Cyclone Rewind: ‘Mr. Peabody and Sherman’

Dalton Gackle

“Mr. Peabody and Sherman” is a recent movie adaptation of an early color cartoon that was part of “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.”

The cartoon featured the genius, Mr. Peabody the dog. He was a successful diplomat, Nobel Prize winner, Olympic medalist and inventor, and yes, a dog. Peabody wanted an assistant, so he got the idea to adopt a young boy as, more or less, his pet rather than his son. After all, “every dog needs a boy.”

His greatest invention is The WABAC machine — pronounced “wayback.” It is, of course, a time machine.

Whether the film is a proper adaption is perhaps a better question for an older generation. However, I have seen the original and will give my two cents.

It is a very cute adaptation. The transformation of the titular characters onto the big screen created a greater sense of family. Mr. Peabody is more of a loving father than he was in the original show.

The film was, however, overly cliché in its plotlines. A problem is created by an irrational and crazed buxom woman, a boy and girl hate each other outwardly while secretly liking one another, and only an intense and emotional adventure can bring them together and solve the problem the crazy woman created.

Despite the cliché themes, the story that made up the adventure was quite enjoyable. It was filled with humor for both children and adults. The abundance of jokes and references for the latter surprised me. It certainly made my experience more enjoyable.

What also impressed me about the story was the use of basic physics to explain how time travel worked. They were able to simplify how to fix the problem of a rip in space-time continuum.

One aspect that was silly and actually upset me a little bit, was the simplicity of the accents of the different patrons Peabody, Sherman and Penny met. In all honesty, I could have done a better Italian accent than the one that was attached to Leonardo Da Vinci.

Aside from the accented characters, the voice acting was very well done.

Ty Burrell voices Mr. Peabody. He imitates the original voice very well and gives his own unique inflections to add to Peabody’s character. Burell is experienced in his voice inflections and his comedic act as one of the father figures on “Modern Family,” where he plays Phil Dunphy.

Max Charles lends his voice for Sherman. He is a child actor, with his largest live role as young Peter Parker in the “Amazing Spiderman” franchise.

Ariel Winter voices Penny, the main foe of Sherman, and also his crush. Winter is also a “Modern Family” member, playing Alex Dunphy, where she has attained her comedic and emotional acting experience.

Patrick Warburton voices King Agamemnon. Warburton is an experienced voice actor, lending his voice for several comedic roles including Joe Swanson on “Family Guy,” Kronk in “The Emperor’s New Groove” and Wolf in “Hoodwinked.” He is known for his deep and comedic voice.

Another notable performance is that of Stephen Colbert lending his voice as Penny’s dad. Colbert is known for comedy and does have some voice acting experience from “Family Guy,” “The Simpsons,” “Venture Bros.” and “Monsters v. Aliens.”

The film was directed by veteran Robert Minkoff. He created a good production in this film, drawing on his experience from “The Lion King,” “Stuart Little” and “The Haunted Mansion.” While I cannot say that this film was better than those, Minkoff did not allow this film to flop as I had thought it might.