At the Movies: Mr. Peabody and Sherman

Are you or your family looking for a movie to see soon at your local theater? Do you love dogs, or wish they could talk?

Then you will love “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” a new movie from DreamWorks Animation which will be out in theaters on March 7th!

poster

Do you remember Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman? Mr. Peabody is an incredibly intelligent beagle, the smartest dog in the world, while Sherman is the boy he adopts. The animated characters got their start in the 1960s as part of “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” in the Peabody’s Improbable History segment. They looked like this:

rb_Thumb_Stills_sherman
(about.com)

In the show, Mr. Peabody had accomplished many things but was lonely and ended up adopting a human boy named Sherman after finding out he was an orphan. For Sherman’s birthday he gifts the boy his invention of a time machine called the WABAC, and they travel together through history fixing things that have gone wrong.

The upcoming film has similar themes but follows Sherman and a girl named Penny (along with Mr. Peabody) as they travel back in time in the WABAC (pronounced “way-back”). It is a story of self discovery as the kids learn lessons on friendship and understanding, and Mr. Peabody learns how to be a better father figure. All of this while working through historical events like the Trojan War in an attempt to not change history because of their interference. Mr. Peabody is voiced by Ty Burrell. Max Charles voices Sherman and Ariel Winter voices Penny Peterson. Penny was not a part of the original cartoon segments but looks to be a great addition for the animated movie.

Inside the WABAC:
WABAC

Max Charles and Ariel Winter recently sat down for a quick Q&A session about the film. Not surprisingly, neither of the two young stars had seen the cartoon prior to being cast. While Charles could look for inspiration in the classic cartoon for Sherman, Winter had a bigger challenge since Penny was not part of the original storyline. However, this didn’t seem to bother her, “It was basically like they handed me a book and it was empty and I got to write the pages,” she explains. “I thought it was pretty cool that I got to create my own character.” Winter also joked that she brought her own real life sass to the role. Penny’s assertive personality is what drives Sherman to defy orders and take Penny in Mr. Peabody’s WABAC.

Penny with Sherman and Mr. Peabody in ancient Egypt:
penny

Winter believes Penny’s behavior and actions go deeper than just a desire to pick on Sherman. She explains, “Penny gets the most attention at school for being smartest in class, and when she gets threatened by Sherman a little bit because he comes in and kind of takes her place, she acts out, to take back what she feels is her’s. In the end Penny really realizes some things about herself and we see that she has a huge heart and she ends up caring for Sherman and Mr. Peabody.”

When asked about his favorite scene in the movie, Charles described a sequence where King Tut smashes into the windshield of the WABAC — a very appropriate response for a 10–year-old boy.

Overall, the movie is really about relationships. The friendship that develops between Penny and Sherman is just as important as the father and son relationship between Peabody and Sherman. As a dog, Mr. Peabody has to deal with this in trying to be a boy’s father on top of the normal difficulties of parenting. This is a strange but interesting dynamic to be sure. As a kid I often wondered what it would be like to have intelligent talking dogs and what that impact would be like. How much more crazy would it be to be adopted by one? For those who love dogs like a part of the family, “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” is sure to be enjoyable given the film’s depiction of the love, loyalty and companionship we share with our four-legged best friends.

I think the movie sounds fun and heartwarming! Don’t miss Mr. Peabody and Sherman when it comes to theaters March 7th!

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