Mr Peabody and Sherman is one of those films which beings with something a little different, this one featuring a nice subtle reworking of the Dreamworks logo, with Sherman sat in the moon.
I have to confess I am not at all familiar with the original cartoons – an offshoot from Rocky and Bullwinkle. While I remember them being on TV in the ’80s, despite one of those episodes featuring in the extras, I’m quite sure the BBC broadcasts didn’t last 23 minutes, so I expect they were cut down, as that would happen a lot – same as with the name-brand censorship which saw Top Cat renamed ‘Boss Cat’. Also, I often stay away from CGI films for kids as they usually seem to bereft of ideas and any sort of reason to exist, but this one seemed different. It also has the added attraction of time travel, something with which I’ve always been fascinated.
Mr Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell) is a talking dog, with Sherman (Max Charles) as his adopted son, and since Mr Peabody was rather an outcast in his youth, he spent his time boning (pun not intended) down to fill his head with knowledge, including how to build a time machine called the “WABAC” (pronouned “way back”)
Thankfully, it doesn’t dumb down into too much schmaltz, such as the exchange:
- Sherman: “I love you, Mr Peabody”
Mr Peabody: “I have a deep regard for you too, Sherman”
In a world where everyone has unfeasibly large heads, together, they use it to learn the lessons of history first-hand, taking in such sights (and times) as The French Revolution, Leonardo Da Vinci, the wooden horse of Troy and King Tutankhamun, the latter coming into play as, while Sherman’s a bit of a show-off in school, he ends up in trouble after classmate and nemesis Penny (Ariel Winter) torments him, then he responds by biting her, and at one point they all go back to Ancient Egypt where she’s about to marry said ‘Tut’.
I could see a great sequel or two coming out of this film, but with a budget of $145m, it didn’t make as much as hoped at the box-office, leading to DreamWorks Animation having to take a $57 million write-down on behalf of the film, so any further escapades are sadly unlikely.
There’s a lot of superb use of 3D in this film, such as when Peabody’s nose is almost sticking out of the screen, such is the effect, and an early underground surfing scene is a hell of a delight.
It’s taken a surprisingly long time for this title to come out on Blu-ray and DVD, but I guess they wanted to aim for the Christmas market, given the early October release date.
Any downsides? Well, one of the end credit songs, Kid, is sung by Peter Andre. I wonder if he picked up his copy of the 3D Blu-ray in Iceland?
Go to page 2 for a look at the presentation and the extras.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.