Also joining the project are Ellie Kemper (Bridesmaids, The Office), Ariel Winter (Modern Family) and Stephen Tobolowsky (Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Californication).
DreamWorks Animation is so high on Mr. Peabody it is pushing up the release of the film from March 14, 2014 to Nov. 8, 2013. The movie swaps places with the studio’s Me & My Shadow, another high-profile project that is a combination of CGI and hand-drawn animation.
Based on Jay Ward‘s classic cartoon, Mr. Peabody is the world’s smartest person — only he’s a dog. When he and his “pet” boy Sherman use their WABAC time-traveling machine without permission, events in history spiral out of control and it is up to the duo to put things back on track.
Modern Family’s Ty Burrell will voice the role of Mr. Peabody, while Max Charles, who stars as a young Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man, voices the role of Sherman (both castings were previously announced).
Colbert will play Paul Peterson, Mr. Peabody’s nemesis. Kemper plays his wife, Paula Peterson, and Winter, their daughter Penny Peterson (the lovable bully who gives Sherman grief). Janney plays Mrs. Grunion.
Mr. Peabody marks Colbert’s second animated feature after Monsters vs. Aliens, also from DreamWorks Animation. He’s made guest appearances on several animated television series, including The Simpsons and American Dad.
DreamWorks Animation chief creative officer Bill Damaschke said Mr. Peabody is “coming together beautifully” in the hands of director Rob Minkoff (The Lion King, Stuart Little) and has multi-generational appeal, making it ideal for the year-end holiday period.
“These incredible casting additions have elevated Mr. Peabody & Sherman to a new level of excitement and we are truly fortunate to work with so many talented actors,” Damaschke said. “I’m certain that their collective passion and enthusiasm for the film will bring the classic characters to new life and thrill audiences of all ages when we open in November of next year.”
Damaschke also said that Me & My Shadow will likely take longer to finish.
Minkoff is directing Mr. Peabody from a script by Craig Wright (United States of Tara, Six Feet Under), with revisions by Michael McCullers (Baby Mama, Austin Powers in Goldmember).
Alex Schwartz and Denise Cascino are producing, while Bullwinkle Studios’ Tiffany Ward and Classic Media’s Eric Ellenbogen are executive producing with Jason Clark.
The news comes on the heels of the successful opening of DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which topped the worldwide box office this past weekend with a $136.7 million debut.