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Mr. Peabody and Sherman
Fractured Fairy Tales and the entire collection of delightfully odd cartoons they aired with, like Peabody, played an important role in the young lives they touched. They taught history and current events, adultish humor and, perhaps most importantly, they also taught punning. OK, some may feel that was a bane on a generation, but I loved it. So it was with both interest and trepidation I came to this latest Hollywood revival…
I think the best way to describe the film is that it is a mishmash of intents that, while it satisfies, isn’t really the show I remember. It starts from the very beginning where we get a good sense of Peabody. But then it falls into an adoption story… Mr Peabody was never Sherman’s dad. He was more of a mentor to the boy. Also while Sherman was a naif for Peabody’s jokes and information, he wasn’t a buck-toothed idiot. I think this latter part bugged me the most. They explain, present, and use the adoption thread well. However, that such a boy could be that foolish living in that house beggars imagination. It wasn’t that he was naive, he was outright dumb at times… and at other times quite smart. The intent, I think, was to make him socially awkward, but book-smart. However, that wasn’t how it was presented.
Janney (Bad Words) certainly ate up the screen and had great fun with her Cruella De Vil interpretation. She was an entertaining, teeth gnashing villain of the first order. I wish we had understood more about her than we ever do. She ends up just a delightfully evil black-hat with no obvious motivations, which was a shame. Burell (Muppets Most Wanted) did a great Peabody and Charles (Neighbors) did well with what he had for Sherman, actually taking him on a journey despite his incredulous choices.
There is enough here for kids to keep them interested, and some nice adult references as well. As a story it felt rather forced and weak, but it may fit the bill for you, depending on your particular love of the original.