“Where are we going this time Mr.Peabody?” Is a dated phrase nostalgic for anyone who grew up watching Sherman and Mr. Peabody. Debuting in the late 1950s as part of a segment in the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, Jay Ward’s production has finally made its way to the big screen. Dreamworks has transformed this past time classic, into a relatable film for the current generation.Witty, Bright and everything nice is what you will run into when you travel back in time with this box office Animated remake of Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Think this movie is a direct reflection of its cartoon counterpart? That’s where you’re mistaken. Yes, Mr. Peabody will embark on journeys through time and recollect important events that shaped history, but this movie will also give you a deeper understanding of both characters personalities and motivations. Topping the box office as the #1 movie in america in its second week, this PG animation comedy is perfect for any family night out.
Dreamworks’ newest animation adventure warps us into the world of Mr. Peabody, a sophisticated conosseuir of higher learning, (did I also mention that he’s a dog?!) and his son Sherman. Mr. Peabody isn’t your run of the mill dog. He’s highly intelligent and has created a time machine known as the “Wabac” in order to provide Sherman with historical life lessons and a hands on learning experience. The motivations of Mr. Peabody become crystal clear at the beginning of the movie. Opening with a narrative, Mr. Peabody re-counts his life as a pup and the struggles he faced as a result of his superior intelligence. This opening segment foreshadows the idea of time travel with his adopted son Sherman, using his “Wabac” machine. Everything’s going perfect for Mr. Peabody and Sherman until one day sherman decides to show off the wabac, and that’s where the conflict arises. Determined to impress his fellow classmate Penny, Sherman will need the aid of Mr. Peabody to set things right and take back time!
One of the obvious perks of this film lies within the integration of historical events and facts. Mr. Peabody aims to expand Sherman’s consumption of facts, by taking him to the eras where everything took place. Utilzing this “Hands-On” approach, the movie sifts through an abundance of knowledgable facts that can either be overwhelming to the younger audience, or can serve as a liasion in the role of retaining the information uncovered. This wealth of information can serve as both a pro or a con when considering the appetite of adolescents. A positive effect is introduction to events throughout our timeline in a playful and digestible manner. The correlating negative effect is combining facts with comical puns and assertions. For example, one of the eras visited by the duo is the Renaissance Age. Although there are pertinent facts about Leonardo Da Vinci present in the movie, a child without the full scope of what happened would believe that Leonardo performed gag tricks to capture the perfect smile for the Mona Lisa. So this type of balancing act between fact and fiction can serve as a double edged sword depending on the viewer. Another pro of this feature, apart from the witty puns sprinkled throughout the dialogue, is the sophisticated lingo and jargon used by Mr. Peabody. This style of suggestive talking assists in simulating the learning aspect of the movie. Lastly, in true DreamWorks fashion, the screen is illuminated with animated life-like characters. The bold colors and crisp graphics really helps the viewers adapt to the new age style of Mr. Peabody.
If you’re ever endeavored on a journey to find the truth, you will relate to many of the themes introduced throughout the story.One of the more intriguing themes that I personally identified with is the issue of abandonment. Mr. Peabody grew up essentially as an orphan. Due to his eccentric intelligence, no one wanted to adopt Peabody as a pup. He wasnt traditional, didn’t participate in games of fetch and because of his abnormalities, had to grow up alone without a companion. This was certain to be the rest of his life, until one day he finds a baby, same situation as his childhood, abandoned and alone. That’s when Mr. Peabody decided to adopt Sherman and provide him with everything his life lacked…. a family! Another theme that’s important is the battle of Fun vs Structure. Sherman’s values and thirst for knowledge are bred by his father’s (Mr. Peabody’s) intellectual prowess. However, Sherman is still a young boy who seeks adventure and excitement. As the plot progresses Sherman is faced with difficult choices highlighting the battle of temptation versus doing what’s right. As any 7yr old boy, some of Sherman’s decisions are less than acceptable by Mr. Peabody’s standards.
It’s rare for anyone to take in new information on the first try. I applaud the development of this movie because after displaying a wealth of information into a 5-10 minute segment, there’s always a recap of the adventure. This systematic recap was also present in the movie’s cartoon predecessor, taking with it the memorable phrase “What did you learn today Sherman?”. This exchange allowed Sherman to summarize what he had learned during their travel, solidifying comprehension and retention. I also enjoyed the constant change of attire that appeared within each destination. This shows that the directing of the movie not only touched on entertaining events, but also provided a way for the viewers to connect with the culture of each timeframe. By providing time relevant attire, the writers depicted a visual affirmation within each viewer.
“What did you learn today Sherman?” The common inquiry presented when the 2 travelers prepare to return to the present time. In conclusion I recommend this movie for a family night out. It obtains the intellectual puns recognizable by both kids and adults alike. The film does consist on a few moments of dry humor, but for the most part you should have a smile on your face. It’s primarily targeted for adolescents, with that said, if you choose to view the movie without kids present, beware of the childish demeanor and rebellious angst typically seen through childhood development. If you’re looking for something a little different and quirky, this is your movie. I give the rating 3 out of 5 stars. Although I am an avid animation viewer, I found the storyline a little slow and monotonous for my taste. All In all, this is a great movie for the younger audience.