A 2014 American 3D computer animated comedy adventure film, Mr. Peabody & Sherman is based on the Peabody's Improbable History segments from Rocky and Bullwinkle, the fourth to be based off the 1960s animated television series though the first to be fully animated instead of live action (Boris and Natasha — 1992, Dudley Do-Right — 1999) or live action with CGI thrown in the mix (Rocky & Bullwinkle — 2000).It's produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Rob Minkoff (The Lion King, Stuart Little) is the director, while Alex Schwartz and Denise Nolan Cascino are the producers and Tiffany Ward (daughter of Jay Ward, one of the creators of the original series) is executive producer. Mr. Peabody & Sherman features the voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, Ariel Winter, Allison Janney, Stephen Tobolowsky, Mel Brooks and Patrick Warburton.Mr. Peabody is a business titan, inventor, scientist, gourmand, two-time Olympic medalist and genius who also happens to be a dog. Using his most ingenious invention, the WABAC machine, Mr. Peabody and his adopted boy Sherman hurtle back in time to experience world-changing events first-hand and interact with some of the greatest historical characters of all time. But when Sherman breaks the rules of time travel, our two heroes find themselves in a race to repair history and save the future, while Mr. Peabody may face his biggest challenge yet - being a parent.The film was well received critically, but was a financial disappointment, currently being the second lowest-grossing CGI DreamWorks Animation film (after their very first production, Antz).The short film Almost Home played in front of the theatrical release, as a prequel to Home, an upcoming Dreamworks Animation film.
Adaptation Personality Change: Mr. Peabody's feelings for Sherman are changed from treating the boy as his merely pet and assistant to the dog considering Sherman his dearly beloved son.
Adaptational Heroism: This is a behavioral version, with Mr. Peabody treating Sherman as his son whom he deeply loves, rather than a pet and assistant as in the Rocky and Bullwinkle segments.
Adorkable: Peabody dropping flat on his face, thinking it to be masterful pratfall comedy.
Peabody: [Tail wagging excitedly] Is everyone amused?
Sherman takes the cake with his dorky appearance, innocence, and clumsiness.
Adorably Precocious Child: At the age of seven, Sherman has learned a lot from traveling in the WABAC with Peabody and being raised by him.
Adult Fear: Social Services trying to take your perfectly happy child whom you love dearly away from you. Said child disappearing and you searching frantically for him during the start of The French Revolution. Also him getting on the Egyptian Doom Boat instead of the safe one, almost falling off a cliff, and wanting to fight in the Trojan War! Let's just say Mr. Peabody goes through the wringer.
There's also Penny's parents not knowing their daughter is at Peabody's home (this is after Sherman lost her in Ancient Egypt). What really makes the scene heart wrenching is Patty saying "Oh my gosh" and appears to be hyperventilating.
Adults Are Useless: Briefly towards the beginning, when Penny is quite openly bullying Sherman, and even ends up putting him in a choke hold, with a crowd of kids gathering and cheering, there is not one adult to be seen. Apparently the children are simply left unattended at lunch. And when adults are brought in, the bullying is dismissed as kids being kids and the bully is made to be the victim even though she provoked Sherman to violence.
Alliterative Family: The Petersons: Penny (daughter & Sherman's classmate), Patty (mother) and Paul (father)
Amazon Chaser: Agamemnon finds Grunion's boisterous and loud demeanor attractive after meeting her for the first time. It's also clear she is the dominant one in they get together but he's fine with that.
American Kirby Is Hardcore: While both the international and domestic trailers have a focus on comedy, the American versions using the song "Pompeii" has a much more epic feel to it.
An Aesop: In-Universe example when Sherman's teacher asked what tree George Washington chopped down to which Sherman explains he never did but the story was made up in order to teach kids about lying.
Robespierre's portrayal, depicted as a livid, duelling hungry arch enemy of France and attempted executioner of Mr. Peabody when in reality he was a pacifist, arguing against war with Austria, for the abolition of the death penalty (save King Louis XVI)
Marie Antoinette uttering "Let them eat cake" (despite never actually reported saying this line ) - though played with, as it turns out to be a hilariously taken out of contexts response to Sherman asking for cake.
The existence of the largely mythical Trojan Horse.
The wives of Pharaohs being killed to keep their husbands company in the afterlife. This did happen with early Egyptian kings, but was discontinued long before the reign of King Tut.
