Mr. Peabody & Sherman - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mr. Peabody & Sherman Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 22, 2015
Time travel again, and this time with a view towards taking the kids along for the ride (though there's meat for the adult historical film aficionado as well). Many of the usual stops are included: ancient Egypt, the battle of Troy, the Renaissance, the French Revolution, but no battle of Waterloo. So it goes. Still mainly a fun outing down the corridors of history ... in the WayBack Machine with some old friends lovingly updated for a new generation.
Super Reviewer
½ December 10, 2014
2014 has been an odd year for animated movies. There have been a lot more misses than hits, but this is a surefire hit. Basically it's about a talking dog who has an adopted human son, and they time travel. It's very, looks great, and keeps my 3 year old very entertained. Just adult enough that you won't be bored out of your skull. Not the best animated movie of the year, but far from the worst. I have a high regard for this movie(that's a Peabody joke, I think, unless I misquoted it).
Super Reviewer
½ August 12, 2014
These characters are based on the wholly American cartoon show 'The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show', a cartoon that has never really been shown that much within the UK (I believe). In all honesty I can understand why because even though I'm not entirely knowledgeable on the series I have seen it here and there...and it wasn't very good really. The main reasons being the cartoon is pretty old and dated both culturally and visually, the animation has that sparse Hanna-Barbera look which I never really liked that much and the main characters just don't really appeal, but that's just me.

As for Mr. Peabody and Sherman I haven't really seen much of these characters at all, I don't recall them in any way, ditto Dudley Do-Right. So I went into this film not really knowing what to expect other than the fact it was a kids flick and it looked colourful. Seeing as these two characters adventures revolved around time travel originally its no surprise that this movie goes down the same route...duh! So naturally we are sent on a head spinning trek across time and space...albeit a pretty convoluted trek.

Yes the whole time travel idea is a tad mundane these days, you can only do so much really and we've seen it many times before. Many of the usual locations turn up such as Egypt, Ancient Greece (probably down to recent popularity with the 300 movies) and a few European countries. Most of the famous historical figures the duo meet are the regular bunch we always tend to see in time travel movies...George Washington, Abe Lincoln and Albert Einstein *yawn*. Despite all the predictable unoriginal cookie cutter themes and the story being quite messy I actually really enjoyed it, in fact the convoluted plot made the film more enjoyable I think, more zany, more interesting and in places a little intense.

I find it funny that the entire adventure happens mainly because Sherman gets bullied by a little girl in his class. Gotta remind myself I'm watching a kids movie all the time, like the whole idea that a dog can adopt a human child! even in a cartoon world that seems kinda odd. Yes Mr. Peabody is a super intelligent dog and ranks above many humans but he's still an animal, just feels strange, on top of that why does he insist on Sherman calling him Mr. Peabody? That relationship throughout the film felt strained to me, I couldn't feel any emotion between them and it reflected on me connecting with them both. Sherman does indeed feel more like a pet to Peabody even thought they both connect on a more loving parental level in the end. Am I looking into this too much?

There are some lovely CGI visuals that are bright bold and highly colourful. Ancient Italy especially looks super lovely where as the Trojan horse sequence not only looks good but is very amusing thanks to the ever hilarious Patrick Warburton and his perfect vocals. Seriously was that guy born for animated voice acting or what! Unsurprisingly all the sequences set back in time look really good and very slick, once we reach the present day things get less eye catching naturally, we all know what the present day looks like huh.

All in all I can't deny it does feel a little formulaic with the nonsensical science tomfoolery and jargon thrown at you from every angle, the kind of flashy pretty looking and hi-tech sounding stuff that looks and sounds good on screen but no one really knows what they're on about. We see this often in kids fantasy flicks. I still don't quite get why the vortex at the end starts spitting out various random famous historical landmarks and monuments and then when its reversed it sucks them all back up conveniently...don't question it, don't question the space-time continuum rip thingy. Anyway the movie is a hoot all the way through with, I think, some good quirky eye candy, fun sight gags and fun verbal.
Super Reviewer
December 3, 2013
History is catching up with them.

