Mr. Peabody (Burrell) is a hyper-intelligent dog and expert in almost everything, who adopts the orphaned Sherman (Charles) and builds a time machine to teach him about history. But when Sherman uses the machine to try to impress a hostile classmate, history itself is put at risk...
This adaptation of a classic US cartoon looks like they remade Excellent Adventure with Bill as a genius dog and Ted his adoptive son. Young Sherman (Max Charles) destabilises time itself, forcing his canine father Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell) to set things right. But really that’s just a hook on which to hang historical cameos, silly puns and a heartfelt father-son bonding story.
The zany action sequences still have a whiff of small-screen cartoon, but there are witty enough gags — da Vinci’s “creepy” attempts to invent his own child — to keep parents entertained while younger viewers wish a dog would adopt them too.
There’s a good-hearted father and son tale at the heart of the madness here, but the surroundings are sometimes a little too silly for true greatness.
Reviewed by Helen O'Hara