Critique of “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” – The 2014 film

The movie begins with a highly intelligent dog, Mr. Peabody, speaking from an elite apartment in New York City. He discusses different accomplishments that he’s achieved, such as teaching people about world peace.

His adoptive son, Sherman, joins. He also gets the spotlight and discusses more topics.

Later, the two go through a time machine, the Wabac, to the French Revolution, where the common people suffered from poverty.

Not long after, Mr. Peabody takes Sherman to school. 

In class, Sherman reveals that George Washington never cut down a cherry tree. That was only a fable. 

At lunch, a girl, Penny, bullies Sherman for eating human food and treats him like a dog. Angry, Sherman bites her. 

Mr. Peabody meets with the principal. There is also a creepy woman, Miss Grunion, who works for child protective services. She distrusts Mr. Peabody and plans to investigate his and Sherman’s home.

Mr. Peabody prepares a fancy meal, which leaves Sherman confused. But it is for Penny and her parents, which displeases Sherman, because she was nasty to him.

While she and Sherman are in Sherman’s room, Sherman decides to take Penny to the Wabac, even though Mr. Peabody told him not to inform her about it. They go back in time. Various adventures begin.

Below are the aspects I liked or disliked about the film.


The characters and their relations to one another

It’s not just Mr. Peabody and Sherman who share a good, father-son relationship, but also Sherman’s best friends.

There is a handicapped kid, Carl, and there is an Indian child, Mason. I enjoyed when Carl explained to Penny that Sherman was adopted. But she would shut him up.

I applaud the idea of Sherman having a friend from a different ethnicity and especially one with a disability. A lot of movies haven’t done that prior. 

The historical moments and their teachings

From Ancient Egypt to the Renaissance and many more, Mr. Peabody, Sherman, and Penny travel through different times in history.

Aside from what Mr. Peabody showed Sherman about the French Revolution, the film also teaches audiences about the others.

For example, when Mr. Peabody and Sherman find Penny in Ancient Egypt with King Tut, King Tut takes Penny with him to his wedding where she will be killed with him.

Despite its darkness, this shows audiences what would happen during that time period when a ruler died. Anything he owned would go with him, including his wife.

The twists and turns

Of course, every story will have these. I especially admired the ones in this film.

One notable one occurs after Mr. Peabody and Sherman fight while on the Wabac, because Mr. Peabody was disappointed in him when he flew Leonardo Da Vinci’s plane creation. He and Penny notice that Sherman was missing.

I had thought that he was sulking from the argument. But it turned out that he was going to fight along with soldiers in the Trojan horse.

Mr. Peabody will not let Sherman join the battle. But Sherman says that it isn’t fair since all his “friends” are fighting in the war.

Even at age 7, which is how old Sherman is, you’d think he would know that historical people could not be his friends especially because he and Mr. Peabody have traveled through time a lot prior.

Yet, I found that funny and kind of cute.

The humor

Whether it’s Mr. Peabody playing multiple instruments at once since Penny’s dad demands it or Sherman acting immaturely, the humor cracked me up–especially the latter.

One time, Mr. Peabody and Sherman have to go through a puzzle. Mr. Peabody warns Sherman about the booby traps, which makes him laugh.

I also found it funny when Sherman told Penny that King Tut’s name rhymes with butt. 

Regardless of his intelligence, Sherman can still be a kid and act believably for a 7-year-old.

When the historical figures went to modern-day New York City and what they did

At some point during the movie, the historical figures ended up in modern-day New York City. They do crazy things, such as eat pizza that they didn’t even pay for.

Although that would have gotten them arrested in real life, I still thought that was hilarious.


What happened to Sherman’s biological parents?

There are scenes in the movie of when Sherman was a baby. One of them shows him inside a box, which is when Mr. Peabody decides to adopt him.

However, there is no revelation or hint to what happened with Sherman’s biological parents. Did they abandon him? Did they die?

The idea of having Sherman call his adoptive father Mr. Peabody rather than Dad

After the judge officially allowed Mr. Peabody to adopt Sherman when he was an infant, Sherman tried to call him Dad. But he tells him to call him Mr. Peabody instead. And Baby Sherman gladly accepted it.

As far as I recall, Mr. Peabody wanted Sherman to address him as that for respect reasons. But that doesn’t make sense, especially because Sherman would not remember that–unless he also worried that seeing a human child call a dog, Dad, would look too strange.

Where was King Tut’s real bride?

Penny falls in love with King Tut… until she learns that she will have to die with him.

However, King Tut had another bride in real life. Her name was Ankhasenamun. She lived until age 18.

The creators portrayed King Tut as a young boy, which is historically accurate. So, his wife, who was 4 years older than him, would have still been alive since he was only 9 when he married her.

Maybe she was removed for plot convenience. Or because the age difference between her and King Tut would’ve been too much for today’s audiences. 

Why doesn’t Penny get in trouble for bullying Sherman?

Sherman gets in trouble after he bit Penny, which prompted the principal to speak with Mr. Peabody about the consequences of a boy who was raised by a dog. However, Penny actually started the fight. So, she should have been in trouble, too.

Perhaps, this was also not included for plot convenience. But I still think that it was unfair that only Sherman got in trouble when Penny was the one who bullied him. They both should have been in hot water.


Overall, I enjoyed Mr. Peabody and Sherman. I think it would make a great family movie. It also contains no mature language, so younger children can watch this with no problem.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars.

Published by Sunayna Prasad

I enjoy writing stories, creating artwork, watching movies and TV shows, cooking, and traveling. These are the topics of my posts. I also publish books, where you can learn about them on my website, Be sure to copy and paste the link and subscribe to my newsletter on the email list button on the homepage.

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