In Praise of 'Mr Peabody and Sherman'
'Mr Peabody and Sherman' fought off some big hitters at the box office and it's not hard to see why.
'Mr Peabody and Sherman', a story about the world’s most extraordinary dog has become a extraordinary hit with moviegoers as its topped the weekend US box office chart after enjoying an equally successful UK run. The movie may not have received as much promotion as some of its mega box office rivals, but its managed to endear itself to audiences without as much help. So why is it we’re falling head over heels for this animated time travelling adventure?
Everybody Loves Peabody and Sherman!
The characters of super talented dog Mr Peabody and his adopted son Sherman started life on 1960s cartoon, 'The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show'. Peabody was a highly intelligent canine who invented a time travelling machine, the WABAC, to go on epic adventures with his ‘son’ Sherman. An unlikely tale, maybe, but one which captured the imagination of its early audience. Now in 2014 its been given a Hollywood update, which has mostly tried to stay true the original characters. This time the pair are taking on their most epic adventure yet, journey to help fix a hole in the universe which threatens to change history forever. If the fact that there’s a talking dog, who’s smarter than anybody you’ve ever met isn't enough. ‘Mr Peabody and Sherman’ also includes many characters and settings from history like you’ve never seen them before. Under the guidance of Mr Peabody we meet Sigmund Freud, King Tut, Mona Lisa and Leonardo Da Vinci, giving kids a quick history lesson as they enjoy the adventure.
Whilst the film’s premise is pretty simple, two characters going on an amazing journey through history and bumping into some famous faces, what makes it special is the witty script, excellent animation and a stellar cast of voice actors. Ty Burrell voices the famous dog, whilst Leslie Mann and Patrick Warburton can also be heard. The combination of characters, script and actors has come together just right to make something that children will love and adults can enjoy as well. As our own Rich Cline wrote, "at every step, the script gleefully subverts history with goofy slapstick, poo jokes, movie references and absurd touches that come out of nowhere."
'Mr Peabody and Sherman' takes a new look at history
Whilst some critics haven't been as kind to the movie, it’s mostly due to the Mr Peabody character seemingly being a little more watered down than before. As Betsey Sharkey from the Los Angeles Times said "for all the ways the film reflects its earlier TV incarnation, the shadings have been softened. "Mr. Peabody" could use a bit more bite."
But that’s just one for the older adults to worry about. Children being introduced to the characters for the first time wont fail to fall in love with their charm and humour. After all what could be more endearing that a dog who’s smarter than all the adult humans? Still the adults that do remember the original cartoon, whilst they may not feel the update surpasses the original they're at least able to get a nostalgic buzz out of seeing the characters again.
Prepare for an epic adventure with 'Mr Peabody and Sherman'
Really ‘Mr Peabody and Sherman’ is just a really good bit of cinematic fun that we all can enjoy if we leave our brains at the door somewhat and let Mr Peabody do the thinking. Combining laughs, action, adventure a bit of history with some nostalgia for the adults is a pretty winning formula as the movie’s success shows. Beating off ‘Need for Speed’ and Tyler Perry’s ‘The Single Moms Club’,isn’t bad for an animated flick. It proves that family friendly films are where the money making potential still really lies, if its done right. It might now be breaking any artistic ground but as a feel good family film 'Mr Peabody and Sherman' manages to do everything just right.