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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 



Mr. Peabody and Sherman

Production country: 
United States
Student film: 
Production year: 
February, 2014
Film Credits
Film director: 
Rob Minkoff
Cast 1: 
Ty Burrell
Cast 2: 
Max Charles
Cast 3: 
Ariel Winter
Cast 4: 
Mel Brooks
Budget Range: 
Over $1 Million
Festival Selection, Awards...
Festival selection, awards or citation already received and other comments... :
Film reviews: 
<p><strong><u>Mr. Peabody and Sherman&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </u></strong>High-grade animation in 3D, endearing characters, a smart role-reversal and large doses of language-based humour make Mr. Peabody and Sherman a thoroughly enjoyable experience, for both children and adults.</p> <p>Using his most ingenious invention, the WABAC (pronounced &lsquo;wayback&rsquo;) time machine, &lsquo;Mr.&rsquo; Peabody, the most decorated and famous dog in the world, and his adopted orphan boy Sherman, hurtle back in time to experience world-changing events first-hand. In the process, they interact with some of the greatest characters of all time, American, French, Trojan, etc. But when Sherman akes the WABAC out for a joyride to impress his friend Penny, they accidentally rip a hole in the universe, wreaking havoc on the most important events in world history.</p> <p>Dreamworks animation studios&rsquo; 28<sup>th</sup> film also marks the continued success of director Rob Minkoff. A double graduate from California, in Arts and Character Animation, 52 year-old Minkoff began his career with Roller-Coaster Rabbit (1990). But he is best acknowledged as the director of The Lion King and the two Stuart Little films. More recently, he made The Haunted Kingdom, The Forbidden Mansion and Flypaper. Ted Key&rsquo;s script juggles between past and present, always keeping you wondering whether it will touch the future. Every time the pace begins to sag, Minkoff and Key come-up with twists and puns that renew the excitement. There are few loopholes, like the complete absence of any other canine, the incredible ability of the duo to talk to characters in ancient history in present-day English, and the inability of Sherman to come up with magic solutions consistently, though, considering his genius, he should have.</p> <p>Among the voice cast, we have Ty Burrell as Mr. Peabody (in the original Peabody series, Mr. Peabody is Sherman&#39;s owner, not adoptive father). Burrell struggled for years to make a name for himself in Hollywood, with small parts in films such as <em>Black Hawk Down</em> and <em>Dawn of the Dead.</em> But his luck, and star factor dramatically changed in 2009 when he was cast as Phil Dunphy, a role which won him an Emmy in 2011. Here, he acquits himself well. Perhaps a bit flat at times, but that is better than over-the-top.</p> <p>Max Charles voices Sherman. Charles, who played the role of young Peter Parker in The Amazing Spiderman, was expected by Minkoff to deliver &ldquo;emotion, depth, heart and humour&rdquo;. He is up to the task. 16 year-old Ariel Winter Workman, who speaks for Penny, is best known for her role as Alex Dunphy on the ABC sitcom Modern Family, since 2009. &nbsp;She voices Gretchen the Fireside Girl. Penny starts as a mean little brat, but is gradually won over by Sherman. It&rsquo;s polished dubbing all through. Watch out for a cameo from Mel Brooks, as Sigmund Freud.</p> <p>A dog addressed as Mister and his adopted human son as plain Sherman! The promos call it the ultimate Dog-father movie, and with some justification! At 92 minutes, Mr. Peabody and Sherman is an hour-and-a-half well spent!</p> <p>Rating: ***1/2</p>
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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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