Mr. Peabody is a talking dog who is the smartest being in the world. As a puppy, he was rejected by every potential owner, leading him to devote his life to science, athletics, and technological discoveries. One day, Peabody finds an orphaned infant and legally adopts him under the name of Sherman. He tutors Sherman through a series of adventures throughout history with the use of the WABAC, a time machine and his greatest invention. After narrowly escaping the French Revolution, Sherman starts his first day of school and falls into conflict with classmate Penny Peterson, who he innocently showed up in history class with his first hand knowledge of George Washington. Penny bullies and humiliates Sherman, insulting him by calling him a "dog" for being raised by one, which provokes Sherman into biting her. Peabody visits Principal Purdy about the matter, but is confronted by Ms. Grunion, a bigoted child and family services agent who threatens to reclaim Sherman if an upcoming home inspection is deemed unfit for him.
Peabody invites the Petersons over for a dinner party to mend fences between the children. While Peabody charms Paul and Patty, Sherman is left with Penny. Sherman reveals the WABAC to Penny after she calls him a liar about his first hand knowledge and they joyride in it, despite Peabody's warnings. Moments later, Sherman seeks Peabody's help to retrieve Penny, who refused to leave her engagement with King Tut in Ancient Egypt. Penny learns that she will be killed upon Tut's early death and is dragged to the wedding while Peabody and Sherman are trapped in a tomb. They escape and impersonate the god Anubis to call off the wedding. Their cover is blown at the last second, but they escape in the WABAC along with Penny.
With the WABAC low on energy, the three stop in Renaissance Florence to seek the aid of Leonardo da Vinci. While Peabody and Leonardo build a contraption to recharge the WABAC, Penny convinces Sherman to explore Leonardo's workshop with her and they bond by using Leonardo's flying machine without permission. They crash-land and Leonardo is thrilled that the machine worked but Peabody is angered by Sherman's disobedience. During the return trip to the present, Penny reveals Ms. Grunion's intention of reclaiming Sherman. An argument ensues between Peabody and Sherman while the WABAC draws near a black hole. They escape but crash-land in the Trojan War, where an upset Sherman runs away to join King Agamemnon's army. When Peabody and Penny come to retrieve him in the Trojan Horse, they find themselves in the battle and Penny becomes trapped in the Trojan horse as it races towards a cliff. In a rescue attempt, Sherman and Penny are saved, but Peabody appears to have gone down with the horse and is presumed dead.
Desperate to save Peabody, Sherman and Penny return to the present minutes before Sherman returned the first time to get Peabody to remedy the situation. However, the present copies of Peabody and Sherman show up, along with Ms. Grunion. Ms. Grunion attempts to reclaim both Shermans, which causes them, along with the copies of Peabody to merge and disrupt the space-time continuum. Grunion makes another attempt at reclaiming Sherman, hurting him in the process, which causes an enraged Peabody to revert to his natural instinct and bite her. As Ms. Grunion informs the police, Peabody, Sherman, and Penny flee to the WABAC, but are unable to travel back in time as several historic figures and monuments rain down into the present. The WABAC eventually crashes and Peabody is apprehended by Animal Control who plan on euthanizing him under false pretenses, reported by Grunion. Sherman protests by explaining that everything that happened is his fault and declares that he would rather be a dog as good as Peabody than a person. Moved by his speech, every historical figure present and the Petersons concur. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Bill Clinton support Peabody's legal custody of Sherman and award Peabody a presidential pardon.
When a vortex in the space-time continuum rips open, Sherman pilots the WABAC while Peabody handles the computations intending to travel to the future by a few minutes and undo the damage with success. The historical figures and monuments return to their respective times and bring back souviners from their visit, along with a smitten Agamemnon dragging Ms. Grunion with him as she swears vengeance on Peabody. Although it appears Peabody and Sherman are lost, they return spontaneously as the Petersons look on and celebrate. Sherman, closer to Peabody than ever, returns to school where he has become good friends with Penny. Meanwhile, time periods are contaminated with modern traits and Ms. Grunion marries Agamemnon.
Plans for a film starring Mr. Peabody and Sherman have existed for several years with director Rob Minkoff. His first attempt to make a feature film goes to 2003, when it was reported that Minkoff's Sony-based production company Sprocketdyne Entertainment and Bullwinkle Studios would produce a live-action/CG film, with a possibility of Minkoff to direct it.
The live-action film was not realized, but in 2006, Minkoff joined DreamWorks Animation to direct a computer-animated film adaptation. Andrew Kurtzman was set to write the screenplay, based on the pitch, developed by Minkoff with his longtime producing partner Jason Clark.
The film went through several release date changes. Originally scheduled for March 2014, DreamWorks Animation's high expectations moved the film to November 2013, replacing another DreamWorks Animation film Me and My Shadow. The last shift happened in February 2013, which pushed the film back to March 7, 2014, reportedly due to "more advantageous release window," again replacing Me and My Shadow.
There were many significant differences from the show in this movie.
Peabody treats Sherman like a son in this CGI universe as opposed to the series where he treats him like a pet.
Peabody's kind and fatherly in this movie, but in the show, he was egotisitcal and arrogant.
Sherman was adopted by Mr. Peabody when he was a baby in the movie, but in the show, he was adopted as a boy.
The WABAC is more space-age like in the movie, but in the show, it's a literally a door to the past.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman was originally set to be theatrically accompanied by a DreamWorks Animation short film based on the Rocky and Bullwinkle characters from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. The short was directed by Gary Trousdale, who is known for co-directing Beauty and the Beast and featured June Foray as Rocky as well as Tom Kenny as Bullwinkle. It may have served as a test for a possible feature film based on the characters. However, for currently unknown reasons, the short film was canceled and replaced by another short film titled Almost Home a prequel short to upcoming film Home. It is unknown when the original short will be released or if it will be released at all.
Box office earnings
During the first three days of its release in the United States, Mr. Peabody & Sherman earned $32,207,057 and premiered on 3,934 screens.