Robert Downey Jr Leading Voice Cast of 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman'
Back in 2009 when DreamWorks Animation announced their upcoming slate of films through the year 2012, there was no word on the status of Mr. Peabody & Sherman, a feature length adaptation of the cartoon shorts that were a part of "The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show" cartoon series. Each installment followed a funny but educational journey as genius, bespectacled canine Mr. Peabody and his curious boy-sidekick Sherman would use the WABAC machine to travel through time and visit famous figures and events in history. Today brings some great news for the animated film as EW reports Robert Downey Jr. will voice the brilliant Mr. Peabody.
If you don't recall, Rob Minkoff (The Lion King) is set to direct the film, and he knows that there's an uphill battle to get Mr. Peabody and Sherman on the radar of their key young demographic. The filmmaker says, "Certainly for Boomers, they’re in the sweet spot of our childhood animation memories, but beyond there it gets a little bit, well, not quite as familiar.”
Maybe that's why Yogi Bear didn't explode at the box office (also it looked awful). Unfortunately, that film's writers, Jeffrey Ventimilia and Joshua Sternin, are behind this film as well. But here, the concept behind the cartoon and film has many more possibilities (and the cartoon always had much smarter jokes than the aforementioned picnic-basket stealing bear too), so hopefully we're not looking at another dumb adaptation.
The film will introduce the characters in a sort of origin story along with the expected time traveling antics. Minkoff says, "Mr. Peabody is this genetic anomaly. He does have brothers and sisters, all of them non-speaking, no super-smart dogs. He’s an outcast, but has overcome it by being so great at so many things." Likely Sherman will also be an outcast in his own social circle, and that's how the two will probably come to befriend each other.
Thankfully Minkoff decided against a hybrid of live-action and 3D animation (many of those films have been terrible) and went the full-fledged animation route. If I had my way, we wouldn't have anymore real world embodiments of cartoon characters like Alvin and the Chipmunks or Yogi Bear. However, the animation route means we'll be waiting awhile since the film isn't due in theaters until 2014. Still, Downey has the perfect dry, fast-talking voice to bring Mr. Peabody to life for this promising adaptation. What do you think?