a time machine called the WABAC (pronounced “way back”) so that he and Sherman could go back in time and witness historical events. But when Sherman takes the WABAC out to impress his schoolmate Penny (Ariel Winter), the two get into trouble and spark an event that could affect the space-time continuum.
Ty Burrell creates a lovable and entertaining Mr. Peabody with his astute, yet gentle voice. He and Max Charles have fantastic voice chemistry as they bicker back and forth like a typical father and son, or in this case, dog and boy should. Ariel Winter, who voices my personal favorite character in the film Penny, creates the ultimate snotty schoolgirl with a bright and peppy voice.
The 3D and animation is gorgeous. The 3D actually has a part in helping tell the story, rather than using gimmicky animation that pops out in the audience. The animation is vibrant and beautiful, especially in the scenes that take place in the past, with one in particular featuring Marie Antoinette and her gorgeously bright cakes.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman does a decent job of balancing the story to make it entertaining for both kid and adult audiences, though the ending has a lot going on even for adults to keep up. During the climax scene, there are too many characters involved and it ends up overshadowing the heartfelt message of the story.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman may not be the animated film of the year, but it has enough laughs and cutesy moments that make it worthwhile to bring the kids to for a day out at the movies. Ty Burrell is fantastic as our lead dog and the supporting characters voiced by Stanley Tucci, Mel Brooks, Leslie Mann and Stephen Colbert are equally as amusing.