What Peabody says to be "Ancient Egyptian" for tattletale is actually Modern Arabic.
Be My Valentine: Happens in the comic book tie-in. Peabody got literally tons of valentine cards from Hollywood Movie Starlets, Queens, Princesses and Supreme Court Justices.
Becoming Part of the Image: While visiting Leonardo Da Vinci, Mr. Peabody gets his head stuck in the portrait of a woman. It's so funny Mona Lisa finally smiles, allowing Leonardo to finish her portrait.
Been There, Shaped History: Perhaps not shaped history, but Mr. Peabody is close personal friends with several great historical figures, including Agamemnon, Leonardo da Vinci, and Mahatma Gandhi.
Berserk Button: Say whatever you want to Mr. Peabody, but you. will. NOT. harm his son!
He doesn't take kindly to disparaging being a dog either.
Disney Death: Happens to Mr. Peabody twice. In the French Revolution scene, he appears to be guillotined, and in the Trojan Horse scene, he appears to fall to his death, but he survives both times.
Disappeared Dad: Played with before being averted. Paul Peterson gets right into Peabody's face saying that nothing is more important than his daughter. He is immediately interrupted by his phone ringing, and stealing his attention with a survey. But when all is said and done, he's neither attentive nor inattentive.
Dramatic Irony: When Mr. Peabody is called in to see the principal, he thinks it's because they want to place Sherman into an advanced curriculum program.
Mr. Peabodys parental care torwards Sherman tends to jump between a true father's love and talking down to him like he's his owner in critical situations during the French Revolution and escaping the black hole.
Driven by Envy: Penny during the history class, Mr. Peterson on meeting Peabody.
Earn Your Happy Ending: After an adventure of time-traveling, parental issues, and discrimination, Grunion ends up trapped in the past, Mr. Peabody and Sherman can remain together, and Penny and Sherman reconcile and have a budding romance.
Easily Forgiven: Penny was pretty much forgiven despite causing the whole mess, sure she regretted it and learned to be kind but still.
Eternal English: The only language barrier in this entire film is that Sherman might not know how to read Hieroglyphics. Although occasionally characters do use a few words of their native language, usually when funny.
Explained a bit in the original cartoon, which has Mr. Peabody "fix" a language barrier after the two first visit ancient Rome - implying translating is part of the WABAC's functions.
Expy: Penny is a lot like Cindy Vortex from her appearance to her personality to becoming envious of the "boy genius" of the class and eventually falling in love with him. Sherman also possesses some qualities of Jimmy Neutron himself and even Lewis.
Face Palm: Mr. Peabody does this when Sherman's explanation for why he took Penny to the WABAC turns out to be "she was into it."
Fat Bitch: Ms. Grunion, a plump social worker who threatens to take Sherman away from Peabody.
Fantastic Racism: In this world, a talking dog can exist but is apparently not common enough for humans to know how to treat them. Ms. Grunion seems to have a problem, not only with the idea of a dog adopting a boy, but with a dog acting like a human. Penny's bullying to Sherman stems from him being raised by a dog, as though it causes well-known domestic problems. The first thing Penny's father does when stepping into the penthouse apartment for dinner is to confirm his suspicions that he "is literally a dog".
Foreshadowing: The final issue of the comic book tie-in has Mr. Peabody trying to teach Sherman about romance, mentioning that he is starting school soon. It even ends with Mr. Peabody and Sherman arriving in France just before the Reign of Terror.
Four-Fingered Hands: Like his animated counterpart, Mr. Peabody still has four, though subverted with Sherman (who had four) as he now has five fingers as with other human characters in the movie.
Furry Reminder: As intelligent and proper as Peabody is, he still maintains his canine instincts, such as wagging his tail when happy, occasionally running on all fours, biting in a rage when Miss Grunion physically hurts his son etc.
Gold Digger: Penny plans to marry King Tut knowing he dies young, intending to get all his riches. However, she didn't know that wives of the pharaoh are condemned to death when he dies.
Good Parents: Mr. Peabody may expose him to danger in the trips to the past, but otherwise, Sherman could not ask for a better father dedicated to an enriching childhood undreamed of for any child.
Penny's parents as well. They seem a bit shallow upon their first introduction, but it quickly becomes apparent that they do indeed care for their daughter, and are very protective of her and concerned for her safety.
