If you were lucky enough to catch any of the short cartoons made back in the 60s by Jay Ward Productions, like Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-right, and various other iconic titles from the day, then you must have been looking forward to seeing Mr. Peabody in his own full length film, because he is far more interesting than Underdog. We learn about Mr. Peabody from the source, and how he became such a force of nature. This dog is a brainiac. A brilliant scientist, philosopher, athlete, and gourmand, there is pretty much nothing he can’t do, except find a family of his own. Things changed for him when he discovered a foundling child in a NYC alleyway. This child would become his adopted son, Sherman.
Peabody is doing his best to the finest father he can be for Sherman. Through the invention of the WABAC machine, Sherman has learned about world history by observing events first hand. When we catch them on this particular adventure, Peabody and Sherman are in the Palace of Versailles, learning about Marie Antoinette, and how her frivolous appetites turned into malicious gossip and thus started the French Revolution. It was a love of cake and other heavily frosted things that got the fireball rolling, and soon Peabody is mistaken for a French noble, and is to be the first execution in the Reign of Terror. They narrowly escape, and make it back home. The next day is Sherman’s first day at school, his next big adventure, and he’ll be doing this one solo. He is going to a normal elementary school, and his first day upon them.
Upon arriving at school, Peabody gives Sherman all kinds of fatherly, intellectual advice, and while they are talking, they do not notice the little blonde troublemaker observing them. This is Sherman’s classmate, Penny, and she is bound and determined to make the whole school see that no matter how smart he is, a dog is still a dog. As it happens, later that day, during history class, the topic of George Washington comes up, and the old tales about George are still in fashion, even though Sherman brings on the facts to prove them wrong. Penny now sees Sherman as enemy number one, and is going to have it out with him at lunch.
Sherman makes fast friends with the other geeky boys in his class, and they are having a wonderful time until Penny butts in, and calls Sherman a dog, then a fight ensues, and soon social services are in the loop, and the investigator, Miss Grunion, is determined to make sure that a dog, even one as bright and cultured as Mr. Peabody, cannot be a fit parent for a boy.
Peabody decides to charm Penny’s parents with some gourmet delicacies, and other talents, while Sherman and Penny work out their problems. Soon, Sherman must prove to Penny about his history facts, and he takes her to the WABAC, and soon, they are going through time, supposedly on their way to meet with George Washington, but things get a little quirky, and soon they have to dash off to Ancient Egypt to rescue Penny from marriage to King Tut, and they slide around time due to malfunctions in the WABAC that takes them from Renaissance Italy to the Trojan War, making Sherman do the thing Mr. Peabody has always told him not to do, go to a point in time where he already exists, because it could mess with the time-space continuum.
This movie was pure fun, and I don’t think I could ever get tired of it. It makes more sense to me now than it did when I was a pre-schooler back in the 60s, and it is even better now with the new tech added in. This is a must see movie for bored families during the chill of Winter Break, and it will warm you right up. I just can’t wait to see what other classics from the Rocky and Bullwinkle line up might make it to the big screen next.
I give this film a Musing review of