The Bullwinkle universe has not had tremendous luck in the
cinematic world. As a youngster, I suffered through 3 awful live-action
adaptations of cartoons that I grew up loving (two of which starred Brendan Fraser, who must have had a personal vendetta against the cartoon).
But finally one of Jay Ward’s beloved characters has been done
No. Not done well.
In DreamWorks’ Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Mr. Peabody is the
quintessential “Renaissance Dog” (is that a thing? It’s a thing now), a canine who – after countless adoption rejections – learned to master, well…pretty
much everything. He’s a renowned celebrity-scientist, athletic savant,
and, as we soon learn, the legally adoptive father of young Sherman. This is, after all, a
story about a dog and his boy.
As Mr. Peabody (voiced by the very capable Ty Burrell)
reminds us, “experts agree that children learn things best when they experience
things firsthand.” To further that pursuit, he created the WABAC (pronounced
“way-back,” obviously) Machine – a time-traveling device that allows the pair to
visit significant periods in history and see just how things really played out.
As a result, Sherman (voiced by Max Charles) has had a range of experiences that give him quite the academic advantage in the classroom, while simultaneously crippling him socially. You see, class alpha Penny (Modern
Family’s Ariel Winter) doesn’t take kindly to being corrected/humiliated in
class, which in turn causes her to lash out at Sherman. Their rivalry culminates in a scene
that deserves credit for its accurate depiction of the complicated nature of bullying.
Then Sherman bites Penny.
You know, like a dog would do.
Faced with the possibility of losing custody of Sherman, Mr. Peabody acts fast and arranges a dinner with Penny’s parents. It’s an effort to force Penny and Sherman to mend fences while Mr. Peabody attempts to win over Penny’s parents.
Great plan, until Sherman (in an attempt to impress Penny), breaks
the 1st rule of WABAC Club: You do not talk about WABAC Club.
Hijinx ensues, and Sherman and Mr. Peabody must travel
to the past to save Penny. Then they have to save themselves. Then they have to
save the space-time continuum.
You know, that old chestnut.
This story is enhanced, if not outright stolen, by a vast
array of amazing supporting characters – the absolute best of which is Patrick Warburton as King Agamemnon. I dare you to disagree.
Note: if you’re a stickler for historical accuracy, you may have
some complaints that not every “fact” is historically accurate. But if you’re going
to be “that person,” you probably shouldn’t be watching a fun
This story is ultimately about growth and sends a great message about finding the courage to stretch your wings in spite
of the fact that one could indeed crash.
It’s about getting out of your comfort zone and taking the
Also it’s about a time traveling dog.
Seriously, go see this film. Your kids will love it. You will
love it. If your husband has a 32 year-old single guy friend, he’ll love it too. Especially
if that friend is me.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman hits theaters on March 7th. Visit the official website to learn more, and check out the trailer below: