DWA traveling way back with 'Mr. Peabody'



Rob Minkoff

By Sheigh Crabtree
The Hollywood Reporter
September 15, 2006

DreamWorks Animation plans to bring the time-traveling cartoon adventures of "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" to the big screen.

The classic animated television series -- centering on the genius dog Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman -- will be digitally animated by DWA.

Rob Minkoff is set to direct, marking his first animated feature since he helmed the 1994 blockbuster "The Lion King." Minkoff most recently directed Sony Pictures' "Stuart Little" movies, live-action films starring an animated mouse and a supporting cast of human and digital critters.

The director developed the pitch for "Mr. Peabody" with longtime producing partner Jason Clark. It had been in development at Universal Pictures based on a draft screenplay adaptation by Kenneth Lonergan.

"One of the most gratifying relationships in my 20-plus-year career of making animated movies has been that of working with Rob Minkoff on 'The Lion King,' " DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said. "I've waited more than a decade to have an opportunity to work with him again, so I could not be more excited to welcome him to DreamWorks Animation."

Produced by animation legend Jay Ward, "Mr. Peabody" features the world's brainiest dog and his pet boy. The series of short segments premiered in 1959 as part of Ward's classic "Rocky & Bullwinkle" series and followed the duo as they went back in time, via Mr. Peabody's WABAC Machine, to a pivotal moment in history.

Bullwinkle Studio's Tiffany Ward (daughter of the late Jay Ward) and Classic Media's Eric Ellenbogen will executive produce the project.

Producer Clark ("Monster House") will oversee development with Minkoff, and Andrew Kurtzman ("Down Periscope," "Camp Nowhere") will write the screenplay. DWA executive Chris Kuser shepherded the deal.

" 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' has the kind of cross-generational appeal that is a cornerstone of DreamWorks Animation," DWA head of creative development and production Bill Damaschke said. "Older fans remember and still delight at their adventures, while new generations of fans are discovering them on the Cartoon Network."
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