Mr. Peabody & Sherman

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When I was growing up I loved watching Mr. Peabody & Sherman’s cartoons as they traveled to various historical events. Now all the kids who have no idea who this famed pair is can see Mr. Peabody, the genius dog, and his boy Sherman right wrongs throughout time and space. The film, which I saw on a plane, captures the heart and soul of the original. Bravo!

The film moves quickly and is witty enough for adults and offers history with a spoonful of sugar for the young. I’m telling everyone I see that they should check this out whether they have kids or not. It’s just a fun film.

Frozen

Frozen

I’m sorry for this pun, but I just need to say, “I was tepid about Frozen.” I started watching a few weeks back and that I can let a film languish is a sign that it isn’t a winner for me. I did like the art, the infusion of Scandinavian design and incredible icy landscapes, but the story didn’t grab me. It’s the story of Ilsa, a princess who for an inexplicable reason is cursed so that everything she touches turns to ice. Her parents are at their wits’ end, but can’t find a solution. For my money, I’d expect a king and queen to do more, lots more for their heir. Instead this woman is locked up and her younger sister is in the dark as to why her sister, with whom she was so close avoids her.

When Ilsa is coronated she inadvertently brings winter to the realm in the midst of summer. Ilsa flees to self-imposed exile and her sister pursues her. Her sister soon meets a dashing young ice seller, his reindeer and a live snowman. They’re all very endearing and clearly we’re in for some nice songs, a lesson on love, sisterly and romantic.

As I watched I was all too aware that soon Disney will put this up on Broadway or an Ice Pavilion near you. It seemed too predictable and commercial. Though I thought it could be much better, kids would like it.

Monsieur Lazhar

Quiet, thoughtful, and touching, Monsieur Lazhar tells the story of a substitute teacher from Algeria who takes over a grade school class whose teacher committed suicide. The title character came to Montreal as a refugee and his immigration status is precarious.

I soon got pulled into this film in a way that’s rare when I watch a Hollywood film. It’s less predictable or high octane. The characters seemed very real, especially the children whose dialog was authentic. Too often child actors are given absurd lines only someone over 30 would come up with.

Monsieur Lazhar reminded me of The Class, a.k.a.Entre les Murs, another film set in a school, which was well worth watching.

Hands on History

I like these short history cartoons on British history. Take a look and enjoy!


Ancient British History


Norman History

There are more on YouTube or the BBC (if you’re in the U.K.).