Isn’t it a wonderful thing when treasured characters from your childhood spring forth back into the zeitgeist, looking and acting pretty much as you knew them with a few judiciously-executed, simpatico modern flourishes?
Indeed it is, and much rejoicing is had.
Such a welcome, and alas rare occurrence is it, that when it does happen, and it is done just right, your heart gets more than a little warm and fuzzy as you relive all those lovely memories but form whole new ones as the much-loved characters live once more for not just you but a whole new modern audience.
That’s exactly how I felt when the Mr. Peabody and Sherman movie, featuring characters made famous via the “Peabody’s Improbable History” segments on 1960s TV series Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show, turned out to be a faithful rendering of the most unlikely of father and son duos with a few delightful nods to 21st century aesthetics and sensibilities.
And now the reborn twosome are back in a 13 episode Netflix 2D animated series which, as c|net explains, is a sequel but not a sequel to all those TV segments and the revivalist movie:
“The series will be a bit of a departure for dog (Peabody) and boy (Sherman). In the Netflix series, the two are hosts of a late-night comedy show, hanging out with celebrity guests of yesteryear such as Napoleon, Mozart and Edgar … Along the way, they’ll continue to go on time-traveling adventures in Mr. Peabody’s WABAC (that’s “way back”) machine.”
This dual faithfulness to the source material but willingness to grow and expand things a little, much the same dynamic we have seen played out over the last few years with the Muppets, is an example of how nostalgia-laden characters should be brought back into the bright light of the zeitgeist.
It will be interesting to see how the TV series plays out when it begins screening in the US and UK on October 9, with Australian dates yet to be determined.