There are only a handful of people on this planet more skeptical of modern day, family-friendly reinterpretations of the masterfully crude and hilariously dry animated features that comprised The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. There's demonstrable proof that such endeavors simply do not work, specifically the mostly terrible 2000 live-action version The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle starring Robert De Niro and Brendan Fraser's earnest but unsuccessful turn as Dudley Do-Right in 1999. After seeing those films, fans of producer Jay Ward's wry variety series shuddered to think what might come next; Fractured Fairy Tales, Aesop's & Son, and most probably, Peabody's Improbable History, a brilliantly silly series of vignettes about a relentlessly smug, time traveling dog and his human sidekick visiting historical figures only to discover them in various states of indignity and disgrace.

Well, it would seem that smarter heads have prevailed in the thirteen years since Hollywood's last attempt to make a Rocky & Bullwinkle-based film. Not only is the new film, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, an animated affair, but it's helmed by The Lion King co-director Rob Minkoff himself. The theatrical trailer released today reflects an obvious mandate to make Peabody and Sherman more emotionally palatable for the all ages audiences of today, but expresses a great deal of the sardonic spirit that original creator Ted Key infused into his classic cartoons.

Mr. Peabody's a dick? Check. (Could be dicker, sure).

Sherman's a little slow? Check.

Historical figures are imbeciles and weirdos and they need Peabody's help? Check.

Also, kudos to Minkoff for giving the boys a female companion (this is not a Doctor Who joke, you cretins). If there is a criticism of the classic cartoons -- beyond how laughably bad the animation was and how painful the puns were -- it was that they didn't offer much in the way of heroines.

TL;DR version: we are looking forward to this. Mr. Peabody and Sherman opens March 7, 2014.

Also coming soon is IDW Publishing's Mr. Peabody and Sherman, in cooperation with DreamWorks and written by Sholly Fisch with art by Jorge Monlongo. The cover below is by Matt Kaufenberg. Issue #1 (of 4) goes on sale November 27.



[Via Cartoon Brew]