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





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.


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


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?


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.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

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

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Written byAnonymous March 16, 2014

A punny and heartwarming movie.

First of all, I do not understand how some the reviews said it was a ripoff of Snoopy, had foul language, and had a drug reference. This movie was adorable and hilarious. The film had an excellent use of puns and family-friendly jokes. There were no similarities between Peanuts and this film besides the fact that there's a boy and his dog. I am not sure where that reviewer got that drug reference from because it was definitely not in this film. I'll touch on the foul language later. The bullying aspect of this film was shown because bullying is a real problem in America. Yes, Penny was a brat and she was a terrible person. However, this is life. Life isn't full of rainbows and sunshine. Dreamworks tried to portray what some kids go through at school because of their home life. There were some violent parts like the explanation of mummification and sword fights, but nothing too gory. The adult humor that was included was nothing sexual, and instead just about historical facts. For example, there was a joke about Bill Clinton. Arguably, some jokes a couple of parents had issues with was the booby joke and the "I came here to stop you from touching yourself" joke. They were not meant to be sexual in any way, and they're only sexual because your of what type of mind you have. The adoption was handled in the best manner possible for children to understand. In fact, it's realistic since it shows the challenges some adopted kids face and reinforces the idea that not all families have to look like the others to be considered a true family. A lot of reviews on this site are forgetting the most important part of this film; Sherman standing up for Mr. Peabody. Sherman realized just how much Mr. Peabody has done for him and states that being called a dog would be an honor if it means being like Mr. Peabody. That drives the film's moral about how it doesn't matter what kind of family you come from; what truly matters is how their love transcends all types of bullying and negativity from outsiders. In the end, Mr. Peabody & Sherman was a fantastic movie that every family should go see. You'll laugh, cry and awww at this heartfelt and perfect movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written byPinkarray April 5, 2015
Penny has got to be one of the most annoying child characters I've seen. She is so inquisitive, bossy, bullying and impulsive. She's 6 or 7 but is childish. Her relationship with Sherman is cliched even though the movie is anyway. I would've liked it better if she was more nicer and original. She even almost kills herself in favor of Sherman! But I don't know if she is even necessary to the movie anyway, I haven't seen the t.v. series, so... though, the movie is entertaining and there were only a couple of scenes that were funny, but it's geared more towards younger audiences. Sherman is a cool character. It was cute and heart-warming, but the ending ruined it somewhat. I think it has some good messages but are easily forgotten. I didn't care if she died or was in trouble. I wanted her to be left in the eras.
Educator and Parent Written byjonnyb7800 March 17, 2015
Kid, 11 years old February 27, 2015

Loved this Movie!

I love this movie. Some parts are hard to follow for immature 6 year olds and under. I really liked it but the lady who wanted to take Sherman away was kinda getting in the way of the story that was annoying. Oh, also a lot of good facts for kids, they can learn some history from this movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Common Sense Kids Action