Mr Peabody and Sherman
There are so few films that are worth seeing in 3D. Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity was made with the format in mind, but for most blockbusters the 3D rendering is an afterthought. However, there have been a number of animated children’s films that have worked really well with little plastic spectacles perched on the end of the nose, films that have used the fad format to its fullest extent: Mr Peabody and Sherman is one of these.
The film tells the story of a genius dog and his adoptive son who accidentally get caught up in a series of time travel adventures, meeting figures like Agamemnon, Tutankhamen and Leonardo da Vinci along the way. So much of the animation is beautifully designed, allowing each time period to come to life. It seems clear from watching big showy scenes, like Mr Peabody’s preparation of dinner or mixing cocktails, that a great deal of love and attention has gone into the animation and into showing off the spectacular talents of the animators.
The film combines the extremes of the sublime and the ridiculous – from the touching relationship between Sherman and his dog dad to the two of them being fired from a sphinx’s bottom. There is a surprising amount of historical detail, even if each event is related with a healthy dollop of irreverence (Marie Antoinette is obsessed with cake, Agamemnon is like a high-school jock). And amid the historical references to Plato, or a parody of the Les Misérables sewer escape, the film manages to keep its grip on modernity by mentioning planking and autotune.
At times the plot seems a bit clunky as the characters hurtle from one time period to the next with some kind of forced segue, but it is difficult to know how else to do a time travel movie and, besides, there is enough of a plot to give the whole film momentum. The stunning animation, litany of excellent puns, the utter silliness and Danny Elfman’s exciting score combine to make a thoroughly enjoyable piece of entertainment. There are even plenty of gags aimed at the adults in the audience – just make sure to brush up on Oedipus and other notable literary works before watching the film.
Mr Peabody & Sherman is released nationwide on 7th February 2014.
Watch the trailer for Mr Peabody and Sherman here: