I recently got a sneak peek of Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which opens on March 7. I’m thrilled to report that kids, as well as parents, are going to love this movie. I’ll be writing a couple of posts about this movie, as several bloggers and I got a chance to actually sit down with the director, Rob Minkoff, and stars Ty Burrell (Modern Family) and child actor, Max Charles (who is on ABC’s The neighbors and voices Peter Parker in the newest Spiderman movie coming out).
But more about that in the next post. I want to discuss history. There’s a lot of cool things in the movie, but it’s a lot more than just entertainment. There’s living history in it — which is awesome and makes the mom and educator in me do a happy dance. If you are familiar with the Old Rocky and Bullwinkle Series, you’ll be familiar with Mr. Peabody’s Improbable History Shorts and how Mr. Peabody and Sherman travel through history. The new movie is based on this and expands the relationship between the two. Mr. Peabody and Sherman travel through time with the WABAC Machine (pronounced “Way Back”), which can go to any time period in the past. He takes his mentee (Sherman) back into history.
How many of you were bored taking history classes in high school? While I loved it, I got excited when I could picture myself right in the moment. But what would it be like if you could actually see events unfold before your eyes? Mr. Peabody uses time travel to teach Sherman history. They go to such time periods as Ancient Egypt, around the time of King Tut.
And to visit Leonardo DaVinci in Italy.
They also travel to Troy, around the time of the Trojan war, France around the time of the French Revolution and many more places. This movie (and the old show -which you can find on YouTube) is a great way to make history come alive.
Besides being entertained, parents and teachers can use this film as a way to start discussions about these historical events. While we may not have a WABAC Machine, there are plenty of books that use “being in the time period” as a way to teach. One example is “I am Abraham Lincoln” by Brad Meltzer. He’s also written “I am Rosa Parks” and “I am Amelia Earhart”.
Some more titles include:
George vs. George: The American Revolution As Seen from Both Sides by Rosalyn Schanzer
- Encounter by Jane Yolen (this is not a happy book, it’s about Christopher Columbus coming to San Salvador and the havoc it wreaks)
- . . . If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution by by Elizabeth Levy
- If You Lived In Colonial Times by Ann McGovern
What are your favorite living history books?
Check out the trailer for Mr. Peabody & Sherman:
I was a guest at the Mr. Peabody and Sherman junket, hosted by DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox. I was not compensated for these posts.