“Mr. Peabody and Sherman” is a film that explores father and son bonding, time travel, historical misconceptions and a liberal use of puns. It is a phenomenal, family-friendly movie, containing intricate, cleverly-worded jokes for adults with the response from Sherman being “Ha ha ha ha … I don’t get it,” which got laughter from the children of the audience every single time without fail.
When it comes to time travel paradox resolution on the silver screen, very delicate technique is required. Though every instance of time travel in the movie can be justified and follows the basic rules set in place by the movie’s technology. Mr. Peabody’s time machine – powered – or at least jumpstarted by kinetic energy and Renaissance era technology, is capable of this.
Some great talent was cast for this movie, including Steven Tobolowski, Stephen Colbert, Stanley Tucci, Patrick Warburton and the father-daughter combination from ABC’s “Modern Family,” Ariel Winter and Ty Burrell. These actors and actresses perform very well in both their roles and together.
As far as historical context goes, the movie does a passable job. Some of the Ancient Egypt sequences feel a bit like an Indiana Jones action scene, while the renaissance sequence is aesthetically crafted to fit the italian countryside.
For the casual history buff, the puns and humor involving significant historic moments will greatly entertain, but audience members who studied Greek or French culture extensively might have a few gripes. As someone who extensively studied the French Revolution, I had some serious problems with the portrayal of life in the Palace of Versaille and Marie Antoinette. These were solved when the following reign of terror was led accurately by Maximilien Robespierre.
Overall, it is an entertaining movie for kids and adults. Grandparents who want to share the cartoon from their childhood with their grandkids will find this film to be the perfect opportunity. As Mr. Peabody said, “There are certain things that are scientifically guaranteed to be funny, like the pratfall,” or the talking dog.