If you can manage to hear much, or even think much, beyond the constant stream of awwwws elicited by Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell) and his little oscillating tail, you'll see that this tale is meant to improve your child's mind by being informative and thoughtful and fun. It is all of these things and more. And, there is the tail.
Before we turn into a cuteness-induced gooey mess, let us commence with the story. Mr. Peabody is, as you may have figured out by now, a dog. He is also a genius who has filled his lonely life with an endless array of accomplishments ranging from peace efforts (which are shown with him on a stage in front of thousands of people shouting "Peace"), and the invention of the hifi and planking.
He then adopts a boy, Sherman (Max Charles), every bit as adorable as him, and decides to teach Sherman in the only way that seems sensible, by building a time machine called WABAC or the Wayback, and showing the kid everything that happens. All of this, Mr. Peabody, glasses and bow tie and all, tells us in an extremely matter-of-fact manner that assumes the slightest tinge of exasperated affection when the boy is mentioned.
The situation remains quite satisfactory for the two, until it's time for Sherman's first day at school. An altercation with a girl from his class, Penny (Ariel Winter), leads to the two ending up in ancient Egypt, which leads to a rip in the space-time continuum, which leads to Mr. Peabody having to save the day. Oh, and an Aryan dream of a giantess is hell bent on taking Sherman away.
The reign of chaos has begun, and nobody wants freedom from these geeky darlings. The makers of Peabody know their audience. You can tell from the groan-wrenching puns that only those born in the '90s and prior will get. These pearls of asininely hilarious wisdom shoot forth in a constant stream from Mr. Peabody, to which Sherman's response is to chortle with joy, and then say with an adorably blank look on his face - "I didn't get it."
There is a certain brand of straight-faced humor that doesn't need to be high-brow to elicit guffaws from those of all ages. How can you possibly not laugh when silhouettes of people drop from the silhouetted behind of the Trojan horse? Or in the face of Da Vinci's inability to make Mona Lisa smile? Or when King Tut happily describes what his accidental bride-to-be Penny will go through post his demise? Or when Agamemnon goes after the aforementioned Aryan giantess with lust in his eyes. Or any number of things that we must let you watch and not spoil your fun by describing here.
If you're done frantically googling all the above references, we'll start off on our soliloquy of how perfect the graphics are. As delirious as the plot is, the animation is more so, what with the balancing act between today's advanced technology and Mr. Peabody's vintage roots. With every era our hapless protagonists travel to, everything from the colors to the imagery changes.
The music, while not as full of recognisably hummable tunes as some of the other animated films of the recent times, certainly sits well with the screenplay. In fact, our only grouse with the film is also its greatest charm - its utter incoherence and impossibility.
Hang your credulity from the nearest noose, and prepare yourself for a good, rollicking time with your family. Trust us on this, you'll want more.