So I went to the local second run theater this weekend to see how they may have mangled a classic from my childhood. And I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
Peabody’s Improbable History was a segment of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. In it Mr. Peabody the world’s smartest dog and his boy Sherman traveled back in time via the WABAC machine. There they interacted with people from the past until they return and Mr. Peabody ends the show with a truly horrible pun. Well you can see right away what appealed to me regarding this series: the horrible puns.
So the folks at Dreamworks decided that sticking to the original premise was the best way to bring a contemporary spin to this story and boy did it work well.
Mr. Peabody has been educating Sherman through trips into the past via the WABAC and when Sherman goes to school for the first time ever he raises the ire of Penny, one of the mean girls at school, when he shows up here lack of knowledge of history. She immediately teases him at lunch by saying that he isn’t really a person he’s a dog because that is what his dad is. This frustrates Sherman so much that he bites Penny. This of course causes the principal to summon Mr. Peabody to school to talk about what happened and at the same time call in Ms. Grunion from a child protection agency who is determined to remove Sherman from Mr. Peabody’s care because no dog should ever be a parent.
In an effort to forestall this Mr. Peabody invites Penny’s parents for dinner to mend fences. While they are there Mr. Peabody strictly warns Sherman not to let Penny see the WABAC , which of course he does and then it is a race through time and space to set things right caused by Penny’s escapades.
This is a fun film the parents will enjoy the horrible puns and will empathize with Mr. Peabody’s struggle to become a parent.
The kids will enjoy the mischief that Sherman and Penny get into and may also enjoy the history that is slipped in on the sly. There is a touch of what could be scatological humor and some maybe turned off that but don’t let it stop you from seeing this film.
I am giving this a four out of five stars.