Saturday, 29 March 2014

Film Review: "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" (2014).




" You used time-travel improperly... we must rewrite history in order to save the universe!” Brace yourself for this as this is what’s going down in Mr. Peabody & Sherman. This American 3D computer-animated comic science fiction film based on the characters from the Peabody's Improbable History segments of the 1960s animated television series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. It is produced by DreamWorks Animation. Directed by Rob Minkoff (The Lion King (1994)), and executive produced by Tiffany Ward, daughter of Jay Ward, one of the creators of the original series. The film is the first DreamWorks animated film to feature characters from the Classic Media library since DreamWorks Animation's 2012 acquisition of Classic Media. The film centers on the time-travelling adventures of an advanced canine and his adopted son, as they endeavor to fix a time rift they created.

The original cartoons are about Peabody, a beagle who is the smartest being in existence. Peabody has accomplished many things in his life as a business magnate, inventor, scientist, Nobel laureate, gourmand, and two-time Olympic medalist. One day, Mr. Peabody becomes sad and lonely and decides to adopt his own human son. In an alley, he meets Sherman, a dorky, glasses-wearing, orange-haired boy. After saving Sherman from a group of bullies, Peabody discovers that Sherman is an orphan and decides to adopt him. After a court appearance and a talk with the President and the government, Peabody becomes Sherman's new guardian. Together they embark on wild and educational time-traveling adventures where they encounter such historical figures such as Vincent Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Antoinette, William Shakespeare, Ludwig van Beethoven and George Washington (just to name a few).

The film features the voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, Stanley Tucci and Patrick Warburton. The film is a whip-smart, consistently funny and good-natured film due to some terrific voice performances and one of the most hilarious appearances ever by an animated version of a living human being. Burrell gave a brilliant performance as the intelligently sophisticated and witty dog Mr. Peabody. Charles and Winter gave incredible performances that captured the essence of what it is to be children at that age, given that one of them was raised by an intelligent dog. Colbert and Mann gave hilarious performances. Tucci and Wartburton gave the most comical portrayals of their historical counterparts I have ever seen on film.

Rob Minkoff's Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a 3-D animated take on the classic characters that tries so hard, but its dazzling animation does not distract the audience from its dated source material and convoluted plot. The film may be a triumph of something — but it's certainly not the triumph we longed for. However the film offers surprisingly entertaining bursts of colorful all-ages fun here and there. To conclude, it’s nothing more than a eye-popping and touching yuletide toy of a movie. To an extent, this film is a case of style – and stylisation – overwhelming substance.

Simon says Mr. Peabody & Sherman receives:


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