Animated Movies, DreamWorks, Reviews

DreamWorks Countdown 28: ‘Mr. Peabody and Sherman’

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Before starting this review I must own up that I am not the biggest fan of most DreamWorks comedies. Their broad parody-based approach usually doesn’t do it for me. That may be part of the reason why I found 2014’s Mr. Peabody and Sherman to be such a pleasant surprise. It does the very difficult task of updating a vintage property for modern audiences and has a script that is consistently hilarious.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman originally appeared as Mr. Peabody in the 1950s-60s as part of the television show The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. These were short “Peabody’s Improbable History” segments where a genius dog named Mr. Peabody and a boy named Sherman went through time using a device called the WABAC. These episodes were fun because of Mr. Peabody’s dry wit contrasting with the more innocent Sherman.

This is essentially what we get in the feature film. Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell) is Sherman’s (Max Charles) guardian and he cares about the boy but has a difficult time expressing his emotions. Sherman is defensive about Mr. Peabody and one day gets in a fight with a schoolmate named Penny (Ariel Winter). To try and smooth things over Mr. Peabody invites Penny’s parents over for dinner (Stephen Colbert and Leslie Mann). Unfortunately Sherman decides to show Penny the WABAC and all kinds of shenanigans happen throughout time.

I do enjoy the animation especially the slick look of the WABAC and the Funko-like design of the characters but what really makes me enjoy Mr. Peabody and Sherman is the script. The humor, although a super subjective point, kept me laughing throughout the film, even after multiple rewatches.

Some of my favorite jokes are:

“It’s not fair. All my friends are fighting in the Trojan War.”

“And don’t even get me started on Oedipus. Needless to say you do not want to be at his house over the holidays.”

Mr. Peabody: “In my opinion they get married way to young in Ancient Egypt or perhaps I’m just some old Giza.”

“But we’ve already paid for the catering” (about giving up the sacrificial offering)
Mr. Peabody: “TOO BAD. You are going to lose your deposit.”

“I was talking to the Sun God Ra the other day and he told me he changed his mind. Old Flip Flop Ra we call him here in the Underworld.”

“Oy again with the plagues. Why did we move to Egypt again?”

Penny: “Can it go back to an hour ago? … Because I could take it home, pretend to be sick and not come to this lame dinner party.”

Sherman: “Mr Peabody I hate her.”
Mr Peabody: “Every relationship starts from a point of conflict and evolves into something richer”

Mr. Peabody (to Sherman): “This kind of wanton violence is totally unacceptable and rather uncharacteristic given how you feel about Mr Gandhi.”

Mr. Peabody to Marie Antoinette: “You can’t have your cake and edict too.” 

“Who dares insult me with this melon!”

The story of Mr. Peabody and Sherman doesn’t break the mold. It’s a fun time travel adventure similar to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure or Time Bandits. It comes down to whether you find it funny or not, and I do.Ty Burrell is also brilliant in his voice work as Mr Peabody, as are the other talent involved, but it still comes down to the jokes.

What do you think of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and what is your favorite DreamWorks comedy?

Edited by Kajsa Rain Forden

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About Rachel Wagner

Rachel has loved animation since she was a little girl singing songs from The Little Mermaid at the top of her lungs. She currently works in social media marketing and loves to blog and vlog about Disney, Pixar and all kinds of movies in her free time. Her favorite movie is Up and she considers herself quite the Cinderella aficionado seeing every version she can get her hands on. She also loves animated TV shows like Simpsons, Gravity Falls, Star Wars Rebels and more. Follow her on twitter @smilingldsgirl
  • Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like some of DreamWorks’ best films are their lowest grossing ones. Peabody and Sherman is definitely one of those.

    • Rachel Wagner


      • Manuel Orozco

        Hey Rachel it’s Manny. I rented Captain Underpants last Wednesday off of DVD Netflix. I enjoyed it as much as you did. Humor was a bit off but the animation quality and self awareness were forgiving.

        • Rachel Wagner

          Yay! Thanks for checking back in

          • Manuel Orozco

            No problem

  • Jordan Briskin

    Personally, from what I saw of the previews, it doesn’t seem like it does much to make this film enjoyable for both fans of the original show, and younger audiences. It’s especially frustrating when you consider the fact that this movie came from the director of THE LION KING and STUART LITTLE…

    • Rachel Wagner

      Well this fan of the original show loves it so what can I say? It comes down to whether you find it funny or not. It has the dry wit of the original show down very well.

    • Thought this was alright movie, but I was a bit
      disappointed myself considering the director.

  • Anna Pąs

    I love this movie so much. Definitely one of DreamWorks’ bests.

  • Eli Sanza

    One of my favorites from DreamWorks. I laughed more than usual watching it.

  • Sebastian

    I love this movie to pieces. The story is balanced to keep you watching both a saturday cartoon filled with humor but also a very touching parenting subplot between the father and son. The voice acting is top notch and the script is simple yet very clever. My only complaint or nitpick is the character of Penny. I guess it’s just that I found her to be very unnecessary mean but that’s it.

    And the thing I love the most about this movie is… The art style, animation and overall design of the film. I love how vibrant and sharp the art style is. From Peabody’s apartment to Antionette’s cakes and Egypt’s sunny environment. Even the school where Sherman attend is styled in a very unique way. I wish to see more animated films like these using a similar style. Cause aside from HTTYD more realistic style this is the one I adore in cartoon style. Absolutely amazingly done from Dreamworks artists and my favourite art style outside of KFP & HTTYD.

  • Chelsea Warner

    When I saw this in the theater, my friend and I were the only two there. It was a matinee showing on a school day, but still I was surprised.

  • This was an overall ok movie. Liked the humor
    and the visuals and it respected the original
    source material for the most part. However, I
    was not emotionally invested in the characters
    that much and the pacing and action, epically
    the ending felt a bit too frantic and too rushed.

  • Marielle

    The jokes/dialogue I found cringe-inducing. The time travel is fun, but the plot line with Penny is a bore. Why are social workers always the villains in kids’ movies? They are trying to help!


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  • Alex Beezley

    I like Mr. Peabody and Sherman and think that it is Minkoff’s best film outside of The Lion King. While I am not familiar with the original series, as a history buff I am able to appreciate the different setting and historical figures. In addition, the humor works most of the time, especially in terms of the wordplay. Finally, the animation is outstanding, which was unexpected considering that DreamWorks comedies are not known for having the best animation. The only thing that I did not like was the slapstick in some of the scenes; it felt out of place most of the time. Overall, though, this is a solid film that is very entertaining.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I think I’m going to be condemned by my fellow 90’s babies but I prefer Peabody and Sherman over Lion King.

  • Man I remember wanting to see this in theatres but for some reason instead went to see Muppets Most Wanted the last minute (don’t regret it, SO GOOD!!) but having then seen it months later I thought it was pretty cute
    But yeah those jokes looking back really are super funny! And helps to have Ty Burrell whom which I LOOOOVE!! Totally think it’s very cute and definitely a fun little time 🙂

    • Manuel Orozco

      I saw Peabody and Sherman on Muppet’s Most Wanted’s opening weekend and waited until I was on Spring Break a month later to see Muppets. Enjoyed them both equally

  • Manuel Orozco

    I have to agree Mr. Peabody & Sherman is hilarious, heartwarming and colorfully animated. Not an easy package to find in feature animation nowadays. I’m not really familiar with the original cartoons. But the reinvention aspect in terms of it’s storyline drew me. I wish I had my own time machine like the Wabac. 4/5 stars