Review: History comes alive in 'Mr. Peabody and Sherman'

By Fred Hawson

Posted at Mar 09 2014 11:57 AM | Updated as of Mar 09 2014 07:58 PM

At first I was not interested to watch this film since the poster looked absolutely juvenile. The characters and the title did not appeal, looking and sounding so old-fashioned. My kids did not really want to watch it as well. However, good initial reviews got me intrigued to see it.

Mr. Peabody is special little white dog who wore round-rimmed glasses and a red bow tie. He can talk, read tomes, graduate from Harvard, and earn a Nobel Prize -- a veritable Jack-of-all-trades who can do anything under the sun. He adopts an abandoned baby boy named Sherman due to his desire to give the boy what he never had growing up, a home.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman share a secret activity together, traipsing around history with an amazing time machine. This invention by Mr. Peabody can take them to any time in history he likes, allowing them to meet and be friends with all the great figures in history.

On Sherman's first day at school, a sassy little blond girl named Penny bullies him, and he retaliates by biting. This altercation leads to a series of events which may cost Mr. Peabody not only his custody of his beloved Sherman, but may alter the whole fabric of human history as we know it.

The whole absurd concept of a genius dog adopting a boy really did not ring well with me. Thankfully, the execution of the story about them travelling through history did sustain my interest. As a history buff, I enjoyed seeing the various periods in history and the characters come alive and interact with our protagonists.

Kids who have no interest in history will have a good time laughing at the crazy visual comedy as the unlikely pair go to Ancient Egypt, to Troy, to Florence during the Renaissance, to Versailles during the French Revolution, etc., and probably learn some things along the way.

The animation is okay, a bit on the old-fashioned style. Dreamworks characters do not really grab you at first sight. "Shrek," "How to Train Your Dragon" and "The Croods," I almost did not watch because of the unconventional artwork for the characters. Luckily I was convinced to see them anyway because of good word of mouth, and I ended up loving them. This one I liked, not really love. 7/10

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."