It’s said that every boy should have a dog - well, in the world of DreamWorks Animation, the opposite should also be true. Director Rob Minkoff (‘The Lion King’) has brought to the big screen the 1950s characters from ‘Rocky and his Friends’. 'Mr Peabody and Sherman' may not share the same level of dry wit and irony as the television version, but it’s got plenty of chutzpah where it counts, with plenty of entertainment for the kids and young at heart.
Mr Peabody (Ty Burrell) is not your typical dog - he's an inventor, scientist, business titan, gourmet chef and Olympic gold medalist. But all those achievements don’t necessarily add up to the important things in life, like a family - so Mr Peabody once again accomplishes the impossible and wins the right to adopt a human child, a boy by the name of Sherman. Peabody and Sherman (Max Charles) have amazing adventures traveling through time in the WABAC (pronounced Way-Back), meeting and befriending the greats throughout history. When Penny (Ariel Winter), a precocious mean girl at Sherman’s school starts some trouble, a peace-keeping dinner turns chaotic when the kids use the WABAC and venture to ancient Egypt, the Italian Renaissance and the eve of the Trojan war, inadvertently throwing themselves and the future into peril.
The film boast some beautiful themes about acceptance and modern families as well as cute, smart and referential jokes about history and its most important figures, voiced by favourites and vocal heavyweights like Patrick Warburton as Agamemnon, Stanley Tucci as Leonardo da Vinci and Mel Brooks as Albert Einstein.
It’s surprisingly fast-paced considering the plot lags somewhere around the middle, but the high-flying 3D visuals, snappy dialogue and big laughs will distract you from that. The film is oddly sentimental considering the source material and the fact that screenwriter Craig Wright is used to darker subjects and an older audience as a writer for ‘Six Feet Under’ and ‘The United States of Tara’. But he’s done well by the kids, if not quite so by the fans, replacing wit with puns and irony with cuteness. Still, there’s a good time to be had here, by all.