1960s cartoon icons Rocky and Bullwinkle got a 21st-century Hollywood makeover in the live-action/animation hybrid The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, and now fourteen years later two more characters from the original show are headed to the big screen. The film in question is Mr. Peabody & Sherman, inspired by the “Peabody’s Improbable History” segments about a brilliant talking dog and his less experienced adopted human boy’s time-travel escapades.
The original Peabody skits were designed to be educational and entertaining all at once, mixing actual historical facts with irreverent humor for the kids and wry jokes for the adults. While the first trailer and a newly-released second preview for Mr. Peabody & Sherman are heavy on the juice box crowd-friendly humor – with the latter having more than its fair share of pop culture-informed gags – the movie does seem to be fairly true in spirit to the ‘toons it’s based on (well, as true as you might expect for a DreamWorks’-backed adaptation released in 2014, anyway).
In the film, Ty Burrell (Modern Family) voices Mr. Peabody and Max Charles (The Amazing Spider-Man) is Sherman, under the direction of Rob Minkoff (The Lion King, Stuart Little 1 & 2) and drawing from a script written by Craig Wright – a longtime TV writer, who is new to the world of big-budget family-friendly animation fare.
On that note, here is an additional clip from Mr. Peabody & Sherman:
Wright’s background is heavy on television programs geared more – or, in some cases, strictly – towards adults, as he’s previously written episodes on series like Six Feet Under, Brothers & Sisters, Dirty Sexy Money and Underemployed (he created those last two shows) – in addition to serving in some producer capacity, that is. Point being, Wright may’ve infused Mr. Peabody & Sherman with more sophisticated humor than the trailers might have you believe.
If not, then at least the 3D cartoon seems like decent entertainment for younger moviegoers, with the hints of (admittedly derivative) story elements – like Mr. Peabody’s attempts to connect with his “son” – that will actually have meaning to kids; something that certain movies aimed at the 10 and under crowd have a bad habit of forgetting (The Smurfs, looking at you).
Mr. Peabody & Sherman opens in theaters on March 7th, 2014.