October 26, 2013

Are you ready for a really glitzy version of the crudely animated TV cartoon "Mr. Peabody & Sherman."

Here's the trailer:



I especially appreciated the big faceful of armpit hair at 1:16. I remember that in the early days of computer animation hair was hard to do, so the characters tended to be insects or plastic toys. There's been so much progress since then, not that I've set foot into a theater showing a computer animation since I walked out of "Antz" because the closeup faces were making me ill.

The human faces in "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" are actually a lot like those insect faces that made me ill, except that they nail those smart-ass-kid expressions that — since the 1980s — TV has been teaching our children to make.

Of course, Mr. Peabody is a dog, so the hairs will have been minutely attended to. If I were to see this film — which I wouldn't, because I almost never go to the movies and I have a physical aversion to computer animation — I would be continually distracted by the constant minute wiggling and shimmering of the hairs as they — this is how I would think of it — show off that they can do hair.

ADDED:  Here's how the old TV cartoon looked. It was "crude" in the sense of its being done quickly and cheaply, but the drawing is actually quite vivid and charming. I love drawn cartoons, and I admire cheapness and quickness when the result is good, so I'm a bit sorry for using the word "crudely" in the post title. [AND: The particular "Mr. Peabody" cartoon I happened to find to link to there, which I just watched, has an Indian character of the smoke-um-peace-pipe sort that you'd never see today, and more strangely, there seems to be a swastika on one of the teepees.]

26 comments:

surfed said...

Incisive comment that tv has been teaching our children facial expressions, snotty disdain for adults, and all the rest. Ain't it the truth. I see it every day.

madAsHell said...

Movies that are premised on bad decisions are never entertaining.

Paddy O said...

Original: smart dog, average boy.
New: smart dog, average boy with supersmart know it all girl friend.

Thus taking away the humor about the dog and his boy, inverting the roles. Have to make sure the girl is not depreciated as much as the boy and offers a role model for girls, even though that's not the point of the original.

Eric said...

Pretty good synopsis Paddy O

Seven Years of College Down the Drain said...

Inclined to give to this a pass. I can't imagine any of the great Jay Ward sensibility will come through in any reimagining.

rhhardin said...

Swastikas are an Indian sign meaning I forget what.

EDH said...

Mr. Peabody referred to Sherman as his "pet boy".

William said...

Reality has given me nothing but trouble. I'm glad that the CGI simulations have become so much more credible. The physical laws of this universe are extremely inhospitable to humans. It's very pleasant to go somewhere where they don't apply.

Will Cate said...

Good Lord in heaven, this looks awful. I refuse to let my cherished memories of classic Jay Ward cartoons be polluted in this way.

eddie willers said...

Gee...am I the only one who thought it looked great? Puns galore!

They need to pair it with a "Fractured Fairy Tales" short. I'm sure someone can parrot Edward Everett Horton's voice.

Broomhandle said...

The only armpit hair I saw was some dumbshow with Bark telling some affected old broad to take a pill. Regardless I loved all the denizens of the Bullwinkle show. Even to my 6 year old self, it seemed edgier and smarter than the usual Saturday morning crap.

Freeman Hunt said...

People have forgotten how to write comedy.

rcocean said...

That's an Apache Indian if ever I saw one.

haha.

Jerry said...

Holy shit what a horrible trailer. Thank you Pixar for contributing to the Hollywood raping of the classics.

And yes, Paddy O provides the reason why.

kimsch said...

That's not a swastika. It's a letter Z with a line through the middle that has a short downstroke on each end.

Robert Cook said...

I loved Mr. Peabody and Sherman. This looks AWFUL.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

I think young people would find Adventure Time with "Jake the Human and Finn the Dog" as being a boy-with-dog cartoon that is more "with it". The Earl of Lemongrab clips I encountered on Youtube are so hilarious, I've spent a few hours watching the episodes I can come across.

I think the actual reason Lemongrab strikes such a chord is that he is an appropriate warning to those who might get themselves and the world into trouble by imprudently forcing girls into having catty cruel fantasies (by not loving them else). For those who have not considered beforehand the ramifications of the difficulties of girls abruptly discontinuing cat mode, to avoid some sort of catastrophic cataclysm a last resort would be to throw the kitties into one? two? three? months dungeon (nunnery-like) with no sadistic sex fantasies or maybe no sex fantasies at all--and no meowing. Anway, emotionally at least, Lemongrab is just like someone who fears he has (inadvertently?) caused some sort of catplosion of cat sentiment in girls and is in desperation to return things to safe.

PB Reader said...

Drizzle, drazzle, drozzle, drum. Time for zis one to come home!

TennLion said...

The "swastika" was an Indian symbol, primarily of the Navajo tribe, denoting good luck. Because of the local association, the state of Oklahoma also used it on traffic signs and such. The 45th Infantry Division wore a shoulder patch with a swastika on it. Shortly after the beginning of World War II, the state and several Indian tribes renounced use of the symbol (even though "their" swastika are the arms broken in the opposite direction) because of the ignominious association; the 45th Infantry Division changed their should patch to a stylized Thunderbird. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_use_of_the_swastika_in_the_early_20th_century#As_a_Native_American_symbol

Sam L. said...

The voices aren't right.

Edmund said...

Jerry, this is not a Pixar product, but Dreamworks. I can see why you might think so, as the human characters are similar to older Pixar films.

Unlike Pixar, Dreamworks loads their shows with pop culture jokes that won't age well. I've felt that overall, Pixar films are better and will be watched 50 years from now, like much of Disney animation, but Dreamworks will be incomprehensible without notes explaining the jokes. (For example, in Shreck, the "king" character's appearance was based on Michael Eisner, who the Dreamworks founders had bad experiences with at Disney.)

Wry Mouth said...

Jay Ward and his crew referred to their efforts as "radio with pictures." I find that apt. And yet -- my kids like Rocky & Bullwinkle and the rest as much as, if not more than, many modern animated works.

Wry Mouth said...

Jay Ward and his crew referred to their efforts as "radio with pictures." I find that apt. And yet -- my kids like Rocky & Bullwinkle and the rest as much as, if not more than, many modern animated works.

SF said...

I've never understood the fear of current pop culture jokes in animated movies. Many of the classic Bugs Bunny cartoons are loaded with them, and yet were still the funniest thing on television thirty years after they were originally made.

Popville said...

First off, it's "Mr. Peabody his boy Sherman". Sherman was his pet -- get it?

Jay Ward was the William Gaines of TV cartoons. For anyone who loved Bullwinkle, Fractured Fairy Tales, Dudley Do-Right, George of the Jungle or the earlier series Crusader Rabbit owes it to themselves to seek out copies of Hoppity Hooper. Possibly of the the most inventive and surrealistic shows ever on TV. Especially the Traffic Zone episodes.

Mad Magazine & Hoppity Hooper kept this former 10-12 year old kid sane, between the school nuke drills and the assassinations.

southcentralpa said...

Have you ever read "Penny Candy" by Jean Kerr? You should get it for a bed table book, I think you would discover a kindred soul ...