Very Good Animated Movie! What made this movie special is the little details that are revealed along the way like how Sherman was adopted. The animation is fantastic and the 3D adorns it. As someone who likes puns, I absolutely loved the jokes, not just from Mr. Peabody but from other characters in the movie as well. Agamemnon was hilarious! Not everything is funny though, there are a few serious and tear jerking moments that make this movie special. At the end of the day, "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" is a beautiful, funny, and even heartfelt film that families from every background will get a kick out of. It is enjoyable to watch, and I dare even say it's one of Dreamworks' best efforts to date.

Mr. Peabody is a business titan, inventor, scientist, gourmand, two-time Olympic medalist and genius...who also happens to be a dog. Using his most ingenious invention, the WABAC machine, Mr. Peabody and his adopted boy Sherman hurtle back in time to experience world-changing events first-hand and interact with some of the greatest characters of all time. But when Sherman breaks the rules of time travel, our two heroes find themselves in a race to repair history and save the future, while Mr. Peabody may face his biggest challenge yet - being a parent.
Super Reviewer
March 29, 2014
The humour might be a little too lofty for its target demographic from time to time but the film around it is a light-hearted adventure which ties in the huge ideas neatly. Full review later.
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
½ March 19, 2014
Surprisingly adroit, Mr. Peabody & Sherman might just be more fun for adults, especially fans of the original 1960s cartoon, than for little kids. It?s under the ?family film? banner, a dubious one historically, but I was laughing consistently and good, snorting laughs, long chuckles; the whole gamut. With The LEGO Movie, the wide release of The Wind Rises, and now this, 2013 is shaping up to be a stellar year for animation aficionados. The movie between a genius dog and his adopted son is given the right amount of reverence before all the cheeky irreverence through history. The hops through time, notably the French Revolution, ancient Egypt, and the Trojan War, are fast-paced and clever without stooping to provide much context for the jokes; you either get them or you don?t. Even the necessary character building components between father and son are treated smartly, coming together for an ending that approaches poignancy. The plot can get a little complicated toward the end, what with opening a space-time paradox, but I respect the movie for being complex and tricky and scientific and trusting its audience to play along. The animation looks a little scruffy compared to other big screen efforts, but the script just flat-out works. The comedy, the drama, the relationships, but especially the comedy. If you?re on the fence, please, do yourself a favor, and go see Mr. Peabody & Sherman, especially if you appreciate history and those who love it. I saw it with my father and we both laughed ourselves silly. Needless to say, this blows 2000?s Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle out of the water.

