Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a Great Selection for a Family Movie Night

2014 was somewhat of a lackluster year for movies that families with young children (preschool/kindergarten/elementary school aged) could enjoy together.  An exception to that was the animated feature film Mr. Peabody & Sherman directed by Rob Minkoff featuring the classic characters from a skit that was a regular feature of the 1960s era television cartoon The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show.  While my wife and I were pretty familiar with the characters from this movie as the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show remained pretty popularly syndicated on television with reruns in the 1970s and 80s it is no longer really showed on TV anymore so Mr. Peabody the talking dog and his ward Sherman were brand new to our six year old twins.  We watched Mr. Peabody and Sherman on Blu-ray recently for a Family Movie Night and everyone was entertained by this humorous flick.

Dreamworks did a nice job of taking the concept for this movie from a 1960s television show and modernizing it to be relatable and relevant to today's times (The Blu-ray contains the original "Peabody's Improbable History" skit from the first Rocky & Bullwinkle Show and wow! watching that cartoon as a 40 year old now versus originally seeing it as a six year old myself makes you appreciate just how much technology has improved over the years and how this film's producers have expanded on the original concept to improve it for today's generation of movie watchers).  For those not familiar with the television show or the animated movie, Mr. Peabody is a talking dog that is also the smartest being in the world.  As a pup, he was rejected by every potential owner that considered taking him home, so Mr. Peabody devoted himself to scientific and technological discoveries.  One day, he comes across an abandoned baby and Mr. Peabody legally adopts the orphaned infant and names him Sherman.  As his son becomes older, Mr. Peabody begins to tutor him regarding art, literature, history, and science by allowing Sherman to experience meeting important people and experience monumental moments through the use of a time machine called the WABAC (Wavelength Acceleration Bidirectional Asynchronous Controller) pronounced "way back" which also relates to its function.

In the movie, Sherman is being bullied at school by one of his classmates, a girl named Penny, whom during one of the incidents the seven year old boy bites her.  School officials become alarmed that maybe this behavior is tied to Sherman being raised by a dog and begin to look into removing the boy from Mr. Peabody's care.  In an effort to patch things up, Mr. Peabody invites Penny and her parents over to his house so they can work things out between the families.  During that visit, in an effort to get Penny to like him, Sherman shows her the WABAC and they take it for a joy ride back to ancient Egypt.  From there hilarity and adventurous hijinks begin leading to a rip in time and space that creates a vortex that could destroy the world if Mr. Peabody, Sherman and Penny can't find a way to fix it.

If you are looking to pickup a fun family-friendly movie for a night at home Mr. Peabody and Sherman gets A Geek Daddy nod of approval.  CLICK HERE to order it on

While watching the movie here are some interesting trivia tidbits to keep in mind and look out for while enjoying the show:
  • Mr. Peabody's first and last lines in the movie are the same as his first/last lines in each episode of "Peabody's Improbable History" cartoon.
  • When the camera zooms into Mr. Peabody's penthouse at the beginning of the movie, there is a sketch of Bullwinkle the moose on the wall over Peabody's yoga mat.
  • When Mr. Peabody is trying to impress Penny's parents with his many talents, upon being asked for something more rock-n-roll he plays the opening riff from "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix and does it as Hendrix would have playing left-pawed (left-handed).  He then switches to playing flamenco guitar right pawed as his normal dominant hand throughout the movie.
  • When Sherman recommends going to the future to save history from the time warp vortex, the theme from "Edward Scissorhands" plays in the background.  Danny Elfman was the composer for this film and that one as well.
  • Near the end of the movie when Mr. Peabody and Sherman are going to the future in the WABAC its speedometer is shown displaying 88 miles per hour, the same speed as the Delorean time machine needed to achieve time travel in "Back to the Future."
  • Just before the end credits, as the Trojan Horse is being pulled off the screen, it is followed by the mustachioed little street cleaner from the end of the parade opening in each of the "Peabody's Improbable History" segments in The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show episodes.

DISCLAIMERAs a member of the Fox Home Entertainment Insiders program I received a complimentary Blu-ray/DVD of Mr. Peabody& Sherman to review.  I did not receive any financial compensation for this post.  The views and opinions expressed are my own.

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