by Terrance Mc Arthur
Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.
Jay Ward and Bill Scott.
Those were magic names of my childhood, names responsible for Crusader Rabbit, Fractured Flickers, Hoppity Hooper, George of the Jungle, Super Chicken, Dudley Do-Right, Aesop & Son, Fractured Fairy Tales, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and…Mr. Peabody & Sherman. There have been movie attempts to recapture that magical style in the past (George came close), but now it’s time for Mr. Peabody & Sherman, a CGI-animated feature (also available in 3-D), directed by Rob (The Lion King) Minkoff.
For those of you too young or isolated to have seen the original shows, Mr. Peabody is a dog…a genius…who has adopted Sherman, a human boy. To teach the boy about history, Peabody invented the WABAC time machine (I always thought it was the Way-Back machine, because it would go “way back” in time….Horrible puns were even more important than the animation, back in ’59).
I have to get this off my chest: whoever cast Ty (Modern Family) Burrell as the voice of Mr. Peabody deserves whatever you consider closest to a blessing by a Supreme Being. Burrell has that professorial tone of Scott’s nailed, and has the right touch of satisfaction with his own jokes. He also can handle the modern, touchy-feely parts of the script dealing with un-traditional families, bullying, and the need for a parent to let a child grow and test its wings (which Sherman does, with help from Leonardo da Vinci). Max Charles (The Neighbors) is perky and chipper as Sherman, excited about going to war in the Trojan Horse with King Agamemnon (Patrick Warburton, whose very voice has muscles), and mooning over the girl who torments him, Penny (Ariel Burton, the smarter daughter on Modern Family). To impress her, they run amok in the WABAC, with more stops in the Egypt of King Tut and the Paris of the French Revolution. Ghandi, Einstein, Shakespeare, and several American presidents make appearances.
[As a point of information, I would like to know when “Thou Shalt Make Poop Jokes” joined the other Ten Commandments in making animated films.]
The computer animation is great, the jokes are groan-worthy, and Allison Janney as Ms. Grunion—a social worker who refuses to believe a dog could raise a boy—is a veritable anti-pyramid steam-rolling through her scenes.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman joins the best features of the original to the technology of today, creating great family entertainment (except for the poop jokes).
Mr. Peabody & Sherman begins playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6 this weekend. Showtimes can be found on their website. Platinum Theaters Dinuba 6 now proudly presents digital quality films in 2-D and 3-D with 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound to maximize your movie experience.