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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the classic cartoon series Mr. Peabody & Sherman features short, fictitious stories about the oddball duo going back in time to visit notable historical figures. Expect some slapstick action and pipe smoking, but the overall series is mild enough for family viewing, and kids may enjoy some of the comical stories about the folks featured here. This being said, most of the show's humor and trademark puns will most likely go over kids' heads.
What's the story?
MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN (1959), an animated cartoon spin-off of the classic series Rocky & Bullwinkle, features dog genius Mr. Hector Peabody (voiced by Bill Scott) and his adopted human son Sherman (Walter Tetley) as they travel back in time to explore the days of old. Each episode features the duo stepping into their WAYBAC machine to visit folks like Emperor Napoleon, Cleopatra, and others known for playing significant roles in their time. But what they usually find is chaos that threatens to change the course of history. Luckily, Mr. Peabody's smarts helps them find a way to make it right. Upon their return, Mr. Peabody summarizes the significance of the experience using his trademark punny humor.
Is it any good?
This series is lighthearted, and older viewers looking for some timeless fun will certainly enjoy it. Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which originally aired on Rocky & Bullwinkle as Peabody's Improbable Histories, uses the story telling style of the "feghoot" -- a short, humorous narrative that culminates with a pun -- in order to deliver its witty humor. But the show also offers some subtle commentary on events of the times, such as the characters' use of the WAYBAC, which represents the era of the first computers.
The show's action is pretty mild, especially when comparing it to more contemporary cartoons. Meanwhile, much of the dry humor will go over younger viewers' heads. Nonetheless, kids will recognize some of the many historical figures featured here, and might even find some of the stories amusing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the differences between today's animated cartoons and cartoons from the 1950's and 60's like Mr. Peabody & Sherman. What made cartoons from that era popular? Is it possible to appreciate the humor from the past today?
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