<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Rob Minkoff. Starring the voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Leslie Mann, Patrick Warburton, Stanley Tucci, Mel Brooks, Stephen Colbert
The trailer gives you an idea of how joyless a movie this could be but I thought having a dog as the central character would make it fun. I was mistaken.
Man bites dog
‘If a boy can adopt a dog, then a dog can adopt a boy’ is the premise of Mr Peabody & Sherman. The Mr Peabody (Ty Burrell) is a super intelligent and advanced dog who gets to adopt his very own boy called Sherman (Max Charles) and takes very good care of him. He even builds him a time machine and takes him into the past to give him hands on lessons in history.
But after Sherman bites little schoolmate Penny Peterson (Ariel Winter) when she calls him a ‘son of a dog’, Mr Peabody invites her parents over in true Carnage (the movie) style. In fact the scene where Mr Peterson (Stephen Colbert) takes his mobile phone call while discussing the kids is reminiscent of Christoph Waltz’s character in Carnage who is constantly on his cell phone while the parents discuss their parenting troubles among other things.
All bark, no bite
Unfortunately the adventures to the past do little more than reference personalities like Leonardo Da Vinci and time periods like the French Revolution. Nothing more is added or learned. Sherman’s romantic interest in Penny is as clichéd as they come. And Mr Peabody is so pedantically boring that it’s not funny. Apart from one or two puns, there is no humour. I did not laugh out loud even once.
I love dogs and love that Mr Peabody & Sherman gives us the message that dogs are loyal and loving and willing to accept you as you are. However, this film is not something I’m willing to accept as it is.