movies: mr peabody and sherman

mr peabody and sherman - he's leaving his mark on history
I grew up watching the original Peabody's Improbable History segments on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show when I was a kid... the reruns, though, not the first time around... I'm not THAT old!

So Mr Peabody and Sherman was something of a nostalgic revisit to my youth but with all the bells and whistles of modern animation.

However, even though I was familiar with the characters I didn't realise that they'd lifted the whole framework of the plot (the fact that Peabody has actually adopted Sherman) from the first ever episode. In fact having now seen that first episode, I can see exactly how true they were to the source material.

And I like that.

It's also a good looking movie... Mr Peabody's rooftop penthouse apartment is gorgeous, very Mid-Century modern. And the WABAC machine has had a much needed upgrade from a simple doorway to a floating red sphere complete with floating transparent displays and adaptive camouflage. Ancient Egypt, Renaissance Florence and the Trojan War all look great too... particularly the lighting effects.

The voice cast is great, with Ty Burrell from Modern Family doing a pretty flawless version of the original voice. There are also a number of celebrity voices, including Allison Janney, Stephen Colbert, Stanley Tucci, Patrick Warburton and Mel Brooks.

The only thing that bugged me was the fact that in the opening sequence the pair travel to the French Revolution and they use the apocryphal quote about Marie Antoinette saying "let them eat cake"... which wouldn't have bothered me as much if it hadn't been for the fact that later in the movie they make a point of spelling out the fact that the story of George Washington and the cherry tree is actually apocryphal (as well as explaining what apocryphal means for the audience). Now whether that's just because the writers/director only cared about not taking liberties with American history or not, I don't know... but it seems strange.

There are also a number of fairly tame jokes (mostly visual) of a scatological nature... but they're actually pretty funny for the most part, and I'm guessing that the average age of the audience that they're aiming for would think those jokes are hilarious.

All in all, it wasn't a bad homage to a property from the past... it's certainly more faithful than a lot of modern reboots.

yani's rating: 3 fond regards out of 5

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