Mr. Peabody Animates History

Sarah Markiewicz, Contributing Writer

Based on past experience, I’ve found it difficult to enjoy children’s movies that are entertaining as well as educational. That’s why I thought “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” was an amusing refresher from most animated films that I’ve seen.

The movie is based off on cartoon from the 1950’s and 60’s called “Mr. Peabody’s Improbably History,” which used to appear as part of the “Bullwinkle and Rocky” show. Much like the original show, it involves an unbelievably intelligent and talented dog named Mr. Peabody, who travels with his son Sherman to different eras in history by using a time machine called the WABAC.

Despite the fact that Mr. Peabody is a dog, he has an amiable relationship with his bright though sometimes naïve son, Sherman. But when Sherman’s snobbish classmate Penny uses the time machine, the daring duo travels into the past to rescue her and make it home before her parents realize that they’re missing.

Like many other time travel movies, technical glitches impede their journey and cause a few unexpected stops along the way. There’s even a paradox in the space-time continuum, which brings familiar people and landmarks from the past to modern day New York City.

Since I’m a self-proclaimed history geek, I was instantly brought in by the time travel factor. It was amusing to have the trio stop in time periods such as Renaissance Italy and ancient Greece, and I enjoyed seeing the wacky versions of King Tut and Leonardo Da Vinci. There are many obvious historical inaccuracies embedded in the time travel scenes, but it’s justifiable since the film is meant to entertain young audiences.

But other than the small amount of slapstick humor, there wasn’t much that would make young children laugh. Although some of the adults in the theater laughed at the puns and references, many of the jokes flew over the heads of younger kids. The things that would probably attract them the most would be the vivid animation, quirky characters, and the novelty of having a talking dog as a father.

Other than the historical references, I was also captivated by other aspects of the film, such as the characters’ voices. Mr. Peabody, voiced by Ty Burrell, had the type of voice that you would expect to hear from an intellectual talking pooch. And I had to laugh when I heard the familiar voice of Patrick Warburton, who was in the role of King Agamemnon.

So if you’d like a juvenile dose of history and science fiction, I would recommend “Mr. Peabody and Sherman.” Even if you’re not into those things, you might as well gain a more entertaining perspective of the French Revolution and the Trojan War.