During my press trip to DreamWorks in Los Angeles, I had an amazing time at the Mr. Peabody & Sherman event, where I got to not only screen the film that hits theaters this Friday, March 7th, I also got a behind-the-scenes tour and tutorial of what went into the creation of this awesome new animated flick! (In case you missed it, you can check out more about my experience at the studios here!) At the end of the day, I was even lucky enough to get in for a Q&A session with some of the cast and producers of Mr. Peabody & Sherman with my fellow bloggers, and we enjoyed many laughs, as well got some fun insights into the story and characters.
The cast of voices in Mr. Peabody & Sherman are quite extensive, including Ty Burrell (of Modern Family), Ariel Winter (also of Modern Family), Max Charles, Stanley Tucci, Allison Janney, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, and Lake Bell, just to name a few! I had the amazing opportunity to chat with Ariel Winter (the voice of “Penny”) and Max Charles (the voice of “Sherman”), and they were so sweet, funny, and adorable- it was really tough to not try to sneak Max out of the studios in my purse and bring him back to New York. That talented 10 year old is going to be a heartbreaker someday! As Ariel noted, he is “ridiculously adorable!”
The beautiful and talented Ariel Winter had lots to say, and filled us in on everything from the experience of voicing her character “Penny” in Mr. Peabody and Sherman, to advice for kids that wish to follow her path. Max was charming and just your average (super talented) boy.
Ariel on what it’s like to act with just your voice…
“I love the challenge of having to express yourself only through your voice because I’m sure as you can tell, I’m a very expressive person with my face and with my hands.”
Ariel’s advice for kids that want to pursue acting as a career…
“Just to have fun. And you have to know for a fact that you want to do this and this is what you want to do and you have to apply yourself 100 percent to it. I think the main thing is while you’re doing that, because it is hard to achieve this dream if it is your dream, you have to have fun with it because it’s very possible to get kind of lost in the technicalities of things. But the most important thing is to have fun with what you’re doing and really love it.”
“Follow your dreams, you know?”
Max on his hobbies and favorite activities…
“I like to play basketball. I got a basketball hoop for Christmas. So, I play basketball, ride my bike, skateboard. I do a lot of different things.”
The Director of Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Rob Minkoff, was kind enough to share his masterpiece with us, and accompany us as we got an insider’s look into the making of his passion project that he’s been envisioning for the last decade. Together with his fellow producers at DreamWorks, Tiffany Ward, Alex Schwartz, and Denise Cascino, they joined us for a panel Q&A after sitting together for a light lunch, and I was in awe of their accomplishments, given how much I loved the movie.
Rob on how the idea manifested after initial discussions back in 2002…
“I think the first conversation was about making it as a live action film. And then it wasn’t very long after that that it started to occur to me that maybe it would be better if it was an animation, that it would make more sense. And there were a lot of live action adaptations of Jay Ward movies; George of the Jungle and Dudley Do-Right.
But I started to feel like the whole notion of a talking dog and a boy would be better in the kind of a fantasy world where you can accept a talking dog much more easily than if it’s a live action world. Because suddenly, there are a lot of questions about why does the dog talk. How does he talk? Is it weird? Do people think it’s normal?
So, that’s really not the sensibility of the original show. The sensibility was that it’s an amazing character. He happens to be a dog, but nobody cares. Nobody bats an eye about it.”
On finding a voice for the characters…
“Casting the voice is maybe the most critical single decision that you make in realizing the character. You could draw thousands of drawings and you can get the character to look a certain way. But it’s not until you find that voice that the character comes to life.”
At the end of our perfect day at DreamWorks Animation Campus, all of the wonderful bloggers from around the country that I had the pleasure of meeting huddled together for one last photo. And then it happened- we got photobombed by Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO of DreamWorks Animation himself! You can see him in the bottom center in the blue v-neck sweater. They’re such a family over there at DreamWorks, I didn’t ever want to leave!
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is out in theaters everywhere this Friday, March 7th. I can’t wait to go see it again, and bring my family along this time. It’s all they’ve been hearing about, and I’m not even slightly concerned that I’ve oversold it. It’s that awesome, and I say that as someone who never opts for the cartoon movie. Be sure to check out the Mr. Peabody & Sherman trailer below, and visit the official website here.
*This press trip was courtesy of DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox. All opinions and impressions from my experience are purely my own.
Written By Samantha Sendor