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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Friday, April 03, 2015

Movie Review - Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)
Featuring the vocal talents of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, Stanley Tucci, Lake Bell, Patrick Warburton, and Allison Janney
Directed by Rob Minkoff
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

The voiceover talent of Ty Burrell and Max Charles as the amiable titular characters Mr. Peabody & Sherman -- the former an incredibly intelligent dog and the latter his adopted elementary school son -- really do all they can to make this animated film come together, but something doesn't quite click in this Rob Minkoff-directed piece.  Based off a segment from the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon series, the characters Peabody and Sherman are amusing to watch and, as I previously stated, Burrell and Charles breathe life into the characters, but the punny humor of the old tv show doesn't translate as well as it should to the big screen.

The dog and his human son have had many adventures thanks to Peabody's WABAC machine -- a time machine that allows Peabody and Sherman to travel anywhere in the past they'd like.  While this travel has certainly provided an education to Sherman, Peabody makes the determination that he needs to send his son to a real school.  On his very first day, Sherman gets into a fight with obnoxious bully Penny (Ariel Winter) which results in Penny's parents coming over to Peabody's luxurious abode to hash out punishment.  While there, Sherman invites Penny into the WABAC machine and the two young kids create a bit of chaos that may even be difficult for the genius Peabody to resolve.

Animation-wise, we're looking at typical Dreamworks stuff here -- it's not bad, but there's certainly nothing beautiful about what we're seeing (although Peabody and Sherman themselves are amusingly drawn).  Despite some nice voice work for our titular characters, the story feels episodic -- we move from one period in history to the next -- and the through-line of Sherman trying to make Penny a better person doesn't work or appeal to this viewer.  Mr. Peabody and Sherman isn't bad, but it didn't quite come together in the end.

The RyMickey Rating:  C+

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