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 throughout. I read reviews of this film beforehand and I have to say I was blindsided, as nothing I read mentioned negative adoption themes.
First there was Sherman, found abandoned as a baby in an alley, taken in by Mr. Peabody, who happens to be a dog. Because Mr. Peabody was brilliant and uber accomplished, a judge determined he would be a great fit for Sherman's dad. Stupid, but it got worse.
Later because Sherman gets in trouble at school, it comes to the attention of a woman who works there (in some position of authority) that he is being raised by a dog. She tells him that she will have the adoption revoked and Sherman removed. She makes a visit to their home and threatens to take him away if they don't make her happy. She has no basis for her disapproval, her character is just mean.
All of the messages in this movie are stupid, and clearly fantasy, but for kids who are adopted, sending the message that s/he can be taken from a parent at the whim of a bad person (or any person) with an evil agenda is terrifying.
Another aspect of this movie that I didn't like-- Mr. Peabody is so intellectual that he can't be called "Dad" or say "I love you" to Sherman, even though Sherman says it to him. This is harmful and sad for any children, but for adopted kids, it's especially bad.
Had I read reviews that cautioned about the poor adoption messages in this movie, I would not have taken my kids. In the past, Common Sense Media has mentioned such in their reviews of movies, and I was disappointed they dropped the ball here. Very bad form.