Goofy Print Underwear: Robespierre is revealed to be wearing these when Mr. Peabody causes his pants to fall down during a fight.
Gratuitous Italian: Spoken by Mona Lisa when she's complaining about Leonardo having her sit there all day.
Sherman: I don't think that's Italian for 'chair', Mr. Peabody.
Green Eyes: Mr. Peabody, perhaps to highlight his intellect and general uniqueness.
Green-Eyed Monster: There seems to be some indications that Penny is this to Sherman when he starts going to school.
Sherman later appears to be not altogether pleased when Penny gets herself engaged to King Tut.Lampshaded by Mr. Peabody.
Handshake Substitute: Among his many, many accomplishments, Mr. Peabody claims to have invented the fist-bump.
The real Spartacus (looking like Kirk Douglas, naturally) has a cameo in which he says his line.
Improbable Age: Sherman is 7 years old in the movie, and since Penny is in the same class she is evidently the same age. Yet, considering the kind of things they do in the movie you get the impression they are much older than that.
Sherman jumps into Peabody's arms after realizing he was holding a mummy's hand, which detaches from its body and falls to the ground Mr. Peabody: That's disarming. —- Sherman and Peabody are in Ancient Egypt to get Penny, dressed as Cleopatra Penny: I'm Princess Hatshepsut, precious flower of the Nile. Mr. Peabody: If you think we're going to leave you here, you are most definitely in denial. —- Mr. Peabody: Looks like we were the butt of that joke.
Sherman gets one of his own, having lunch with his classmates. One student offers to show Sherman his model of a hydrogen atom, prompting Sherman to quip, "You only have one? I guess we'll have to split it."
While Ms. Grunion tries to get Sherman taken from Mr. Peabody mostly because he's a dog, one could argue that Mr. Peabody does put Sherman is serious danger on a regular basis with their trips in the WABAC. Then again, Ms. Grunion doesn't actually know about the existence of the WABAC.
Karma Houdini: Ms. Grunion gets a happy ending that she probably doesn't deserve. At least she can't threaten Mr. Peabody and Sherman anymore.
If you know anything about Greek mythology, it might not be that happy of an ending for her. Let's just say when Agamemnon brings home his new wife...his old one won't take it very well.
Also, given that she had been dragged off by a smitten Greek king/warrior, portraying it as other than a happy ending would have some really unfortunate implications.
Penny started the whole fiasco by essentially strangling Sherman from behind, and generally being a bitch. Her punishment is that she ends up with a possible boyfriend...wait...
It could be said that most of her karma is in her emotional pain. First from almost getting in a blood ritual in Egypt, then indirectly being the cause of a Disney Death, and then realizing It's All My Fault and being unable to truly fix her mistake.
Kids Are Cruel: Although Penny was the only one humiliating Sherman, none of the kids except for one tried to stop her and when Penny gets Sherman in a choke hold the kids all crowd around and shout for them to fight.
The Load: Penny comes off as this. She bullies Sherman and sets up the conflict of Ms. Grunion trying to take Sherman away from Mr. Peabody. Later when she visits, she makes Sherman use the WABAC without permission and ends up in Ancient Egypt. Due to her being a Non-Action Snarker and having more than one Damsel in Distress moment, she only serves as a bland love interest for Sherman but thankfully her behavior improves early in the movie.
Logo Joke: Sherman takes the place of the boy in the moon.
Meaningful Echo: When Mr. Peabody finally tells Sherman that he loves him, Sherman uses Peabody's earlier "deep regard" line in response.
Missing Trailer Scene: Played with. One of the scenes from the trailer is actually two scenes spliced together. Also, the "butt of that joke" line was nowhere to be found, and a small moment where Marie Antoinette held up Sherman and spun him is absent.
Mundane Fantastic: Whenever in the past or the present, nobody seems to mind a talking dog walking amongst them. But Peabody is a famous athlete and inventor, so he's arguably famous. People have had time to get used to the fact that he's a talking genius dog.
To put this in perspective, from a 90 minute movie, the biggest reactions to Mr. Peabody being a dog comes from Penny seen whispering when Sherman gets his dog whistle and her father on meeting him.
Like in the first episode of the cartoon, Peabody finds Sherman in a alley. Only difference being here Sherman's a baby found in a box whilst in the cartoon, Sherman was a kid being beaten up by a couple of bullies.
