“Where are we going today, Mr. Peabody?” says Sherman (voice of Max Charles). “Not ‘where,’ Sherman. ‘When’,” says Sherm’s adoptive father, Mr. Peabody (voice of Ty Burrell), who – as they say – happens to be a dog. Mr. Peabody is also a genius, whose “Way Back” time machine transports dad and son to distant times in history – ancient Egypt and Greece, for example. But bullies at school mock Sherman” “Your dad’s a dog,” they say. “You must be a dog, too.” “I’m not a dog,” says Sherman. Add Penny Peterson (voice of Ariel Winter), an overbearing, know-it-all classmate, and you’ve got the setup.
Can Mr. Peabody and Sherman rescue Penny from ancient Egypt? If not, what will Penny’s parents (Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann) say? Will social worker Ms. Grunion (Allison Janney) remove Sherman from the Peabody household? Will you have a good time watching this zany flick? I did.
Ty Burrell and Max Charles are the voices of title characters Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Burrell is well-spoken, highly intelligent, cultured, Nobel-Prize-winning, master chef, virtuoso musician, and inveterate bad punster Mr. Peabody. He’s a small white dog who wears glasses and a red bow tie and is Sherman’s adoptive father. “Every dog,” he says, “should have a boy.” Charles is the voice of Sherman, quiet, introspective lad who’s not always quick on the uptake. “Ha, ha,” he says, in response to his father’s bad puns, “I don’t get it.” Their relationship is the heart of the movie. “I love you, Mr. Peabody,” says Sherman. “And I have a deep regard for you, Sherman,” says Mr. Peabody.
Others in the large voice cast include Ariel Winter as Penny Peterson, who brings Sherman out of his shell, and Stephen Colbert and Leslie Mann as her conventional parents, Paul and Patty Peterson. Allison Janney is tough-minded Ms. Grunion from the Bureau of Child Protection who doesn’t understand how a dog can adopt a child. Listen for Patrick Warburton, Stanley Tucci, and Mel Brooks among other famous voices as famous historical personages.
“Mr. Peabody & Sherman” is a family friendly – although not for pre-schoolers – animated entertainment, full of colorful action and a very talkative dog for kids, word-play and historical/popular-culture references for adults. Rob Minkoff directed from a script by Jay Ward, based on the old “Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” characters. The time-travel plot is hard to follow but not important. It’s the father-son relationship that matters.
Rated PG for mild action and brief rude humor, the film runs 92 minutes. 3-D effects are good, especially the end credits. Enjoy.
See “Mr. Peabody,”
It’s animated fun,
Time travel with Sherm –
Peabody and son.