This week on the Menagerie, the Rambler and I review Mr. Peabody & Sherman along with 300: the rise of an empire.
Mr. Peabody is a cartoon dog who appeared in the late 1950s and early 1960s television animated series Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show, produced by Jay Ward. Peabody appeared in the Peabody’s Improbable Historysegments created by Ted Key, and was voiced by Bill Scott, while Sherman was voiced by Walter Tetley.
The cartoons are about Peabody, a beagle who is the smartest being in existence. Peabody has accomplished many things in his life as a business magnate, inventor, scientist, Nobel laureate, gourmand, and two-time Olympic medalist. One day, Mr. Peabody becomes sad and lonely and decides to adopt his own human son. In an alley, he meets Sherman, a dorky, glasses-wearing, orange-haired boy. After saving Sherman from a group of bullies, Peabody discovers that Sherman is an orphan and decides to adopt him.
After a court appearance and a talk with the President and the government, Peabody becomes Sherman’s new guardian. Mr. Peabody tells Sherman to not call him “Daddy” and to call him by his name, “Mr. Peabody.”
Peabody realizes that boys need running room and so invents the WABAC machine as a birthday gift for Sherman. He and Sherman then go back in time to see a Roman speaking in Latin; Peabody then adds a translator circuit to the machine so that everyone seems to speak English and see the Roman again finding out he is a used chariot salesman. Their next trip is to see Ben Franklin flying his kite, but Peabody and Sherman discover that they cannot interact with the past, so Peabody makes some more adjustments, turning the WABAC from a time machine into a “should-have-been machine.” This results in the past they visit being totally cockeyed (including anachronisms and famous people behaving totally out of character).
For example, Paul Revere is unable to make his famous ride through Boston because his horse is actually a statue. In another trip Robin Hood has suffered a head injury causing him to behave the opposite of normal—shooting bows (rather than arrows) at peasants and wanting to steal from the poor so as to give to the rich. – This is why I loved the old cartoon!