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March 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Based on a Jay Ward (Rocky and Bullwinkle, George of the Jungle, Dudley Do-Right) cartoon series that made its debut nearly 50 years ago, Mr. Peabody & Sherman has been modernized both technically — it’s on a 3D big screen — and creatively, critics are pointing out. “As well as reinventing the story in 3-D, the creators have attempted to do the same for the characters, adding emotional depth and a redeeming message,” Liam Lacey in the Toronto Globe and Mail observes. Clin Covert in the Minneapolis Star Tribune remarks that adult fans of the original are not likely to be disappointed. “What a relief to see that while Mr. Peabody’s visuals are enhanced to sleek 21st-century standards, the essential charm of the series survives more or less intact,” he writes. And A.O. Scott in the New York Times notes that Hollywood has not been kind to Jay Ward with its earlier attempts to bring his cartoons into the 21st Century. “Luckily, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, about a supersmart dog and his adopted human son, breaks the curse and respects the nutty, nerdy humor of the original,” Scott comments. But Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune admits that as a kid he was “mad” for the original. “If you want this movie reviewed by somebody with less love for the original, try a different review,” he writes. His is one of the few negative reviews for the movie. Sample: “The story gets off to such a sour start, it takes a long time for the comedy to recover.” And Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times underscores that reaction, writing that the movie “reveals a case of conflicted allegiances.” While the original characters, she notes, “mixed arch intelligence with kid confusion to the delight of the Saturday-morning cartoon crowd a generation ago, the big-screen adventure is more Adult Swim than Saturday morning. Those are treacherous waters to tread.”