Mr. Peabody and Sherman is way back and great

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3 out of 4 stars

Mr. Peabody appeared to be headed straight to the dog pound.

In one of the movie’s hilarious scenes, America’s favorite dog was going to be arrested for biting the school’s principal when out of nowhere, have no fear, George Washington appears and gives him a presidential pardon — seconds before Bill Clinton arrives and says “I’ve done worse!”

Mr_Peabody_&_Sherman_PosterThat one sentence is all you need to know when describing the awesomeness of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, a tale of a dog and his adoptive human son. It seamlessly blends history, laughter and action during a 3D journey through the French Revolution, the Renaissance, the Trojan War and Ancient Egypt.

Sherman, 7, wants to impress his female classmate, Penny. So he turns to the WABAC (Way-back) machine, a giant sphere that can transport you to any moment in history. The duo, and ultimately Mr. Peabody, race through time to get home.

Director Rob Minkoff used the past to make Mr. Peabody, who was first introduced to America in the 1960s during segments of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, relevant in the 21st century.

Mr. Peabody is the most intelligent dog ever – so smart a judge allowed him to adopt Sherman, who has two missions in the movie: gain acceptance from his doggy dad and get Penny to like him.

Meantime, Mr. Peabody learns that there’s more to being a parent than being a vale-dog-torian who is smarter than Albert Einstein.

You find yourself cheering for nerdy Sherman to win over Penny. But you know it’s going to happen because, well, he has a time machine. I’m sure if you used a time machine to transport you and your date to Italy in the 1500’s so you could talk to Leonardo da Vinci while he’s painting the Mona Lisa, you’d expect a lot more than a hug at the end of the night. (Hey, kids if you are reading this review, it means you could expect a kiss on the cheek.)

The film’s fast pace, playful, goofy gags and 3D animation will keep a child’s eyes glued to screen, while its witty humor and historical references will easily captivate parents throughout its 92 minutes.

Adults, let’s face it: When we take our kids to the movies, it’s for them to have fun. If we can leave the film not feeling like we just had to pay the movie theater so we can babysit our kids, we’re happy. It’s OK to nod now, because it’s so true.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman isn’t The Nut Job or Free Birds – films that I swear were made to make my 6-year-old daughter happy while I was looking at Twitter and Facebook on my cellphone nearly as much as the screen.

But my daughter loved both those films, especially since she got popcorn and soda, which I’ll make Rule No. 134 of raising kids: The Holy Trinity for an elementary school student on a Saturday morning is a cartoon movie, popcorn and soda. Game over.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman is a parent’s best friend since it’s a rare film that adults and kids each enjoy – for entirely different reasons.