Review: MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN (2014) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Review: MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN (2014)

It's sometimes uneven, but MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN is colourful and zany enough to entertain both young and old viewers alike.

When I first saw the trailer for MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN, I wasn't that impressed and figured it was just another run-of-the-mill animated feature. But upon finally watching it (thanks to 20th Century Fox Malaysia for the special invitation), I was surprised that MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN turns out to be better than I expected.

Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell) is the world's smartest dog who's an expert of everything, has a time-travel machine called the WABAC (pronounced as "Way Back"), and an adopted human child named Sherman (Max Charles). When Sherman is caught biting his bullying classmate Penny Peterson (Ariel Winter) on his first day of school because she teases him about having a dog for a dad, social services worker Ms. Grunion (Allison Janney) threatens to take him away from Mr. Peabody. In order to prevent such unfortunate event, Mr. Peabody invites Penny and her parents, Paul (Stephen Colbert) and Patty (Leslie Mann) over for dinner. Thing seems to be going well until Sherman inevitably reveals the WABAC to Penny. A series of misadventures begin when Peabody and Sherman forced to travel through time to rescue Penny from Ancient Egypt.
First of all, it's nice to see veteran director Rob Minkoff made his comeback to animated feature since 1994's THE LION KING. Minkoff's direction is both vibrant and lively, while the animation (especially if you watch this in 3D) is simply eye-catching.

MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN also blessed with Craig Wright's bouncy screenplay that toys around with the time-travel genre and entertaining historical undertones. Whether watching Peabody and Sherman in Ancient Egypt trying to save Penny from marrying King Tut (Zach Callison), meeting Leonardo Da Vinci (Stanley Tucci) in 1508 Florence, Italy when he is struggling to paint Mona Lisa, Sherman and Penny having fun flying Da Vinci's invention around the town, or facing trouble during the Trojan War, Wright certainly has his unique way to make history fun enough for kids to learn about. That's not all, the story is also exceptionally witty for adults to enjoy as well.

All the voice talents here are top notch, with Ty Burrell and Max Charles (who voiced Mr. Peabody and Sherman respectively) being the occasional highlights. Their characters are well-written and certainly worth rooting for because of their genuine warmth they share together as father and son.

The heartfelt montage where Mr. Peabody recalled all of his memories involving him and Sherman as he come across a wall of photographs. I'm particularly loved the way they used John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" as the background song for this scene. Another memorable moment of course, is the screwball finale involving a bunch of historical figures (e.g. Albert Einstein, George Washington, etc.) from different eras appear in the present day due to the messed-up space-time continuum.

Despite clocking at a compact 92 minutes, the movie tends to flag due to its sometimes episodic storyline. And other times, not all jokes really work.

All flaws aside, MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN remains a top-notch animated feature worth watching for. By the way, try your best not to enter the cinema late because you just don't want to miss this animated short clip called ALMOST HOME. It's a hilarious story about a bunch of cute-looking aliens try to locate a planet for their new home, only to end up suffering from a series of unfortunate events.


No comments: