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March 7th, 2014

Movie Review - Mr. Peabody and Sherman

Mr. Peabody and Sherman

Starring: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Lauri Fraser, Guillaume Aretos, Allison Janney, Zach Callison, Stanley Tucci, Patrick Warburton, Mel Brooks, Steve Valentine, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, and more.

Directed by: Rob Minkoff Screenplay by: Craig Wright Additional Dialogue by: Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon Based on the Series Produced by: Jay Ward Original Series Segment Created by: Ted Key Music by: Danny Elfman

Premise: While Mr. Peabody attempts to smooth over an incident with Sherman at school, Sherman tries to prove to his tormentor that he's not a liar by revealing to her the secret of the WABAC machine. Unfortunately, once she goes with Sherman traveling, Penny decides she's not coming back. So, Mr. Peabody must leave the dinner party and go with Sherman to try to convince her to come back. Things, however, do not go exactly as planned. (Rated PG)


1)  Voice Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Dreamwork's casting for this film was outstanding. Ty Burrell had just the right voice for Mr. Peabody. Max Charles was adorable as Sherman. Ariel Winter showed her lovely range as Penny. Allison Janney made her character glow with malicious evil.

2) Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: Dreamworks always pays a great amount of attention to detail, and their work on "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" was no exception. Their renderings of the historical locations they traveled to were exquisite. Mr. Peabody's lab, the time tunnel, the WABAC itself all looked amazing. What was even more fun, however, were the bits in the art that seemed to be paying homage to other films or shows - the giant statues in the sphinx shaped like cobras, the WABAC's interior looking a lot like the bridge of the 1960's "Star Trek", a couple of other spots mirroring scenes from "Dr. Who".  

That they included art bits in the ending credits of the original "Peabody's Improvable History" was a perfect touch. This was definitely a work of love.

3) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up: "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" is based on a 1959-1964 segment which appeared as part of the "Rocky and His Friends" and "The Bullwinkle Show" called "Peabody's Improbable History". The main points in the original segments were how the two of them would travel to important points in history and the off the wall way they would make things work out, and that all would eventually revolve around a pun or two. These traditions were definitely kept in the film.

What's most impressive about "Mr. Peabody and Sherman' is how Dreamworks took this bizarre concept of a genius dog and his adopted son who travel in time and infused it with real parent and children relationship issues, as well as several current topics pertaining to education and other agencies. Mr. Peabody may be the most accomplished dog or human of his day, but parenting doesn't always work as straightforward as science. I think many parents will resonate with the trials and feelings Mr. Peabody showed.

Puns and wordplay, as well as visual gags, are everywhere as well as an infusion of serious topics for parents and children alike to contemplate. There's even history to learn as many important events get explored, all seeded with accurate information as well as the 'not so much' kind the original segment was famous for.

4) Music - Total Thumbs Up: Danny Elfman did some marvelous music work on this film. While it carries his unique signature, it also lent itself quite engagingly to each of the times the group visits. Even better, there were riffs scattered here and there from other films and shows - "Stargate", "Lawrence of Arabia", and "The Matrix" to name a few.

Conclusion: "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" is a fun film. It gave homage to the original as well as to many other science fiction shows and did so verbally, visually, and even musically. It is a fan paradise for bits of homage, in-jokes, as well as nostalgia. Yet, the fast plot and smart script will keep both adults and kids thoroughly entertained. The short before the film called "Almost Home" is hilarious.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (Son-in-law and Daughter Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



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The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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