Review: ‘Mr. Peabody and Sherman’ provides new learning opportunities

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Dreamworks Animation’s newest creation, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, is an odd account about a dog, Mr. Peabody (voice by Ty Burrell) and his legally adoptive human son, Sherman (voice by Max Charles).

Mr. Peabody, a world renowned genius, faces child welfare interference when people question his parenting abilities. His outspoken 7-year-old son, Sherman, introduces his school boy crush, Penny Peterson (voice by Ariel Winter), to a time machine his canine father previously concocted.

Merecedes J. Howze photo

Merecedes J. Howze

The trio, Mr. Peabody, Sherman and Penny travels to many different historical timeframes and events.

The time traveling instances are great history reminders for adults like me, but even more interesting, new experiences for children.

With Black History Month in our rear view mirror, families can continue the learning with this movie.  My children left the theatre amused and delighted, but they also asked, “Hey mommy, who is King Tut?  What is the Mona Lisa? When was the Trojan War?  Why were they fighting?”  Realistically, the answers are above their pay grades, but it provides an opportunity for creative at-home projects surrounding World History.

Mr. Peabody’s time machine was similar to 2013’s “Free Birds.”  The Thanksgiving animated movie also had a plot involving a time traveling contraption where a Presidential turkey went back to the first Thanksgiving to prevent people from traditionally putting turkeys on the menu.  I do not know if time traveling is a trend, but it was very close in timing.

The movie’s animation is crisp, pristine, and innovating.  The evolution of animation, however, has made great strides too. The first short, inexpensive cartoons produced by Walt Disney in 1928 has transformed into $100 million projects over the past century.  From ‘Shrek’ to ‘The Lego Movie’, it takes a pretty penny to make animated films.

The budget for ‘Mr. Peabody and Sherman’ is $145 million.  The movie will slowly make that money back in the box office and generate a positive buzz.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman is a smart story about friendship and family, with a broader lesson in diversity, differences and change.

3 Doggy Stars

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