DreamWorks, the animation studio that’s home of the “Shrek” movies, has announced its schedule of movie releases for the next several years.
Of particular interest to me is the announcement of a “Peabody and Sherman” movie, based on the “Rocky and Bullwinkle” backup segment “Peabody’s Improbable History.” For those that don’t recall, Mr. Peabody is a super-intelligent canine, who adopted a “pet” boy named Sherman (who’s of average intelligence). The two would travel through time via Peabody’s “WABAC Machine” (pronounced “Wayback”) to visit various historical events, usually finding they were forced to set things “right” (as recorded in history books). For example, one episode had the two try to encourage Alexander Graham Bell to invent the telephone (he was attempting to invent the ragtime band and graham cracker), while another had them help Calamity Jane‘s life become, well, “calamity-filled.”
Here’s the description of the new film (all CGI, of course):
Mr. Peabody & Sherman will be released on March 21, 2014. It is directed by Rob Minkoff (Stuart Little, The Lion King) and produced by Jason Clark (Monster House, Stuart Little) and Denise Nolan Cascino (Megamind). It is being written by Craig Wright (United States of Tara, Six Feet Under). Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey, Bullwinkle Studio’s Tiffany Ward and Classic Media’s Eric Ellenbogen are serving as executive producers on the film, which stars two-time Academy Award® nominee Robert Downey Jr. Based on Jay Ward’s classic cartoon, Mr. Peabody is the world’s smartest person who happens to be a dog. He and his “pet” boy Sherman discover that someone has stolen their time traveling WABAC machine and is changing moments in history to disastrous and comical results. It’s up to this most unexpected of father-son teams to somehow put a stop to this villain before his actions destroy the space-time continuum in Mr. Peabody & Sherman.
It sounds like it might be a better effort than the live-action/CGI “Rocky and Bullwinkle” movie from 2000, and DreamWorks’ efforts usually do fairly well (if not always a huge hit) at the box office. Given 50 years have passed since the original shorts, it might also give them a chance to show more 20th century historical events (the coronation of Queen Elizabeth? Helping Bill Gates and/or Steve Jobs popularize the personal computer? Helping Langston Hughes become a famous writer?). Still, as a fan of Peabody (and “Rocky and Bullwinkle”), I’ll judge for myself in three years when the film comes out…