Mr. Peabody adopting Sherman (though he's a baby rather than a boy as he was in the cartoons) and getting media attention for it. Also, the judge's dialogue is almost a verbatim quote from the cartoon:
Cartoon Judge: This court can see no reason if a boy can have a dog, a dog can't have a boy. Movie Judge: If a boy can adopt a dog, I see no reason why a dog cannot adopt a boy.
Mr. Peabody instructs the baby Sherman not to call him "dada", but rather "Mr. Peabody" (or "Peabody" in informal situations).
The name of the giant sphere used for the time machine is WABAC; the name of the time machine Mr. Peabody and Sherman used to be able to visit famous historical people or events was the WABAC Machine. Also, the doorway used to enter the WABAC's chamber is similar to the original WABAC seen in the cartoon.
Sherman having brown eyes here calls back to where in the cartoon, Mr. Peabody mentions Sherman having brown eyes despite the pupils being black.
Also retaining Sherman's Improbable Age of 7, which arguably made even less sense in the original series considering his maturity.
The opening and ending of the movie reflect that of the first Peabody's Improbable History segment; It opens with Peabody doing yoga, and ends with him saying "Every dog should have a boy."
The street sweeper appears at the end to clean up after the Greeks when Agamemnon and Ms. Grunion get married.
Sherman sleeps with a stuffed animal; specifically, Dudley Do-Right's horse.
Peabody and Sherman drive around New York City in a bright red motorcycle and side car, which is reminiscent of the large red car that the two ride in during one of the Peabody's Improbable History openings.
Parents as People: Very much so. As the primary protagonist, the audience gets a full look into Mr. Peabody's character, and the main chunk of his Character Development is him learning to cope with Sherman as he grows and changes, and struggling to be a good father despite the emotional complexity of it all.
Puppy-Dog Eyes: Penny is making these in the picture Mr. Peabody sees in her file while in the principal's office after Sherman gets into a fight.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Principal Purdy doesn't want Peabody and Sherman to be separated, but he has to follow the law. He also takes into account the fact that Penny provoked Sherman.
Renaissance Man: Mr. Peabody. As stated in the beginning of this page, he is a business titan, inventor, scientist, gourmand, two-time Olympic medalist and genius. Bonus points for being a close personal friend of the Renaissance Man himself, Leonardo Da Vinci.
Running Gag: Whenever Mr. Peabody makes a pun, Sherman instantly laughs at it. Only for him to say that he doesn't get the joke.
At one point in the movie, Beethoven can be seen playing Dance Dance Revolution. And if you listen carefully, you can hear that he's playing "Speed Over Beethoven", a Speedy Techno Remake of Fur Elise that appears in several DDR games.
Spoiled Brat: Penny. She gets better during the course of the film.
Stealth Pun: Both Mr. Peabody and Sherman are shot out from the Sphinx's behind.
Took a Level in Badass: Sherman. He saves his father from Ms. Grunion's wrath, pilots the WABAC in the climax, brings Peabody to reconsider his fears and doubts of letting him be more reliable and finally speaking his unconditional love for his son out loud for the very first time.
Took a Level in Kindness: Mr. Peabody, compared to his cartoon counterpart. In the original cartoon, he was a more strict and distant authority figure towards Sherman, and considered himself Sherman's owner, not his adoptive father.
Trailers Always Lie: The "fetch the ball" gag from the trailers and commercials never actually shows up in the film itself.
The "peanut butter" gag also isn't in the actual movie.
Trailer Spoof: In celebration of Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary, a trailer does this. Despite obvious hints (like the fact The Doctor doesn't travel through time in huge red orb that looks like a golf ball!) that it's not a Doctor Who movie, lots of people STILL believed otherwise.
Trapped in the Past: When Agamemnon is whisked back to his own time, he takes Ms. Grunion with him because he loves her. At first, she is not okay with this, but at the end we see that they wind up Happily Married.
Would Hurt a Child: In the Trojan War, Sherman decided to join the battle but quickly changed his mind and the soldier hunting him down had no regrets on murdering a little boy.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: When Peabody loses his temper and bites Ms. Grunion when she hurts his son, Grunion calls Animal Control to haul him away to be put down and nobody in the present points out that he has high level contacts in political, business and diplomatic circles who would surely do everything in their power to stop this.