Mr Peabody and Sherman – The Original Cartoon
Today I saw an ad for a new 3d animated kids movie Peabody and Sherman and it suddenly brought back memories of the original. No wonder I have always been obsessed with the past, loving history, pop culture from the past and of course time travelers. For those growing up in the sixties, seventies or eighties you might remember Peabody’s improbable history.
The cartoons which ran during the fifties and sixties 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.
As a kid watching this comic it allowed me to dream of visiting the past, to be enthralled by history. It’s amazing the things that influence a young boy.
On the Cocktail Nation Radio show I often ask people what got them onto this crazy kick, what was the thing that made them the retro consuming vultures that we are. Perhaps it was the influence of our grandparents, maybe it was spending lots of time alone in our own world watching sitcom re runs of the fifties and sixties. Often it was the music that we would hear our parents or grandparents playing. Sometimes it’s all of these things. It can often be a fascinating story. For me it’s probably all of those things. I distinctly remember watching old movies and sitcoms while visiting my grandparents.
I heard their stories of the past and would often be sitting watching tv while my mother had tea with my grandparents. When I would come home from school I would watch Batman, Gilligan’s Island, Rocky and Bullwinkle and of course Mr Peabody. So many influences on a young mind.
I wonder, what was your influence?