Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Director: Rob Minkoff
Year Released: 2014
Rating: 2.5

What I feared would be a complete botchery of one of my favorite cartoons as a kid turns out to be a decent effort at revamping a classic show in the digital age: in case one isn't familiar, it's about super-genius inventor/canine Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell) who adopts a boy named Sherman (Max Charles) and the two, using the WABAC machine, go on adventures throughout history (imagine Bill & Ted ... except not high-school aged stoners). Anachronisms be damned, this is actually a pleasant kid-oriented romp - ironically, with references to things most kids won't get - that has some of history's greatest figures (Robespierre, Leonardo Da Vinci, King Tut, Agamemnon) acting like over-reacting goofs while Peabody, with athletic abilities that come close to matching his mental abilities, effortlessly outwits everyone. The emphasis on defending the 'alternative family' (in this case, of a dog and his boy) would have more resonance if it weren't in a movie featuring ... a talking dog.