Elderly readers may recall this cartoon duo from a series of educational inserts slotted into 1960s episodes of TV’s The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, in which hyper-intelligent canine polymath Mr. Peabody and his knowledge-hungry adopted son Sherman explored history in their time-travelling Wayback Machine. The rest of the world may scratch their heads and wonder if the remake craze has got a wee bit out of hand.
This feature-length Mr. Peabody and Sherman is by no means unbearable: There are a few decent gags, and the episodic plot just about manages to hold interest. But there’s little here for any but the most easy-to-please youngsters. The animation is particularly unappealing, turning every human figure, from Agamemnon to Leonardo da Vinci, into rubbery, bobble-headed monsters eerily reminiscent of those blank-eyed Bratz dolls. The result feels like Time Bandits without the intelligence or Bill & Ted without the charm: a largely purposeless, pratfalling romp through history’s greatest hits.