Mr. Peabody is a world-famous inventor, gourmet chef, Nobel Laureate, and Olympic medal winner. Not bad for a dog. But, he’s never had a family. So, when Mr. Peabody finds an abandoned baby he adopts him and then dedicates himself to young Sherman’s education. Not content to merely read him books, Mr. Peabody builds The Wayback Machine to actually take Sherman to witness historical events as they unfold.
When Sherman starts school, the most popular girl in school, Penny, teases him because his father is a dog. This drives Sherman to bite Penny, putting him at risk at being taken away from Mr. Peabody. In an attempt to make things right, Mr. Peabody invites Penny and her parents over for dinner. While Mr. Peabody wows Mom and Dad, Sherman takes Penny to the Wayback Machine, resulting in Penny’s broken engagement to King Tut and Sherman finding himself in the Trojan Horse just before battle.
When Mr. Peabody is put into a life-or-death situation, Sherman and Penny travel back to the present to ask for advice – and in doing so rip a hole in the space-time continuum. Everyone from Abraham Lincoln to William Shakespeare travels through the hole and winds up in modern-day New York. George Washington and Bill Clinton step in to give Mr. Peabody Presidential pardons before he is hauled off to the dog pound, giving him the chance to travel back in time and return the universe to its normal state.
Mr. Peabody packs a lot of history into a short timeframe and makes historical events accessible to children. The only downside to this is that so many historical figures are introduced that it may be confusing for kids to keep them all straight after the movie.
Mr. Peabody is full of jokes for kids (my son is still laughing over a butt joke). But there are so many jokes geared towards adults, that the young Sherman repeatedly laughs then says “I don’t get it” after lines that will go over kids’ heads. I overheard one grown-up remark after the movie that she thought the movie was more for adults and kids. While I don’t agree that this is the case, there is plenty to keep parents engaged in the movie.
My three and six year olds both enjoyed Mr. Peabody & Sherman as did I! I found the movie a good opportunity to discuss various important historical events and figures with my children. If you go and your children enjoy the Egypt storyline we recommend following up with a visit to Port Discovery in Baltimore, which has a very large interactive exhibit about Egypt, including many of the elements in the movie.
Enjoy your trip in the Wayback!
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is rated PG and runs 92 minutes.