When I was in college, my chums and I used to gather to watch reruns of Jay Ward’s very clever animated series, “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show”. In addition to the moose and squirrel cartoons, the series introduced us to “George of the Jungle”, “Dudley Do Right”, and the hysterically funny, “Fractured Fairy Tales”, and “Peabody’s Improbable History”. With droll puns, and snappy dialog, who could resist the story of Mr. Peabody, the most accomplished dog in the world, and his boy Sherman, who used their time machine – the WABAC – to go on the most outrageous adventures known to man or dog?
Now, a big-screen CGI adventure has hit the Cineplex, featuring the voice talents of Ty Burrell (Modern Family) and Max Charles (The Amazing Spiderman) along with Allison Janney, Stephen Colbert and Ariel Winter. Rob Minkoff (The Lion King) directs.
This time around, the mischievous Sherman takes the WABAC out for a joyride to impress his friend Penny. Naturally, they accidentally rip a hole in the universe, wreaking havoc on the most important events in world history. Along the way they encounter Leonardo Di Vinci, King Tut, Alexander the Greek, Marie Antoinette and more. And as always, Mr. Peabody must come to the kids rescue before they forever alter the past, present and future.
Though not quite the acerbic cartoon created by Jay Ward, “Mr. Peabody” offers loads of clever comments for the grown-ups in the audience, while plenty of fun for the kiddies as well.
The Bottom Line: This one is worth seeing on the big screen in 3D. Don’t expect to impart a history lesson for the young ones, but grandparents who originally enjoyed the cartoons 50 years ago will appreciate Peabody’s puns while their grandchildren will definitely relate to Sherman’s antics. Just for fun, you may also want to rent some DVDs of the original animated show.
1 hr. 32 minutes, Rating PG (for some mild action and brief rude humor) 1 hr. 32 minutes