Movie review: Mr. Peabody still has history lessons for Sherman and the rest of us


Film Review Mr Peabody & Sherman

Mr. Peabody, voiced by Ty Burell; Penny, voiced by Ariel Winter; and Sherman, voiced by Max Charles, in a scene from the new time-traveling film.



    Rated: PG for some mild action and brief rude humor. Starring: Voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Patrick Warburton, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, Stanley Tucci. Director: Rob Minkoff. Running time: 88 minutes. Theaters: Edwards 22 (2D, 3D) and Edwards 9 (2D, 3D), Edwards 14 (2D, 3D) and Edwards 12 (2D, 3D) in Nampa, Majestic 18 (2D, 3D) and Village Cinema (2D, 3D) in Meridian.

With “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” Dreamworks Animation sets its Wayback Machine to the early 1960s and charmingly revives one of the most popular features of the old “Rocky & Bullwinkle Show” — the one about a dog and his boy.

This winning, witty and warm cartoon captures the flavor, the tone and some of the snappy pace of the TV shorts that began with the droll voice of Bill Scott intoning, “Peabody here, my boy, Sherman …”

Mr. Peabody is a Nobel Prize-winning pooch who “invented the fist-bump, auto-tune and Zumba,” and then adopted Sherman. He’s given the boy, now 7, a head-start on school by taking the kid time-traveling. The Wayback Machine has, we can see from the photos decorating their apartment walls, allowed Sherman to meet everyone from Gandhi to Einstein, Leonardo to the Wright Brothers. He’s given Van Gogh painting suggestions, caught a Jackie Robinson home run and short-circuited Ben Franklin.

“Where are we going today, Mr. Peabody?”

“Not where, Sherman. When.”

As long as Sherman keeps this a secret, nobody will be the wiser as to why he knows, for a fact, that George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree. Of course, Sherman can’t keep a secret — not even from the mean girl, Penny, who bullies him.

And that’s when the trouble starts. Actually, the first “when” is ancient Egypt. Then they check in on Leonardo Da Vinci and try to make Mona Lisa crack a smile. The movie drops in on The Trojan War.

Fans of the old Jay Ward TV show may take longer in adjusting to the new voices. But the witty word play and the pull-out-all-stops supporting cast start to pay off.

Patrick Warburton is WAY over the top as the Greek King Agamemnon, Stanley Tucci’s fractured Italian make him the perfect Leonardo, Mel Brooks is Einstein, and so on.

The movie takes a while to find its footing, but then the laughs come.

The animated details of this Rob Minkoff (“The Lion King”) comedy are a 3-D feast for the eyes. The canvas wings of a Da Vinci glider ripple in the breeze, and when Peabody entertains Penny’s parents (Leslie Mann, Stephen Colbert, a hoot) with a little Jimi Hendrix, he even plays Jimi’s Fender upside down.

Kids will dig the slapstick and giggle at what flies out of the Sphinx’s butt. Adults will be tickled at the usual Dreamworks parade of one-liners and will feel a little sentimental.

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