Fresh off the tail of Dreamworks Animation’s Oscar-nomination for The Croods comes the studio’s latest and equally impressive 3D instalment - Mr Peabody & Sherman. Based on the classic 1960s Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon series about super-intelligent and multi-linguist inventor dog Mr Peabody (Burrell) and his adopted young son Sherman (Charles), this sweet-natured and inventive delight is guaranteed to leave tails wagging.
It’s not long until we’re introduced to Mr Peabody’s handcrafted time-machine – WABAC (pronounced ‘wayback’) - that allows his precious son to relive history for himself instead of learning through books.
As the nifty device flashes through the centuries, we find out the real reason why Mona Lisa can’t hold a smile while discovering all about Marie Antoinette’s sweet tooth during the French Revolution. There are also some worthwhile cameos and delicious gags (particularly for adults) along the way courtesy of historical legends such as - Oedipus, Einstein, Spartacus, Gandhi, George Washington and a fun-loving Da Vinci (Tucci).
When Sherman takes the time machine on a joyride to ancient Egypt to impress his classmate Penny (Winter), he soon finds himself vying for her attention against Tutankhamun. Will Mr Peabody be able to save the day and fix the space-time continuum before Penny walks down the aisle with King Tut?
The animation is vibrant and imaginative throughout, with engaging character designs and exquisitely constructed set-pieces which are evident during Sherman and Penny’s thrilling adventure on Da Vinci’s glider and Sherman’s time spent exploring inside the Trojan horse.
The film moves at a lively pace and the witty script strikes the right balance between educational flare and emotional greatness – the father-son relationship is genuinely moving and the school bullying scene is quite upsetting.
The voicework is top-notch, with Tyrell, Charles and Winter all injecting their characters with great personalities. There is also terrific support from Stephen Colbert (as Penny’s dad), Leslie Mann (Penny’s mum) and Allison Janney as the social worker with a chip-on-her-shoulder.
At times it can feel like too many characters have been thrown into the mix – notably the contemporary New York scene, but this doesn’t impact the overall pizazz of the flick.
Mr Peabody and Sherman is highly recommended for a rainy day over the midterm break – you’d be barking mad not to bring your little ones!