For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Funnyman Jimmy Kimmel has been revealed as the mystery buyer who paid $1.9 million (£1.2 million) for a painting of topless actress Bea Arthur. On Friday (24May13), comedian Jeffrey Ross tweeted a photo of himself with the John Currin original, which was sold at auction earlier this week (beg20May13), and hinted that the painting was a gift from the late night TV host.
Ross wrote, "Biggest surprise of my life. Thank you Jimmy Kimmel - the most generous guy in the world!"
Kimmel responded by tweeting, "Bea is watching over us, but especially you."
The 1991 nude, titled Bea Arthur Naked, was sold at Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale in New York on Wednesday (15May13).
Publicists for both Kimmel and Ross have yet to comment on the story. Arthur, the star of TV sitcom The Golden Girls, died in 2009.
The Golden Girls thanked us all for being their friends, but who knows if that thanks extends to John Currin, the artist who created this topless painting of the late great Bea Arthur titled, creatively, "Naked Bea Arthur." The painting, which caused quite a controversy when it was produced in 1991 and caused some art critics to tell people to boycott Currin for his unauthorized nudies, is now up for auction at Christie's and expected to fetch up to $2.5 million dollars. Click on that link if you want to see the full, graphic version. Rose is really gonna have to save up a lot if she wants to buy it and save Dorothy the humiliation of having it displayed in public forever.
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An odd topless portrait of late Golden Girls star Bea Arthur is expected to fetch millions at auction on Wednesday night (15May13). John Currin's 1991 painting will go under the hammer at Christie's in New York and estimates suggest the artwork could sell for $2.5 million (£1.6 million).
The actress lost her battle with cancer in 2009.