All original written content is (c) 2014 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed is a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
THIS WEEK: The CG film version of the Ted Key-created cartoon from the Jay Ward-produced Rocky and Bullwinkle show, about “the world’s smartest being”, a white beagle and his naïve adopted human ginger son Sherman, along with their adventures in his WABAC time machine – Mr. Peabody & Sherman!
For the record: I wanted to see 300: RISE OF THE EMPIRE but was dragged to the kid-flick by moron Mike ’cause he needed a reason to wear his stupid old shirt:
- Overall, they stayed pretty true to the characters in appearance, personality and mannerisms. Mr. Peabody is the same uppity, super-smart dog he was, Sherman is a ditz, and the pooch still makes a ton of awful puns for smart people. Even Peabody’s red bow tie, tuft of hair and giant black glasses (impossibly held on outside of his ears) are here.
- Though, due to the added length of a movie, there’s obviously more backstory and depth to his character. Peabody doesn’t come off as cold as he did in the show. And tho he has his eyes open (unlike the TV show), it doesn’t hurt the character…actually helps.
- Some decent jokes for the grownups that the kids may not get (at least the innocent ones) but still very kid friendly.
- The obligatory poop jokes thankfully do not involve actual poop, for a change.
- Lots of history (and funny takes on historical characters) like the show, but not text-book or boring. (Some accurate stuff like George Washington not chopping down the cherry tree.) Not dumbed-down, either. Might get the brats to want to learn more…when they ain’t glued to their iPads, phones or video games.
- Overall good voice choices. Listen for Patrick Warburton, Stephen Colbert, the All State Insurance guy and even Mel Brooks. Stanley Tucci as Leonardo was a stand out.
- Good selection of historical and pop culture references, some obvious and some obscure.
- First time I recall seeing an animated short before a Dreamworks feature. ALMOST HOME, about a ship of aliens trying to find a new planet to inhabit, was actually pretty funny. Ending was rather abrupt, which makes me think it’s a preview for a future feature, or at least continued in another short.
- Good lesson for kids dealing with bullies; they come in all sizes and genders, and it’s better to solve stuff with your brain than your teeth. (You’ll see what I mean.)
- Pascale’s wife laughed really loud, so at least some adults and broads will find it funny; not just their kids.
- Didn’t see it in 3D, so can’t comment on how good it was, but there are definitely a good number of scenes that would be good for that crap.
- Minor quibble was Peabody’s voice. I know Ty Burrell (from MODERN FAMILY) is really popular, but he just wasn’t the level of character that Bill Scott was from the show. (I’m gettin’ these names from Pascale, as I have no interest in any TV names if they don’t play football or are hot chicks.)
- The whole dog-adopting-a-boy theme seemed a bit much and overall “TMI.” I guess it was also part of the TV show, but it was only a bit in the first episode, and the flat cartoon look and treatment back then made it more absurd than realistic like here. The whole “Beautiful Boy” song playing during a montage of dog and baby just came off as more creepy than cute.
- Some of the story seemed contrived, like a formula. You kinda knew what was going to happen sometimes. Plus, the lovey-dovey dog-and-boy/father-and-son thing was a bit overdone, like they knew they had to put it in there. I’d rather have more focus on adventure and comedy.
- Again, no button after or outtakes/extended gags during the credits. Come on, you cheap bastards! On the good side, there were pics from the original cartoon during the end crawl, and after everything there was a “Bullwinkle Productions” graphic with the famous moose.
- [From MIKE: The TV segment ran from 1959 to 1963, the year another popular time-travel show, DOCTOR WHO, began. Surprised and disappointed there was no mention/joke about it. Would have been great to see a TARDIS somewhere in there as a gag…unless there was a tiny one in the background I didn’t notice.]
Kids will like it more than their folks, and since I hated being surrounded by the little noisemakers in the theater, it’s better for me if you keep ’em at home and see it in your worn-out, toy-cluttered family room. You’ll get more out of it if you’re a fan of the original. (Otherwise, just “catch it.”)
P.S.: Pascale can time travel with his pencil and brush. You can commission any character from any time, past, present or future in a timely manner. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, past or present Presidents, Albert Einstein, Leonardo DaVinci, and other famous dead folks Bru has little to know knowledge of.