Nate's Grade: A-
Super Reviewer
March 13, 2014
Rob Minkoff's Mr. Peabody & Sherman takes it simple with a complex concept.Despite a quick pace and the easy possibility of confusion involving time travel, the film's 90 minute story is easily to follow. Various characters come and go and come again, making for nice change-ups throughout the film; however, by the end there isn't much that stands out.Visually, the bright colors throughout the various settings, thanks to time travel, delight the eyes. The characters themselves have a child friendly look to them.Ty Burrell has a standout voice for Peabody. Max Charles and Ariel Winter provider acceptable voices for the two other leads.Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a good relaxing movie to kick back to. Nothing more.
Super Reviewer
March 12, 2014
With "Mr. Peabody and Sherman," Dreamworks Animation along with Jay Ward Enterprises and Bullwinkle Studios set its WABAC ("Wayback Machine") to the late-1950's and early-1960's and charmingly revives one of the most popular features that was a segment of "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" television series about a dog and his boy. This witty,and kid friendly cartoon captures the splendor and the essence not to mention the tone,and the snappy pace of the animated television shorts(which ran 7 minutes in length)that began with the voice of Bill Scott(who was also the voice of Bullwinkle The Moose)intoning, "Peabody here,my boy Sherman..."
Mr. Peabody is a Harvard graduate, a Rhodes scholar and Nobel Prize-winning pooch who "invented the fist-bump, auto-tune and Zumba," and then adopted Sherman who took the boy under his wing,giving him a head-start on school by taking the kid time-traveling to visit historical places and meet historical people. The Wayback Machine or WABAC allows Sherman and Mr. Peabody to meet everyone from Gandhi to Einstein, Leonardo DiVinci to the Wright Brothers. They even get the chance to travel back in time to meet Vincent Van Gogh on painting suggestions, electrical tips from Ben Franklin and catch a home run baseball from Jackie Robinson. They travel to ancient Egypt, drop in on the Trojan War and make Mona Lisa crack a smile while playing with Jimi Hendrix's fender guitar upside down. Fans of the classic Jay Ward TV show may take longer in adjusting to the new voices and dialogue here which zip along briskly. Ty Burrell (TV's Modern Family)is the voice of Mr. Peabody; newcomer Max Charles("The Neighbors" plays Sherman. But the witty word play and pull out all stops supporting cast makes it pay off well. With the supporting voices of Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann(who are hilariously funny),and Ariel Winter(as Penny,the bully who torments Sherman)along with Patrick Warburton, Stanley Tucci and an hilariously funny Mel Brooks as Leonardo Di Vinci . Director Rob Minkoff("The Lion King"),who is a huge fan of the show brings the characters to life here and it is a feast for the eyes that kids and adults(who grew up watching the show) would really like. This is one of the more successful movies based on characters from Jay Ward that did phenomenol business at the boxoffice raking in more than $32 million to become the second highest grossing weekend opening animated film behind "The Lego Movie". Where other movies based on Jay Ward TV-cartoons flop at the boxoffice ("Rocky and Bullwinkle", "George of the Jungle", "Dudley Do-Right", "Underdog"),"Mr. Peabody and Sherman" proved that characters based on Saturday Morning cartoon characters are moneymakers indeed,if given the right chance.
Bathsheba Monk
Super Reviewer
March 10, 2014
I have no idea if the kiddies got all the historical references, but I did and they are a hoot! Menelaus indeed! Best line: "You don't want to go to Oedipus's house for the's awkward." The animation was superb. Sherman could have been a little less cute but I'm not a six year old and I guess that's who he's supposed to appeal to. I had a lot of fun watching Mr. Peabody--making his signature drink "Einstein on the Beach." And all this praise for a movie which contains the one element I hate in stories: a time machine!
Super Reviewer
March 9, 2014
Not having known about the original source material of this film, I watched the trailer and was blown away with great characters and stunning visuals and I just had to see it. After viewing this film, I must say that I may have overhyped myself a bit for it, because it had a lot of great puns and genuinely funny jokes, but some of them are repeated a bit too much. As expected, the visuals are fantastic and the voice acting fit the characters quite well. It is not film you have to prepare to see, it will immediately put you in a good mood and it's something the entire family can enjoy. I would definitely recommend "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" for all it's exciting and clever plot points, even though most of the film is pretty predictable. It was a very very fun watch!
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2014
i really liked this film a lot. there was a sequence at the end which sort of lost itself in cliches and poor sentimentality, but most of the film was unique and very funny. the characters are great and the story was quickly paced and engaging.
Super Reviewer
November 10, 2014
Consummate adventurers Mr. Peabody & Sherman take off on a whirlwind journey through time in their first feature film. In order to win an argument with one of his classmates Sherman uses a time machine to travel to the past, but after making a muck of things he seeks the help of his adopted father, Mr. Sherman, to set things right. Unfortunately the tone of the film is too lighthearted and jokey, to the point where nothing is taken seriously and there's no stakes to anything that happens. And the voice performances are poorly done, feeling generic and cartoonish. Incredibly stupid, Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a rushed and messy film that's all over the place.
Super Reviewer
½ September 2, 2013
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a fun family film, one with fun voice performances and a good heart. Its nowhere near Dreamwork's Animation best film, but it proves they still have that magic touch.
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2014
When studying writing one aspect that varies upon discovery is the usage of formulas and learning how different plot devices work in conjunction to each other. One area where the discovery of formulas is the most deadliest and most uncertain is comedy. If the punchline to a joke is foreseen before it delivery in the way expected than the joke fails. However, comedy is a tricky area to fully understand for a non comedian as even the most tire jokes can be made funny again if done right. In the case of the Mr. Peabody & Sherman it's a well made film weighed down heavily by subpar writing.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman is about an advanced canine and his adopted son attempting to fix a time rift they created. One immediate thing is made clear early on is the lack of sufficient material to sustain a ninety minute runtime. Everything in the film from characters, humor, and conflict are rushed. So insecure about its own material that if it were to take a breather it would lose the audience. The main duo of intellectual dog Mr. Peabody and his dumb son Sherman aimed to present a meaningful relationship despite the odd setup. It's intention are well meant, but as the characters stated themselves it's just presented as child causes overblown issue and parent has to fix it. It's not a father son relationship where the conflict actually helps strengthen the relationship or aptly show how this duo interact with each other outside of conflict. Rather it serves to highlight one's very useless and the other is god like. There's no dilemma ever arising in this relationship because Mr. Peabody written to be a perfect character. Instead of putting effort to make Peabody near perfection in everything he does be part of the conflict it becomes a tool for an easy fix. Leading to convoluted filled acts. Without good characterization in general filling up supporting characters with specifics humor functions what it main characters feel never become organic. This same issue pops up when we're being told how much Mr. Peabody and Sherman care for each other when a good scene itself can get that across much better. While the idea behind Mr. Peabody as a parent is worth exploring the execution of it undermines the value of parenthood.

