Mr. Peabody & Sherman

  • Review Date: March 7, 2014
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Punny time-travel adventure with lots of comic peril.
  • Review Date: March 7, 2014
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will become familiar (even if it's in passing) with various historical figures such as Marie Antoinette, Robespierre, Leonardo da Vinci, King Tut, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Vincent van Gogh, Mozart, the Wright Brothers, and events such as the Trojan War, the French Revolution, and the famous works of art the Mona Lisa and Starry Night.

Positive messages

Strong messages revolve around family. A family doesn't need to look like everyone's else's to be valid and loving. History is extremely important, because it can change our lives. (However, every female character in the movie is either mean, difficult, or ditzy -- including the very few historical figures Mr. Peabody and Sherman meet.) Mr. Peabody learns there's no formula to parenting: you just have to love and protect your kid. Sherman and Penny's journey proves that sometimes people you least expect can turn into great friends. 

Positive role models

Mr. Peabody loves Sherman even if he isn't to say it at first. He takes care of him and caters to his needs and teaches him all about history through the time machine. Sherman is sweet and kind and defends his adoptive father. Penny is a cruel bully for much of the movie, though she redeems herself at the very end.

Violence & scariness

The ancient Egyptians imprison Mr. Peabody and Sherman, who nearly die several times in the Great Sphinx. The ancient Greeks chant "blood! blood! blood!" in preparation for battle with the Trojans. In one scene, Mr. Peabody sacrifices his safety for the sake of Sherman and Penny, and it seems like he plunges to his death. During the segment in the French Revolution, Robespierre rounds up Sherman and Mr. Peabody as part of the aristocracy and sentences them to death. Mr. Peabody is shown under the guillotine (complete with historically accurate basket for the head). Sherman, Mr. Peabody, Penny or some combination of those characters, are often in danger but always survive.

Sexy stuff

Penny is engaged to marry the young King Tut. Agamemnon "kidnaps" Mrs. Grunion and is later shown marrying/kissing her.

Language

Insult language: "stupid," "dumb," "dog," "dirty," "loser."

Consumerism

Since the movie is based on segments of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, there are tie-ins to existing DVDs and memorabilia, as well as Happy Meal toys, apparel, games, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In two scenes, Mr. Peabody is shown elaborately mixing cocktails for Penny's parents and calls the drink "Einstein on the Beach."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a big-screen adaptation of the Peabody's Improbably History segments of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Filled with historical figures and events, the animated adventure features a lot of physical comedy, and some potentially frightening scenes when the kids and Mr. Peabody are in danger -- in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and the French Revolution. Language includes some insults like "loser," "dirty," "dog," and more. Many of the puns and jokes are obviously aimed at parents and older audiences, like when Mr. Peabody mixes cocktails called "Einstein on the Beach." Female characters are negative throughout, though the central girl character redeems herself at the very end.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN follows the exploits of genius talking dog Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell), a titan of industry, inventor, musician and scientist whose greatest accomplishments are raising his 7-year-old adopted son -- Sherman (Max Charles) -- and creating a time machine he calls the WABAC. After Sherman gets into a school fight with his bullying classmate Penny (Ariel Winter), Mr. Peabody invites her family over to patch things over, and the kids end up using the WABAC. The unsupervised and unscheduled time travel leads to disastrous and hilarious results that only Mr. Peabody can fix.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Mr. Peabody & Sherman is an uneven production of highly entertaining visuals and semi-educational historical tidbits mixed with so-bad-they're-occasionally-funny puns and physical comedy. There are jokes (and all the puns) obviously aimed at parents, and sight gags clearly targeted at the kids. But not all of the characters are easy to root for or even like. Penny (voiced by Modern Family star Winter) is a highly unlikable character for most of the movie, during which she's petulant, bullying, and selfish -- demanding to do risky and dangerous deeds. Eventually she redeems herself, but she's too much of a mean girl for little kids to understand.

The father-son angle, however, is quite sweet. Mr. Peabody may be a genius dog that can master everything from cooking to rocket science to all forms of music, but parenting is the one thing he can't just learn out of a book. The various ways that Mr. Peabody and Sherman protect, defend, and teach each other is a good lesson in what's important about parent-child relationships (trust, communication, unconditional love). Baby boomer-aged adults will enjoy revisiting their childhood with this adaptation, but even those completely unfamiliar with the source material will find the story amusing if not remarkable.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why talking animals are so popular in family movies. How is this one different than other animated movies featuring dogs and kids?

  • Discuss the various historical figures Sherman, Penny, and Mr. Peabody encounter. Which people or events do you want to learn more about after seeing the movie?

  • What do you think about Penny's behavior? Is she a good role model for how to act toward a classmate? How does she change throughout the movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 7, 2014
DVD release date:October 14, 2014
Cast:Ty Burrell, Ariel Winter, Max Charles
Director:Rob Minkoff
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Cats, dogs, and mice, History
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some mild action and brief rude humor

This review of Mr. Peabody & Sherman was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of an infant, infant, infant, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 11, 11, 12, 13, 13, 14, 15, 15, 15, 16, 17, and 18 year old Written bynicoleandmeatwadss February 10, 2015
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

good

but I think some of the upsetting moments in there might be to intense for children 7 and younger but it whould be good for ages 8+
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written bySpaciousName January 18, 2015
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Funny Movie Brought Down by Negative Character

I thought it was a good movie, pretty well made and funny. I enjoyed it and it's one of those movies that loads of people go to see, and it's an enjoyable movie to go and see. What kind of ruined it for me was the eye-shadow wearing 7 year old Penny. They bully Sherman at the start and are negative during the movie and when, convincing Sherman to do things he shouldn't. It's good overall though and has funny parts etc. so I would recommend this over other movies that are out around now. Mr Peabody is Sherman's adoptive dad and it has great messages in parts of the movie.
What other families should know
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old January 9, 2015
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Bad Quality

This movie is terrible quality and I don't like the fact that Penny gets engaged to King Tut, but it's just for laughs. Dreamwork's can do better. Language is subpar. Good for 7 and 8 year olds. It can be boring for tweens and teens.
What other families should know
Too much sex

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