Watch Mr. Peabody and Sherman Online Free Mr. Peabody, the most accomplished dog in the world, and his mischievous boy Sherman, use their time machine – the WABAC – to go on the most outrageous adventures known to man or dog.
There’s a font of smart-alecky pop culture silliness that originated from Jay Ward Productions animation studios in the late 1950s and early sixties including the characters of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Boris and Natasha, George of the Jungle and Dudley Do-Right. One of these, featured on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, was a series of five-minute cartoons, Peabody’s Improbable History, featuring the genius beagle, Mr. Peabody, and his adopted human son, Sherman, who travel through time in their WABAC machine, make bad puns and learn history lessons from famous people.
Watch Mr. Peabody and Sherman Online Free As well as reinventing the story in 3-D, the creators have attempted to do the same for the characters, adding emotional depth and a redeeming message in a story of a canine father (voiced by Modern Family’s Ty Burrell) learning to love his son better, while society learns tolerance for different kinds of blended families. Mr. Peabody & Sherman is the first completely animated feature from director Rob Minkoff (Stuart Little) since The Lion King, though apart from a theme of paternity and high vantage points, the films have little in common. Visually, this is strictly DreamWorks: The Manhattan setting looks like a sixties version of the future, with bright-coloured rubber-toy characters and clean, geometric backdrops. Mr. Peabody is fast-paced and jammed with rib-poking historical references, but it couldn’t be called witty, even on the broadly winking level of the original cartoon.
The movie begins with a shot of the New York skyline, featuring Mr. Peabody’s own glass-box-in-the-sky modernist home as he expounds his accomplishments as inventor, master chef, fencing expert and Harvard “valedogtorian.” Fussy and self-important, he’s borderline insufferable, though it’s a saving grace that when provoked, he loses his sang-froid and reverts to his canine nature, growling and even biting. And he has a soft spot for the kid he adopted, as we learn in a mawkish montage scored to John Lennon’s Beautiful Boy, outlining the story of how he found and adopted the orphan Sherman.
On Sherman’s first day of school, his know-it-all behaviour earns him the enmity of the cute but mean Penny (Ariel Winter, also from Modern Family). After the two have a scrap, the authorities are called in, and the large, booming-voiced social worker, Miss Grunion (Allison Janney) is disgusted with the idea that a dog can be a parent and is determined to investigate. Mr. Peabody, anxious to resolve the issue, invites both Grunion and Penny and her parents (Stephen Colbert and Leslie Mann) to his condo for some gourmet hospitality, cocktails and free chiropractic treatment.
Meanwhile, Sherman tries to impress Penny by showing her the WABAC machine: They zoom off to Egypt, where she decides she’d like to marry the boy King Tut. Sherman rushes back to get Mr. Peabody’s help, and the dog hypnotizes his dinner guests and races back in time. In the convoluted plot, one trip leads to another, from the Renaissance with Leonardo Da Vinci (Stanley Tucci) to the siege of Troy, where the dog and boy find themselves in the Trojan horse, with King Agamemnon (Patrick Warburton) getting his Greek team pumped for the big game.
What is initially just convoluted becomes wildly manic in the final third after Sherman breaks the rule of travelling back in his own lifetime: The space-time continuum has been ripped and something resembling the climax of Ghostbusters seems to have been unleashed, as things explode, lights flash and historical characters wander the streets of New York. Parents will get the historical jokes but are unlikely to be amused; kids won’t get them, but might laugh anyway.
It’s a risky proposition taking something that worked in 7-minute stretches more than 50 years ago and trying to spin it out into 90 minutes of contemporary movie. It certainly hasn’t worked with other attempts to mine the old Rocky and Friends show for box office gold. The fact that it mostly does work here is something of a miracle — or at least a pleasant surprise. OK, so it’s not quite on the loaves-and-fishes level of miracle, but in the winter of our moviegoing discontent, it’ll pass for one. I probably won’t run out and buy the DVD when it hits the stores in a few months, but I had a good time with Mr. Peabody & Sherman. It’s funny, clever, well-made, entertaining and even a little touching without succumbing to outright gooeyness.
The film isn’t exactly the same as the old cartoons, but I’m not sure that anyone — apart from a few critics who seem a little too attached to their childhoods — really cares all that much about its departures. I’m slightly skeptical that Mr. Peabody and Sherman were a major driving force in the popularity of the show when it was new. (Though it almost certainly had more draw than the “Aesop and Son” segments.) This take uses the same basic character designs, but is much more elaborate in its computer animation. Much of the clean simplicity of the settings has been retained, though everything looks considerably more solid — without sacrificing the naive charm. It captures the basic spirit of the show’s look, but elaborates on it without blanding it into facelessness.
The big departure from the show lies in its story. Where Peabody (Ty Burrell) had no backstory in the show, here we learn how he was the puppy that was so smart that no one wanted him. We’re also given a rundown of his scientific accomplishments. No longer is Sherman (Max Jacobs, TV’s The Neighbors) a kind of pet and sidekick to the dog, he’s Peabody’s legally adopted son. This is where the movie gets its emotional center and its central plot — a plot that is mostly an inversion of every childhood yarn about a boy and his dog that ever assaulted your tear ducts. The mechanics of it lie in Sherman getting into a fight at school with the obnoxious Penny Peterson (Ariel Winter, Burrell’s TV daughter on Modern Family). This draws not only the ire of Penny’s parents (Stephen Colbert and Leslie Mann) but the interference of a nasty social worker, Ms. Grunion (Allison Janney), who is determined to take Sherman away from Mr. Peabody and place him in a “proper home.” (Yes, there’s a subtext here, but it’s not really explored in any depth.)
Peabody’s plan is to make Sherman and Penny friends and win over the Petersons and Ms. Grunion. While he has no problem winning over the Petersons (chiropractic skills can be useful), Sherman can only engage Penny’s interest by doing the one thing he isn’t supposed to do — take her time-traveling in the WABAC machine. This is where the real problem begins — along with the bulk of improbable historical encounters. Most of it works, and all of it moves fast enough that it hardly matters. There’s a charming use of John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy” on the soundtrack that sets a nice tone early on. (This isn’t entirely surprising, since director Rob Minkoff had tapped Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again (Naturally)” for an emotional kick in his 2002 Stuart Little 2, but this is much more effective.) The expected puns are there, and they are all appropriately groan-worthy. The jokes are silly enough to please the kids, and they work on a more savvy level for adults, which is the best approach for a family film. The big effects-driven ending? Well, it could be (and has been) used in any number of other animated movies, but it’s fine. Put it this way, you could do a lot worse — like seeing just about any other recent mainstream movie out there. Rated PG for some mild action and brief rude humor.