Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Beloved 60’s cartoon characters, reinvented for a new generation. Their 2014 animated film is a total riot. I don’t know if it stays true to the spirit of the original, but both my parents loved it. And they grew up watching the original, so I’d say that’s a pretty good endorsement.
Mr. Peabody is a dog. He is also a genius, business titan, inventor, scientist, gourmand, two-time Olympic medalist, and Sherman’s adoptive father. If a boy can adopt a dog, why can’t a dog adopt a boy? Mr. Peabody does everything he can to make sure that Sherman has a proper upbringing, even inventing a WABAC machine to travel through time. Together, they visit all sorts of interesting places in the past and meet all sorts of fascinating people. They also create a rift in the space-time continuum, with dire consequences if they can’t get it repaired.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman’s adventure begins on Sherman’s first day of school. His already advanced education and slightly know-it-all attitude don’t win any friends. In fact, he makes an enemy: Penny Peterson, a bratty girl who viciously picks on him. She even puts Sherman in a headlock and he retaliates by biting her on the arm. This results in child services being called in – in the form of Ms. Grunion. Imposing and arrogant, she believes a dog has no business adopting a boy and is determined to see that the court takes Sherman away from Mr. Peabody. This is the beginning of a series of misadventures including, but not limited to, Mr. Peabody throwing a dinner party for Mr. and Mrs. Peterson; Sherman and Penny traveling through time – without Mr. Peabody; Sherman crashing Leonardo da Vinci’s flying machine; Mr. Peabody fighting – and dying – in the Trojan War; and the creation of a tear in the space-time continuum. Mr. Peabody and Sherman tumble in and out of scrapes so fast, it made my head spin. It’s a wild, chaotic, hilarious ride – one well worth tagging along for.