Out of all the cartoons that aired on television in the 1960s, the best one by far was probably "Rocky and Bullwinkle". While the animation was cheap (as most shows were back in the day), it's was great featuring some funny laughs and memorable characters that will be remembered for years to come. They were also many other segments during the show with the most famous being one involving an intelligent canine named Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman who go through many various places in time thanks to Peabody's latest invention, the WABAC. Flash forward fifty years later, and the duo has now appeared for the first time on the big screen thanks to the help through DreamWorks Animation and "Lion King" director Rob Minkoff, and I can happily say that I was satisfied with the results they brought. "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" has the same charm and clever humor that the show had while adding the right amount of heart leading to a very enjoyable movie.
For the past years, the gifted Mr. Peabody (Ty Burell) has been tutoring his adopted son Sherman (Max Charles) on history while using a time machine called the WABAC. They have gone through many different places at different times, like the French Revolution or the days of Van Gogh, the list goes on. Having traveled thru time for many years, Sherman has become a very educated student in history which angers a jealous girl named Penny (Ariel Winter) leading to a fight that ends in the principal's office. Worried that Sherman might get taken away by an angry Child Protectives Services agent (Allison Janney), Peabody sets out to make peace between the two kids hoping they can reconcile. However, Sherman's only way of impressing the girl is the time machine, which results in her getting lost in Ancient Egypt. After warning Peabody about the incident, he and Sherman go off on a crazy time adventure to try to get Penny home.
While many other time travel movies have basically outdone flaws that were present in the show ("Back to the Future" is a notable example), the story still feels rather faithful and funny. One notable addition was a new backstory involved with Peabody finding Sherman which I liked better than the cartoon as I thought it lead to the movie has some good heart to it. The story, however, isn't without its flaws. While I heavily enjoyed the bits involving the time travel, the subplot about Sherman being taken away was very unnecessary. It felt very forced into the story and even to the worst part of the movie which, without spoiling, involves one of the characters defending the other. The animation was pretty good. While it does have some awkward moments involving characters drawn specifically in a 2D format being turned into computer models, I thought the environments created felt faithful. The colors also popped out of the screen which I always love to see in DreamWorks' movies. The characters are also pretty fun. I particularly enjoyed the father-son relationship between Peabody and Sherman. I thought it was handled perfectly which lead to some good emotional moments. The new characters might turn people off though. While I thought Penny was a nice addition and thought she had good chemistry with Sherman, I did not like the CPS agent. She was a perfect example of a one-dimensional character as the only emotion I got from her was anger. That's it. It was frustrating to see no other emotions coming from her. However, it's really a nitpick.
"Mr. Peabody and Sherman" was a very fun movie. I thought that, despite its problems, it had a fun story, some good animation, and some really funny characters. While children might get confused by the movie at parts, I think that the film will entertain them. I certainly was entertained, and I think that's worth the price of admission.