Travel back in time with 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman'
By Anita Yang, The China Post
February 28, 2014, 7:50 pm TWN
Following the huge box office success of "Frozen" (冰雪奇緣) last month, "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" (皮巴弟先生與薛曼的時光冒險) is again poised to win the hearts of the young and the young at heart longing for this week's three-day-long holiday.
Based on the characters from "Peabody's Improbable History" and segments of the animated television series "Rocky and his Friends," later known as "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" back in 1959, DreamWorks' new animation picture successfully portrays the sentimental journey that every parent in the world goes through with a unique sense of humor.
The story centers on the relationship between a hyper-intelligent dog, Mr. Peabody, and his adopted son, a human being. Mr. Peabody is a Nobel-prize winning scientist and two-time Olympic medalist; to make it simple, a prestigious, genius dog. One day he bumps into an orphan baby on the streets and decides to adopt him.
The adoption was legally approved but an incident that occurred on Sherman's first day of school puts their harmonious life in jeopardy. In order to prevent the awful crisis from coming to fruition, Mr. Peabody invites Penny; who was involved in the incident, and her parents to a friendly dinner. Sherman, in a bid to impress, decides to show penny the WABAC time machine, unintentionally setting off a chain of events that quickly gets out of hand. While Mr. Peabody tries to fix the mistakes committed by Sherman and Penny, he surfs through a series of emotional waves as he faces the biggest challenges of being a parent.
Both the original English and Chinese dubbed version of the animation involve pragmatic fathers in the U.S. and Taiwan entertainment industry voicing the character of Mr. Peabody. Former ABC comedy Modern Family star Ty Burrell, who in real life adopted two children, provided the original voice for the super-intelligent pooch. Alex Niu (艾力克斯), father of a 7-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl, voice-acted the Chinese version. Since both are facing similar challenges that any parent would with their child, it was probably best for them to interpret the role as it would be easier to get into the mood and depict feelings of being a father.
The animation is a miniature of an adventurous trip that can be found in parenthood when parents tend to be anxious and concerned about the choices their kids make, meanwhile knowing that one day they just have to let go.
One might think that watching a dog raising a child won't make you tear up, but this film will definitely win plenty of teary eyes as audiences walk out of the theater. Apart from the touching moments the film brings out, it is also quite educational for kids who want to learn about grand historical events in the past and adults who are embarking on the sentimental journey that every parent in the world goes through.