In the present day, Sherman attends the Susan B. Anthony School in New York City on his first day of school. His knowledge of the apocryphal nature of the George Washingtoncherry-tree anecdote leads to a fight with Penny Peterson in the cafeteria where she puts him in a choke hold. Peabody is called in by Principal Purdy who tells Peabody that Sherman had bit Penny. He is also confronted during this meeting by a Child Protective Services agent named Ms. Grunion from the Bureau of Child Safety and Protection, who implies that Sherman's behavior is due to being raised by a dog. She informs Peabody that she will come to their home to investigate whether he is an unfit parent.
Peabody invites Penny and her parents over for a dinner party to reconcile before Ms. Grunion arrives. Penny calls Sherman a liar for claiming first-hand knowledge of history. Despite Peabody's contrary instructions, Sherman shows Penny the WABAC. Penny goads Sherman into taking her into the past, where she stays in Ancient Egypt in 1332 BCE to marry King Tut. Sherman returns to get Mr. Peabody's help. Peabody hypnotises the Petersons, and retrieves Penny by telling her the fate of a pharaoh's widow.
The WABAC runs out of power, but Peabody is able to get them to Renaissance Florence in 1508 where they meet Leonardo da Vinci. Penny and Sherman explore da Vinci's attic, finding his flying machine. Penny goads Sherman into flying it, which he manages to do before crashing. Da Vinci is thrilled the device works, but Peabody is upset that Sherman risked his safety and destroyed a historical artifact.
They again attempt to return, but a black hole forces them into an emergency landing during the Trojan War in 1184 BCE. Upset about learning what Ms. Grunion would do to him, Sherman runs off and joins the army of King Agamemnon in the Trojan Horse. During the final parts of the Trojan War, Penny is trapped inside the Horse as it rolls towards a cliff. Peabody rescues her, but apparently dies during the attempt. Little do they know that Peabody is actually holding on a branch from the cliff.
Sherman pilots the WABAC to a few minutes before they left in the present to get Mr. Peabody's help to fix everything. As Sherman and Penny try to explain the situation, Sherman's earlier self shows up. Peabody tries to conceal the presence of two Shermans from the Petersons, then Grunion arrives. Then a second Peabody arrives from Ancient Troy. Grunion's attempt to collect both Shermans causes them to touch and begin to merge. Both Peabodys rush to assist, but they each merge back together amidst a cosmic shockwave. Grunion grabs Sherman to take him away, hurting him in the process. Peabody furiously bites Grunion, who then calls the NYPD. Peabody, Penny, and Sherman race to the WABAC, but cannot time travel due to a rip in the space-time continuum caused by the merger of their cosmic doubles. Historical figures and objects from the past begin falling from the cosmic rip and into the present.
Mr. Peabody crash-lands the WABAC in Grand Army Plaza at William Tecumseh Sherman's statue's base. Historical figures and police officers quickly surround them. Grunion calls in Animal Control to collect Peabody under false pretenses. Sherman explains that everything was his fault, but Grunion contends that it is all Peabody's fault because a dog cannot raise a boy. Sherman climactically shouts down Grunion, saying that if being a dog means being as loving and loyal as Peabody is, then he is proud to be a dog too. Penny, her parents, the historical figures, and others all make the same pledge. George Washington is able to grant Peabody a presidential pardon which is supported by Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton, freeing Mr. Peabody from being arrested and Sherman free from being taken back to the orphanage.
As Peabody, Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and Agamemnon try to figure out how to close the rip, Sherman suggests they travel into the future, much to the surprise and excitement of Penny, her parents, the historical figures, and others. Peabody and Sherman take off in the WABAC and undo the damage. The historical figures are dragged back to their respective times, with Agamemnon abducting Grunion back to his own time as she vows revenge on Peabody and the other figures bringing back souviners from the present.
Sherman returns to school having made great friends with Penny. At the film's epilogue, history is contaminated with modern traits, while Grunion and Agamemnon get married in the Trojan Horse.
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 short starring Rocky and Bullwinkle. 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. The short was released on Blu-Ray.
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.