If you are over 30 you may remember reruns of the Mr. Peabody & Sherman cartoons that originally aired in the 1950s and 1960s. The original show was a classic with a large following for its 91 episodes. The 2014 reboot movie, made by DreamWorks, had a mixed response and received a 6.9 rating on IMDb. From these two creations comes the new Netflix original show for kids The New Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show.
The New Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show is aimed at DreamWorks’ target demographic of 8–12-year-old children. Yet according to David Smith they hope it will attract an audience from all ages. David Smith had worked at Turner’s Cartoon Network, where he directed The Powerpuff Girls: Dance Pantsed TV movie and also storyboard-driven shows including Steven’s Universe, Amazing World of Gumball, and Dexter’s Laboratory.
The new show is more like the classic Mr. Peabody & Sherman cartoons than the new movie. The 2D animation rather than the 3D used in the recent movie makes the new show look more like the original. It also is set up as a variety show with quick skits that give the new show an energetic feel. “We loved the straight-up lampooning of historical figures,” Smith said. “We mixed it up a lot, while retaining the comedy of the Jay Ward show.”
There is some educational aspects to the show with historical figures receiving brief 20 second explanations, but I would not call this an educational show. Much of what is educational about the first few episodes—beyond maybe the names of a few historical figures—is likely lost on the watchers.
The show has a very 1960s Tonight Show feel with a modern Saturday Night Live setup that blends well for what they are going for.
This may be a show that kids today enjoy, but if you loved the classic Mr. Peabody & Sherman show from the 1950s and 1960s it my leave you feeling disappointed. If you are watching it for something new or if you loved the 2014 movie this maybe your kind of show.
The fast pace and 2D style fits with what you many expect from a Cartoon Network show but this is available on Netflix. The high quality production lives up to what you would expect from DreamWorks making it a solid addition to the Netflix Original lineup.
Adults: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Kids: 4 out of 5 stars