Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Mr. Peabody & Sherman Movie Poster Image
Punny time-travel adventure with lots of comic peril.
  • PG
  • 2014
  • 92 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 29 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 33 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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."

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6 year old Written by[email protected] March 24, 2014

Very disappointed

There was a really good preface for this to be an amazing movie, but they threw in a lot of inappropriate talk and some disconcerting images. There is a beheadi... Continue reading
Parent of a 6 and 10 year old Written bydandandude June 1, 2014

Bad messages about adoption

I did not expect this movie to be a feat of cinematic greatness, but I was sorely disappointed by the negative stereotypes and scary messages about adoption thr... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byamericangladiator March 16, 2014

A punny and heartwarming tale.

First of all, I do not understand how some of the reviews said it was a ripoff of Snoopy, had foul language, and had a drug reference. This movie was adorable a... Continue reading
Kid, 7 years old March 29, 2014

TOO SCARY!

If you're 7 or under, it might be scary. At the end of the movie it was scary because I thought Peabody and Sherman died. But they didn't.

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love history

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate