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Mr. Peabody and Sherman

Mr Peabody and ShermanI wasn’t that crazy about the theatrical release of “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” but I like the DVD/Blu-ray release better because of the cool bonus features.

“Mr. Peabody & Sherman” arrived on Digital HD on Sept. 23, 2014, and 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on Oct. 14, 2014.

Here’s what I said about the theatrical release back in March:

If you’re thinking that “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” will be anything like the classic cartoon on which it’s based, you’re mistaken. Yes, the characters are similar to the characters from “Peabody’s Improbable History” segments of the 1960s animated TV series “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.” And one of the executive producers of this movie, Tiffany Ward, is the  daughter of Jay Ward, one of the creators of the TV series. But other than that, it just doesn’t have the same vibe as the original series.

The TV series delivered a smartly-written, funny show that both kids and adults could enjoy. The characters were creative and colorful enough to keep kids happy, and the jokes were sly enough to entertain adults, without being too adult-ish for kids. This movie doesn’t achieve that same fine line.

“Mr. Peabody & Sherman” follows the adventures of genius talking dog Mr. Peabody (voiced by 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 known as the WABAC (get it? “way back”?).

After Sherman gets into a school fight with his bullying classmate Penny (Ariel Winter, “Modern Family”), Mr. Peabody invites her family over to patch things up, and the kids end up playing around with the WABAC. To impress the girl, Sherman takes her for a ride in the WABAC, and they end up in ancient Egypt, where Penny gets engaged to Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Sherman goes back to get Mr. Peabody, and the two return to Egypt to retrieve Penny, explaining that she’ll be killed upon Tut’s death. She’s dragged to the wedding, while the duo are imprisoned after saying they’ll stop the ceremony.

I don’t know about you, but all of this seems pretty heavy-duty for a movie geared for kids six and older. And that’s just the beginning. There’s also a storyline about Sherman being taken away from Mr. Peabody by Children’s Services; the WABAC crash-landing in the middle of the Trojan War (with the Trojan Horse rolling out of control with Penny inside, and Mr. Peabody appearing to be killed in the wreckage); Mr. Peabody and Sherman escaping in the WABAC after someone calls Animal Control on Peabody (admittedly, the dog bit this woman after she hurt Sherman);  and a trio of U.S. Presidents — George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton — declaring their support for Peabody’s legal custody of Sherman.

Just writing all that makes my head spin. Add in a black hole/space-time vortex rift and the whole thing is a crazy mess. I do like the father-son angle, and the idea that a genius dog who’s skilled in everything from cooking to cocktails to rocket science learns to bond with his human son. Trust, communication, unconditional love — all good.

But the rest of it? A muddle of historical tidbits, physical comedy, puns that aren’t that funny, and an unlikeable character in Penny, who’s selfish and a bully throughout most of the movie (she does redeem herself in the end).

Instead of taking your kids to see “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” I recommend watching the original cartoon series with them instead. The writing is actually smart and funny, and you get the added bonus of “Rocky & Bullwinkle.”

Yeah, not great, right? But take a look at the DVD and Blu-ray Special Features, and I’ll raise that “2 out of 5 Reels” rating to “3 out of 5 Reels.” AND it includes the premiere episode of the 1959 TV show “Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends Show”!

Blu-ray Exclusive Special Features:

  • Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends Show – See the premiere episode of the original 1959 television show.
  • Peabody & Sherman Segments – Watch five segments from the original television series including “Robin Hood,” “Leonardo Da Vinci,” “Louis XVI,” “William Shakespeare,” and “Ludwig Van Beethoven.”
  • DreamWorks Presents: Mr. Peabody & Sherman, A Journey WABAC
  • History’s Greatest Mysteries – A Dog and his Boy
  • Peabody’s Paw Print on History – We take part in the excitement as Mr. Peabody gets his pawprints in cement at the TCL Chinese Theatre. Cast members Ty Burrell (voice of “Mr. Peabody”) and Max Charles (voice of “Sherman”), join filmmakers Rob Minkoff (director), Alex Schwartz (producer) and Tiffany Ward (executive producer) for the festivities.  Also on hand (or paw?) are some of Mr. Peabody’s very famous furry friends, including Lassie, Beethoven, Rin Tin Tin, and a very adorable dog named George Clooney.
  • Time Travel Memory Match game
  • The WABAC Jigsaw Puzzle game

Additional Special Features:

  • Tour of the WABAC Machine – Peabody, himself, takes us on an in-depth tour of the WABAC machine. He explains what many of the WABAC’s knobs, buttons, and gizmos do.  Exactly what is a Pneumatic Dressilator?  A hemidemisemiquavatron?  And, those windshield wiper controls…how exactly do they help while speeding through the space-time continuum?  Mr. Peabody explains it all!
  • Time Travel: Mad Science – We talk to real physicists Kenneth Wharton and Anthony Aguirre to find out if there is any possibility of time travel, and if so, how it would work. We explore the two time travel theories of the Block Universe and the Multi-Verse.  We also learn why scientists think only forward time travel is possible, and how Einstein’s Theory of Relativity still determines how scientists imagine the possibilities of time travel.
  • Photo Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • World of DreamWorks Animation – Music videos from your favorite DreamWorks Animation feature films
  • Holiday Favorites – Sneak Peeks

DreamWorks Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman Blu-ray 3D Deluxe Edition

The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Deluxe Edition includes the following:

Feature film in high definition and 3D

Blu-ray 3D Exclusive Special Feature

  • All New Rocky & Bullwinkle Adventure

DreamWorks Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman DVD

The Mr. Peabody & Sherman single disc DVD includes:

Feature film in standard definition

Special Features:

  • Tour of the WABAC Machine – Peabody, himself, takes us on an in-depth tour of the WABAC machine. He explains what many of the WABAC’s knobs, buttons, and gizmos do.  Exactly what is a Pneumatic Dressilator?  A hemidemisemiquavatron?  And, those windshield wiper controls…how exactly do they help while speeding through the space-time continuum?  Mr. Peabody explains it all!
  • Time Travel: Mad Science – We talk to real physicists Kenneth Wharton and Anthony Aguirre to find out if there is any possibility of time travel, and if so, how it would work. We explore the two time travel theories of the Block Universe and the Multi-Verse.  We also learn why scientists think only forward time travel is possible, and how Einstein’s Theory of Relativity still determines how scientists imagine the possibilities of time travel.
  • Photo Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • World of DreamWorks Animation – Music videos from your favorite DreamWorks Animation feature films
  • Holiday Favorites – Sneak Peeks
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