‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ film review: Worthwhile outing behind in time

You competence need a assistance of a time appurtenance to find a child who is clamoring for a “Mr. Peabody Sherman” underline film remake.

More than many of Jay Ward’s animation productions, a early 1960s cartoons benefaction a high grade of problem to widen into a full-length movie. They were only 5 mins long. The wordplay-heavy amusement was geared toward adults. And nonetheless a cartoons are worshiped by aging animation fans, they haven’t perceived a rerun adore they merit in new years.

A array of sound decisions and a few hapless ones outcome in an interesting though forgettable diversion from DreamWorks Animation. Fans of a strange “Peabody’s Improbable History” shorts that ran on “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” won’t be horribly offended. Parents will conclude that a corporeal functions jokes are kept to a minimum. Little kids will suffer a movie, though they like flattering many everything. (See: “The Smurfs 2″)

Although a time transport core is intact, there are few retro touches in a remake. Genius dog Mr. Peabody and his adopted son Sherman live in a complicated design penthouse that we would design from a tech billionaire. The WABAC appurtenance is no longer a desirable array of dials and lights and opening tubes – it’s now a spaceship with a high tech hangar that looks like a partnership between Tony Stark and Batman.

Worst of all, Peabody and Sherman are strapped with a initial act full of 21st century problems. Needing to fill an additional 85 minutes, a filmmakers clumsily try a characters’ healing needs. Sherman is bullied during school. Both characters contend things they bewail in a feverishness of passion. Peabody has difficulty observant “I adore you.”

“Mr. Peabody Sherman” gets many improved when a span go behind to a basics: Traveling in time and charity a assisting palm with history. Leonardo da Vinci, King Tut, Marie Antoinette and George Washington all make beguiling cameos. Scenes in a guts of a Trojan equine with King Agamemnon yield a many comic value. (Thanks once again to Patrick Warburton, a initial list inductee should anyone ever build an Animated Voice Actor Hall of Fame.)

Technically, “Peabody” looks great, with copiousness of splendid and mountainous visuals. The finale is a bit of a letdown – nonetheless another “The Avengers”-esque colorful space opening melancholy to destroy a large city. But executive Rob Minkoff, who helped make “The Lion King,” ably juggles several characters and conflicts to a neat finish.

The late Bill Scott seems irreplaceable as a strange voice of Peabody, though “Modern Family” star Ty Burrell is a sound choice. He conveys intelligence, conceit and only a spirit of warmth, and gets a intonation of Peabody’s swashbuckling linguistics right. Other than a few swordfights, a infancy of a crises via a film are solved by intelligence.

One some-more advantage of “Mr. Peabody Sherman”: The film is a good forgive to go behind and watch a aged cartoons, combined by Ted Key and constructed by Ward – many of that are accessible on YouTube. The shorts reason adult well, and amusement that whooshed right over your little conduct will unexpected make sense. Key and Ward were clearly creation these cartoons to perform themselves.

Mr. Peabody Sherman

ALERT VIEWER Animated comedy. Starring a voices of Ty Burrell, Leslie Mann, Mel Brooks and Stephen Colbert. Directed by Rob Minkoff. (PG. 92 minutes.)

Peter Hartlaub is The San Francisco Chronicle’s cocktail enlightenment critic. E-mail: phartlaub@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @PeterHartlaub

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41 thoughts on “‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ film review: Worthwhile outing behind in time

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