The biggest disappointment with this film is its uninspired take on a good premise. When you have time travel and characters who are interested in history the possibilities should be endless instead of recycled. Filled with humor revolving around the rule of three (writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier) invents a formulaic immunity through it course. Usage of the rule of three come around frequently enough that jokes revolving around the rule become tiring. Once you get used to the formula it stops being funny. Another area it builds its humor around are puns. These puns are very lazy and not given much thought which goes against the characters the film consider to be smart. It's a lot dumber than it admirably wants to ignore. Historical figure were welcomed in the film, but the setup and delivery of them not as much. When Sherman gives a speech about second chances Bill Clinton appears in the background saying "I've done worse". Out of all the possible jokes it chose to make a safe one. Which best describe the humor in a nutshell. Jokes are predictable, safe, reused periodically, and foreseen making their delivery fall flat. Though the biggest nitpick for me stems from the fact there's not a single female character that's well written. Penny Peterson has the biggest role out of any female character and she's a tool to set the chain of events going. She changes quickly at the whim of the story demand, never redeem despite what she does early on in the film, and her only contribution in the story is negative.

Ty Burrell voices Mr. Peabody and his performance is excellent. Everything about he exquisitely voices judgement, from the way he sprints through Peabody's scientific exposition, but never so quickly that he confuses the viewer, to the way he unveils the dog's wretched puns is spot on. Max Charles who plays Sherm is also good in the role. His performance is filled with energy and sincerity. Ariel Winter voices Penny Peterson who despite being given a poorly written character her performance is one key. She's bratting when the script demands it and caring when the scene demands it. Winter portrayal is more dynamic and much better than the material provided for her. Supporting cast are fine having the kind of voice actors ranging from the loud beefy character, the snooty evil character, the hyperactive inventor, and so forth. Animation is a bright spot even if the style isn't impressive. Characters are allowed to be expressive and movement is smooth especially in the film chase like sequences. It's colorful that's easy on the eye. Another great spot on the animation department are the vastly time era that are provided different looks. The score won't register much, but it is diverse in the sort of music provided depending on the era the film is currently in.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman themes and humor are undone by its predictable formula and lack of working characterization. The cast of the film elevate the material with their performances delivery some good dramatic scenes and laughs even if the material doesn't accomplish that task to the same extent. It's a well made film, but one that's really needed more thought put into it that would match its characters intellect and make good use of its premise.
Super Reviewer
½ March 18, 2014
After anothter exciting trip in the Wayback Machine, this time involving a lot of cake, with his adoptive father Mr. Peabody, Sherman next gets to put his firsthand knowledge to work in school. Instead of showing how wrong the books got the French Revolution, he gets into an argument with the dreadful Penny about George Washington. That soon escalates into Sherman biting her. That does not stop with him being suspended for a week, as Mr. Peabody has to yet again prove himself to be an able father, what with him being a dog, albeit a superintelligent one.

