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Movie Review: Mr. Peabody and Sherman

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Author/Source: Nancy Keith

Topic: Movie Review, Reviews

 A review of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, including description of the movie, areas of concern, teachable themes, discussion questions, and scriptures to use.

Mr. Peabody & ShermanOverview

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show debuted in 1959 and gave the world five years of an animated variety show with a wry sense of humor. Not only were we introduced to Rocky and Bullwinkle, but who could forget Boris and Natasha or Dudley Do-Right? The show also featured Peabody’s Improbable History; a dog and his pet boy who traveled through time in the Wayback Machine.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman takes those characters to a modern audience. The movie stays pretty close to the original traveling back through time and meeting amazing historical characters, yet not forgetting the continual use of puns which were a hallmark of the original. Mr. Peabody is a brilliant dog who adopts Sherman. They live in a city high-rise with equipment that the original Mr. Peabody could only have in his dreams. The WABAC machine is now an incredible time/space travel vehicle that puts the Delorean to shame.

When Sherman goes to school he encounters Penny, who bullies him because he is knowledgeable about history (mostly from first-had experience). Sherman’s response to the bullying starts a snowball effect of not so smart choices followed by not so intended consequences. What ensues is a fun, family movie that teaches great lessons on obedience to parents, how being smart is not a bad thing and how bad company can corrupt. Everything works out in the end with the help of Leonardo DaVinci, King Tut, Marie Antoinette and Agamemnon to name a few.


It seems like most movies for kids must include sophomoric potty humor. When the men disembark from the Trojan horse, get which end they come out of? When Mr. Peabody and Sherman shoot out of the Giant Sphinx, get which end they come out of? You were right both times!.

Spiritually, Mr. Peabody talks about the sun god, Ra, while trying to look good with Egyptians who are up to no good. The ancient Greeks are encouraged to say, “Zeus on three!” Mr. Peabody teaches Sherman to swim in the Nile while baby Moses is being floated into the reeds. When Mr. Peabody later tells the Egyptians that if they don’t release Penny that horrible plagues are going to hit you hear someone say, “Again with the plagues!” .

Language, well there was a darn. Again there is some sophomoric stuff. When Mr. Peabody says there was a booby trap, Sherman says, “You said booby!” No one on screen or in the audience laughed! .

As for violence, it is more along the Indiana Jones lines. There is a lot of adventure and harrowing escapes. Big stuff falls from the sky, like people and monuments. People get bopped on the heads and two actually get shocked with a taser.

Teachable Themes

  • Obey Your Parents
    • We may not always understand underlying reasons behind rules, but the rules our parents give are to keep us safe and to nurture us.
  • Not All Families Look Alike
    • Some families are big, some are small. Some have two parents, some have one. Some kids even live with their grandparents. Some are Italian, some are Chinese. All have different customs and traditions. You don’t need to be ashamed just because yours is different.
  • Bad Company Corrupts
    • Choose who you spend your time with wisely. If a friend tells you to do something, and it is not the right thing, DON’T DO IT! It almost always comes with major trouble.
  • Respond the Right Way
    • If you are being bullied, try to talk to the person, but if that does not work, don't take the situation into your own hands. Find a trusted adult and seek help.
  • It Is Okay to be Smart
    • You are who God created you to be. Everyone has different talents and abilities. One person may be great in sports, another a great chef, and still another a great math whiz. The world needs all of them.
  • You Don’t Have to Go it Alone
    • When the way gets tough and you don’t know what to do, seek help from others.

Biblical References
While there are no Biblical references in this film, these could be applied:

  • Obey Your Parents
    • Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (NLT)

    • Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents as you would the Lord, because this is right.” (NLT)

    • Colossians 3:20 “Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord.” (NLT)

  • Bad Company Corrupts
    • 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for bad company corrupts good character.” (NLT)
  • Be the Best at What You Do
    • 2 Timothy 2:15 “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” (NLT)
  • Get Wise Counsel
    • Proverbs 20:18 “Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice.” (NLT)

Discussion Questions

  • Did Penny have any real reason to pick on Sherman?

  • Why do you think no one stood up and tried to help Sherman?

  • What do you do when you don’t want to obey your parents?

  • What do you do when your friends want you to do the wrong thing?

  • Have you ever had a problem that you caused that is too hard for you to fix? What did you do?

  • What people would you consider wise counsel in your life?

Mr. Peabody and Sherman will probably not be mentioned in next year’s academy awards, but it is a fun family movie that will spark some great discussion on obeying your parents and peer pressure.


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