Robert Downey Jr. is hopping in the WABAC Machine. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Downey will be providing the voice of Mr. Peabody in DreamWorks Animation’s adaptation of the Rocky & Bullwinkle characters Peabody and Sherman. For those unfamiliar with the charming cartoon, Peabody was a highly-intelligent dog who would, with the help of his trusty boy Sherman, travel through time using the WABAC (pronounced “Wayback”) Machine. The Lion King director Rob Minkoff will helm the film using a script from Yogi Bear screenwriters Jeffrey Ventimilia and Joshua Sternin. For those worried that we’re in for another wretched CGI/live-action hybrid, you can put that fear to rest (as far as the medium is concerned). Peabody and Sherman will be fully computer animated. And like all DreamWorks Animation films, it will be in 3D.
Hit the jump for more details on the project.
The new film will focus not only time-traveling but on the duo’s origin. Here’s what Minkoff had to say about Mr. Peabody:
“Mr. Peabody is this genetic anomaly. He does have brothers and sisters, all of them non-speaking, no super-smart dogs. He’s an outcast, but has overcome it by being so great at so many things.”
The role of Sherman, which has not been cast, will not be written as dimwitted, but as “wide-eyed and naive.” The question is whether modern audiences will be aware of the charm of the classic Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon characters, or if they’ll only be able to see this film as a less-offensive version of Brian and Peter Griffin from Family Guy.