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Mr. Peabody & Sherman Trailer: Time Travel Made Kid-Friendly

There was a time, around 4 or 5 years ago, when DreamWorks Animation was starting to look like a legitimate threat to Pixar as America's most reliable animation outfits-- movies like How To Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda were just as beautiful as a Pixar production, and the studio could rake in cash on sequels like the Madagascar and Shrek franchises to puruse original stories like Rise of the Guardians. Then Guardians tanked last fall, The Croods was a moderately well-received success in the spring, and Turbo tanked harder than any DreamWorks Animation project in nearly a decade when it opened in July. Once heir to animation's future, DreamWorks Animation is suddenly playing catch-up.

Which brings us to Mr. Peabody & Sherman, next spring's animation effort that has unveiled the trailer you see above (you can watch it in high-res at Apple. Based on the characters you might vaguely remember from Rocky & Bullwinkle, it tells the story of a young boy and his super-smart dog (remember, this existed before Family Guy) and the time-travel machine that allows them to revisit all the highlights of history class. I admit there's probably more about ancient history than I'd like to admit that I learned from Mr. Peabody, and all the big moments seem to have made it to the screen here, from mummies and pyramids to da Vinci and a painting of the Mona Lisa that's just begging to get wrecked by our heroes.

That's Ty Burrell voicing the super-smart Mr. Peabody, with kid actor Max Charles as Sherman, and you may have noticed appearances from the voices of Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, Stanley Tucci and even Mel Brooks in that fast-paced trailer. Increasingly often animated movies are becoming total unknowns until they actually open, with so many of them sticking to the same rigorous beats of kid-friendly entertainment and the actual quality only emerging once you can see thew hole thing. On the surface How to Train Your Dragon looked overly goofy and turned out fantastic; Rise of the Guardians seemed beautifully animated and stacked with a great voice cast and it was a mess. I'm having a very hard time judging Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and deciding if this looks like an admittedly juvenile but fun romp through history or a pandering wreck exclusively for the people who remember the old Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons. Help me make up my mind in the comments, and look for the movie March 7 next year.

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend