On Monday I had the opportunity to travel with a friend to The Heartland Film festival in Indianapolis. At the festival we went to the Animation Workshop segment and had the privilege to hear Rob Minkoff (The Lion King, Stuart Little) discuss his upcoming film, Mr. Peabody and Sherman. At the end there was a Q&A with him, and we even got to meet him.
Up to this point I’d been unsure what to think about Mr. Peabody and Sherman. I grew up watching The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show with my dad, and thus watched Peabody’s Improbable History growing up as well. With this in mind, I was skeptical of the new film. Would it be true to the original series? I was also worried by the premier date moving around, and the lack of press about the film.
On Monday, however, hearing Rob Minkoff talk about his latest film, I got really excited. He told us a large chunk of the story, and showed us three or four clips from the film which immediately alleviated all of my doubts about it. From both a story and animation standpoint Mr. Peabody and Sherman is gearing up to be something really fun. I can’t wait to live through the whole story with these fun characters.
I’m also glad to say that they have captured the spirit of the original show, Peabody’s Improbable History, and kept the characters on model.
Listening to Minkoff discuss Mr. Peabody and Sherman I was impressed by his excitement about the film. He told us he has been wanting to do this film for about nine years, and over the past two and a half he’s finally been able to make the idea a reality. His excitement was contagious and the audience really got on board with the film, laughing during the clips and showing disappointment when there were no more.
Along with the story clips from the film, there was also a short about the animation process, showing the different stages of animating a scene. I’m guessing this clip will make it’s way to the internet soon.
A new trailer for Mr. Peabody and Sherman also comes out tomorrow, and I’m guessing it will give a glimpse into the story and some of what was shown at the Heartland Film Festival Animation Workshop.
During the Q&A and talking to Minkoff afterwards, he told us a little about the story process on the film, and also about the delegation of animation. As often happens in Hollywood, the story went through several iterations, ideas, and drafts. Even after they found a story they liked, writers changed, certain aspects got brought to the forefront, and the original approved draft is virtually completely gone now compared to the final story. I asked him about the animation of the film and how they divided it up between animators. Since the main characters, Mr. Peabody and his adopted son Sherman, are on screen almost the entire movie, he said they really had to divide it up by scene and in pieces, unable to do it by character. I was curious because every production is a little different in this area.
Overall it was a great experience meeting Rob Minkoff and hearing about Mr. Peabody and Sherman. It’s safe to say that I’m excited about this film and am looking forward to seeing it when it comes out on March 7.