Let's face it, the original 'Mr. Peabody and Sherman' cartoons were kind of silly. In updating them to feature length, this film stretches the concept to the breaking point with its episodic structure, while at the same time also giving the Wayback Machine a computer generated makeover. Otherwise, the film is touching in being about a unique father-son bond. Not only that but this is also a fun movie that can be considered educational, not only for chldren but also adults, even though they may be more hip to some of the references. For example, how many adults know what apocryphal means?
Bradley T. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ June 29, 2014
Mr. Peabody and Sherman is probably the sweetest Dreamworks animated film in a quite a while. Wonderfully enjoyable, adorable and voiced the film works for all ages. The relationship between Sherman and Peabody is touchin and almost realistic though the storyline revolving around the risk of Peabody losing Sherman is underdeveloped. Still, the three main characters getting whisked in a time machine adventure is ultimately charming and heartfelt with several exciting scenes. Patrick Warburton is great! My rating: 86
Super Reviewer
March 10, 2014
A 90-minute wrinkle in your time, this occasionally funny but overly busy improbable history ends up to be a probably blistery. Let's be honest. Original ideas in H'Wood come along about as often as an honest politician in Washington, DC. Mr. Peabody and Sherman, which originally played out as filler on '60s Saturday morning TV on The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle alongside Dudley Do-Right and Fractured Fairy Tales, held great potential as a remake. It offered up a cockeyed trip through the history books with some simple but ridiculously bonkers components--a brilliant dog, an accident-prone boy, and a wonky time machine. More importantly, it came laced with an acid wit. The modern rendering, however, incorporates a good degree of smart jokes and gags but panders more to kids while the convoluted story can't be understood by some of the adults who brought them. Rather than just tell a good story, the script throws everything AND the kitchen sink at audiences including King Tut, time traveling dopplegangers, Abe Lincoln, space-time continuum wormholes, and a sub-plot involving Child Protective Services. By the time the inevitable saccharine life lesson comes, you're too busy scratching your head to care.

In this PG-rated animated comedy, the time-travelling adventures of an advanced canine (Burrell) and his adopted son (Charles), as they endeavor to fix a time rift they created.

Ty Burrell and Max Charles give decent lip service to the title characters but it's the work of director Rob Minkoff (The Lion King, Stuart Little) and screenwriter Craig Wright that should concern moviegoing families more. Though far from that old rotten chestnut of a modern cartoon update known as Alvin and the Chipmunks, Mr. Peabody and Sherman nonetheless reaches way back and come up somewhat empty handed. Somewhere in time, Commander McBragg cries out for his piece of the pie.

Bottom line: Quantum Leak
Super Reviewer
½ February 24, 2014
I was surprised to find myself really enjoying the film. From the trailers, I expected it to be a roundly mediocre affair, another in a long line of unsuccessful attempts in bringing dated cartoon characters to the big screen. However, I ended up having a really fun time with the film. It has a very high laughs-per-minute count, delivering a good mix of physical humour, wordplay and "getting crap past the radar" jokes aimed at the adults in the audience (such as the Oedipus Rex reference, the quip about Sherman "touching himself" and Bill Clinton's cameo). I liked how the story, an adaptation of the "Peabody's Improbable History" cartoons, played with historical elements in an entertaining manner reminiscent of Bill and Ted or Doctor Who.
There is a degree of educational content and the film could serve to pique kids' curiosity and encourage them to learn more about the time periods and historical figures depicted in the film on their own. The popular culture references were used in just the right places and I didn't find them as obnoxious as in many earlier Dreamworks animated films (the later Shrek instalments come to mind). My favourite of these sequences was the Troy battle scene, which spoofs the over-used ramping (slow then fast motion) effect popularised by Zack Snyder's 300. The voice cast was good as well, with Ty Burrell's Mr. Peabody suitably authoritative and intellectual. Max Charles was endearingly earnest and gave a very natural vocal performance as Sherman. Stephen Colbert, who has a minor role as Penny's Dad, really should do more animated films - he was also hilarious in Dreamworks' earlier Monsters vs. Aliens.
Stanley Tucci's Leonardo da Vinci and Patrick Warburton's dim-witted Agamemnon were both fun as well. However, the film doesn't satisfyingly explore Sherman's relationship with Penny. She begins the film as a spoilt, detestable bully and suddenly becomes more sympathetic at the midway point without a character arc to explain this, but it's understandable that the focus is placed on Mr. Peabody's relationship with his adoptive son. The film is able to keep a lighthearted tone throughout, without getting sappy or emotionally manipulative and I would recommend it as a film for adoptive parents to bring their children to see. The technical standard of the animation isn't up to the benchmark demonstrated in films like Rise of the Guardians and Frozen, but it did capture the old-fashioned character design adequately. The 3D was designed into the fabric of the film and employed in a delightfully gimmicky manner, with flying spears, tumbling rocks and a barrel of pomegranates that gets knocked out of the screen. The flying sequence, reminiscent of the "Can You Read My Mind" scene in Superman, was lovely. Also of note is Danny Elfman's pleasantly moving score.
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