Critics' Corner: Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Resurrected from the 60's television show "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show", a brilliant dog named Peabody and his adopted son Sherman are finally given their grand Hollywood introduction. The question is whether or not 21st century children will take to the two characters that defy convention in every way possible. Not only is Peabody a single parent, but he's a dog; a dog with an intellect that puts most or all humans to shame. Then you have a child, Sherman, who is faced with ridicule from kids that he may be a dog as well since his Dad is.

"Mr. Peabody & Sherman" deals with a barrage of issues and information in a rapidly filled short amount of time; adoption, parenthood, bullying, George Washington, ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, the Trojan war, the French Revolution and many other notable figures. Many of the historical references may sail right over the heads of your child depending upon their age. Not to say that your child won't understand what is happening, but the movie moves rapidly and there is zero time spent explaining. So, those who understand the historical references I listed will enjoy the trip much more than others.

Fortunately the infectious personalities of the characters will be relate-able to all ages. As Peabody and Sherman are preparing to convince a social service worker that Sherman biting a girl at school wasn't the actions of bad parenting or a confused human child who thinks he's a dog, Sherman decides to defy Peabody and show his new pseudo friend Penny their time travel machine 'the Wayback'. This is where 60's Peabody and Sherman get to do something they never could do before; 3D. There is no question in my mind that "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" is a much better experience in 3D. Not only are the time travel sequences ones that make you sway in your seat, but the frequent poking and jabbing of swords into your nose from multiple time periods is pretty effective.

The movie is a whole lot of fun, but that will vary depending upon age and intelligence. The movie moves very fast and younger children may not understand time travel or why the characters are significant in the least. Despite that though, the one thing that puts "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" over-the-top is the themes that carry over the film; parenthood, forgiveness and presumption. Just because somebody's parent is a dog doesn't mean that they are going to bite, and just because you may dislike somebody doesn't mean that's always going to be the case.