Mr. Peabody and Sherman

Ty Burrell. Stephen Colbert. Patrick Warburton. Leslie Mann. Mel Brooks. One would think, with that caliber of cast, that truly great comedy could be the only result. But, as the trailer for Mr. Peabody & Sherman suggests, even the greatest of comedy minds can occasionally be led astray by a talking dog and his time machine. The average Mr. Peabody & Sherman cartoon would see the canny canine and his pet boy traveling back into the past to right some historical wrong, and the film version is essentially the same thing on a grander scale. Sherman uses the WABAC (pronounced “Wayback”) machine to impress a girl and accidentally explodes history. Now, the titular duo – plus one suitably impressed girl – go on some grand Bill & Ted-style adventure, rounding up various historical figures for some reason that’s not inherently obvious in the actual trailer. Burrell seems to have his “intellectually distinguished dog” voice down pat, and the rest of the cast (from what little can be gleamed from the trailer) are doing an equally OK job considering the quality of lines they’ve been given. The amount of poop jokes may be a bit too high for the average consumer, but something tells me this isn’t really being made for a distinguished, non-poop-joke-enjoying crowd. Check out the trailer below:

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How to Train Your Dragon

After Rise of the Guardians in November, DreamWorks Animation movies will no longer be distributed by Paramount. It’ll be the job of Fox, and it’s still a bit unclear what (if anything) that business switch will mean when it comes to style and quality. It might be a good faith agreement or it might be the kind of partnership where Fox has its fingers in several pies. One sign that it’ll be the latter option, or at the very least a sign of why Fox was so keen to partner up, is that DreamWorks’ slate for the next 3 years features a nice handful of sequels and spin-offs. Still, the bulk of the list is original concepts. That’s commendable. Even more on the optimistic side, there are some really great bright spots amongst the list, and . Here are the dozen films that DreamWorks Animation has promised fans through 2016.

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At one point, Robert Downey, Jr. was set to voice the genius time-traveling dog from Rocky and Bullwinkle fame, but now according to The Hollywood Reporter Modern Family‘s Ty Burrell will be filling in for his vocal chords. Burrell started in movies with Evolution (raise your hand if you remember it and/or still have a poster for it in the bedroom closet at your parent’s house) and went on to bit roles in stuff like Dawn of the Dead (2004), National Treasure: Book of Secrets and The Incredible Hulk. Of course, he’s reached a far bigger audience on the ABC show that’s won 39 awards and been nominated for nearly one hundred more. Now, he’ll be playing a dog. It’s the dream, people. Lion King director Rob Minkoff will be directing Mr. Peabody and Sherman, the story of a brilliant, talking dog and his young human being sidekick who hop into their WABAC machine in order to explore history. In the movie version, they’ll be hot on the trail of someone who’s stolen a time machine and is changing historical events with wacky results. It seems like a perfect fit for DreamWorks Animation, and it’ll be interesting to see how they pull off the absurdity of history constantly changing with our heroes locked in it.

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