This movie made me feel old. It’s not a bad flick at all, entertaining for the kids and jokes for the adults as well. The core of the Peabody and Sherman concept is there, but really this story could have easily been plugged into a Shrek, or a How to Train Your Dragon, or even some new DreamWorks property instead of tarnishing my childhood. More after the jump.
I wasn’t around for the original “Adventures of Bullwinkle” or “Rocky and Friends,” but I got a healthy syndicated dose of them every Sunday morning with my big brother when I was just a wee one in the early seventies. “Peabody’s Improbable History” was one of my favorite parts of the show (along with “Fractured Fairy Tales). Besides being funny, I loved the terrible puns, and the fact I was learning history while being entertained at the same time.
This movie, while good, just doesn’t have the charm of the source material. The voice actors don’t come close to the originals. I wished for circuitry walls and a walk through door for the Wayback (not WABAC) Machine rather than a slick space vehicle. I wanted Sherman as thick but intelligent straight man, and Peabody on all fours, like a dog, as he was for a good portion of the cartoons.
Much of the thrust of the plot is based around the idea that Sherman is Mr. Peabody’s adopted son. I don’t recall this from the source material, but it didn’t bug me as much as it did my friend Ray on The GAR! Podcast this week. More often than not their relationship was described as a throwaway one-liner, “I’m Mr. Peabody and this is my pet boy Sherman.” Peabody as a dad is kinda weird, and it gets even weirder when they make a music video out of it with John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy.”
I liked it, I enjoyed it, but I’m not going to buy it or see it again. If anything, I’ll revisit the old cartoons. I know I’ll like those.