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'Mr. Peabody and Sherman' fun family film

Last week, I took my daughter, niece and nephew to see 'Mr. Peabody and Sherman.' I thought the kids would enjoy it, even if I didn't. I was therefore surprised at how much I enjoyed this fun family film.

The backstory of the film is that Mr. Peabody, a dog, was never adopted from the animal shelter and instead works hard to educate himself, becoming one of the smartest beings on Earth, and adopts Sherman as a baby when a judge says, "if a boy can adopt a dog, I see no reason why a dog can't adopt a boy."

Mr. Peabody, played by Ty Burrell, is also a remarkable inventor and creates a time machine, which he uses to educate Sherman through active participation. Sherman, played by newcomer Max Charles, becomes so knowledgeable about historical events that he comes across as a know-it-all on his first day of school and becomes a target of bullying by Penny, played by Ariel Winter.

From there, Mr. Peabody works to keep Sherman from a social worker who wants to remove him from Mr. Peabody's care, while Sherman works to get to know his bully and become friends. All sorts of mishaps occur with the time machine when Penny takes off in it and the audience is treated to several hilarious possible backstories for real events.

Burrell is outstanding as Mr. Peabody, a dog who instead of saying 'I love you' seems only capable of saying that he holds Sherman in the highest regard. Charles aptly depicts Sherman's emotional seesaw of loving his life and struggling with being adopted by a dog. Winter is delicious as the bully Penny, who is used to getting what she wants and loves to take risks.

This film is a marvelous delight for both children and adults. If you are a history lover, you will enjoy the subtle history lessons throughout the film. The film also explores bullying and ways to approach it, on a level that younger children will understand. There is just enough humor aimed at adults to keep them interested while still entertaining the younger crowd.

'Mr. Peabody and Sherman' is a wonderful family film.