Old friends, new tricks!
Swift shot: A fantastic trip through time with some old friends . . . with some new contemporary twists! I grew up watching The Bullwinkle Show, and while I enjoyed all the different parts and characters, the “Peabody’s Improbable History” segments were my favorite. It’s probably why I became a history major, well, that and my math skills weren’t the best. So, I was expecting to not like this film, for fear it would (to use modern movie-critic parlance) “ruin my childhood,” like a movie could possibly do that! I was pleasantly surprised, and it should be noted Jay Ward’s daughter, Tiffany was instrumental in keeping everything in line with her father’s legacy. I think he’d be proud.
Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell) is the smartest dog in the world, he wields his genius like a weapon. His son, (yes I said son) Sherman (Max Charles) loves his father, but he can’t ever seem to do the right thing, especially once school starts and he meets his first bully, Penny (Ariel Winter). Things go from bad to worse as an incident very similar to Carnage leads Mr.Peabody to invite Penny’s folks over to dinner to smooth things over. Of course Sherman and Penny steal the WABAC machine and get lost in time.
With a wonderfully painted tapestry of enthusiasm, the historical worlds are unique and bring together characters both famous and infamous from history. There are too many to list in this brief review, but the history nerd in me was delighted to see Robespierre, Agamemnon, Leonardo da Vinci, and even a cameo by Einstein (see if you recognize the voice)!
The more mature nature of the conflict may be lost on younger audiences, and when the real threat of death is upon our heroes, I am not sure how very young children will react. Still, there are plenty of classic laughs for audiences of all ages to enjoy. This is a film about love, challenging yourself and growing, and about a dog and his boy.