Mr. Peabody & Sherman
I had the opportunity to travel down to Los Angeles for a sneak preview of DreamWorks Animation’s adaptation of Mr. Peabody & Sherman (March 7, 2014). For those of you who may not be old enough to remember this cartoon, you are in for a treat! Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell, Emmy Award ® Winner – Modern Family) is a business titan, inventor, scientist, gourmand, two-time Olympic medalist and genius…who also happens to be a dog. (What?!? Yes, a dog!) Using his most ingenious invention, the WABAC machine, Mr. Peabody and his adopted boy Sherman (Max Charles – The Amazing Spiderman) hurtle back in time to experience world-changing events first-hand and interact with some of the greatest characters of all time. But when Sherman takes The WABAC out for a joyride to impress his friend Penny (Ariel Winter – Modern Family), they accidently rip a hole in the universe, wreaking havoc on the most important events in world history. Before they forever alter the past, present and future, Mr. Peabody must come to their rescue, ultimately facing the most daunting challenge of any era: figuring out how to be a parent. Together, the time traveling trio will make their mark on history.
I love animated movies. I enjoy watching them with my kids and hearing them laugh at the silly antics, and I appreciate the highbrow humor the writers sneak in for the adults. This film has it all, and the kids might actually walk away with added knowledge of historical people and events. I can tell you that the characters meet George Washington, King Tut, and Leonardo da Vinci with Mona Lisa; however, other encounters are being kept quite. The movie has such the A-List cast including, but not limited to Leslie Mann, Patrick Warburton, Allison Janney, Stanley Tucci, Dennis Haysbert, Mel Brooks, and Stephen Colbert.
After our sneak peek of the movie (they are still in the middle of the animation), we had a Q&A session with Director Rob Minkoff, Executive Producer Tiffany Ward (daughter of legendary Jay Ward, producer of classics like “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” “Dudley Do-Right,” “George of the Jungle,” and “Cap’n Crunch”), and the voice of Mr. Peabody himself, actor Ty Burrell.
Ty, are there any history lessons in this film?
…”I would say that there is a really cool aspect to this film in that I think it will allow kids to kind of put personalities to these names, to these historical figures and maybe draw them in to learning more about it. I found that really cool.
And throughout the whole process, I think education has changed a long time in the 100 years since I went to grade school, but I think, it was a pretty dry sort of textbook experience. And, even legitimately, just watching it for me, it does make me want to go back and learn more about it just from having these like great voice actors put life into those characters.”
Rob, how important was that to you guys …try to blend in the education along with the entertainment aspect?
“When I was a kid, and I’m sure maybe that’s true of everybody here, there was so much that I learned from cartoons. And it was usually snuck in…And I think that what’s really important ultimately when you’re making stories and movies that do have kids as an audience, it was always important to me when I got started working at Disney, which was that you never want to talk down to kids, you want to kind of shoot over their heads. A lot of times, people will say, oh, they’re not going to know this. And I said, yes, but how are they going to learn it, right? Of course, they don’t know it. Everybody starts out not knowing something, and they’ve got to hear it from somewhere.
…My hope is that they’ll see it here and maybe get more interested in it, because I was the beneficiary of great teachers when I was in elementary school and high school. I had great history teachers. And the reason they were great is because they knew how to bring it to life in a way that made it a story that was compelling about characters that I was interested in…When you hear history told in that way, it’s fascinating. And it’s sad when you hear people think of history as a kind of a lifeless, dead, boring thing because it’s really not. Every story that we’ve ever told lives in history.”
Tiffany, are we going to see any shout outs to the other cartoons that it’s connected to like “Rocky and Bullwinkle” or “Fractured Fairytales” in the movie, or is there anything that you plan to do with those in the future?
“There aren’t any shout outs in this movie to Rocky and Bullwinkle or any of the other characters, but we have some wonderful plans in the future. I don’t know what I can talk about or what I can’t now, but there’s some very exciting plans for using the other characters in the future.”
Mark you calendars for March 7, 2014, and connect with Mr. Peabody Online!
Visit the official website
Follow @DWAnimation on Twitter #MrPeabody
If you could go in the WABAC machine, where would you go & who would you like to meet?
Transportation, hotel and accommodations were provided by the sponsor for this event. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine.