Nearly 65 years ago, artist Charles M. Schulz created a comic strip called ‘Peanuts’ that has endured through many generations. Sadly, Schultz has passed to not see ‘Peanuts’ enter the new millennium, and develop into the modern era of animation. Now, with the help of Blue Sky Studios, the wide cast of characters from ‘Peanuts’ make a return to theaters in a new movie called “The Peanuts Movie”. Featuring characters like Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Snoopy and more, the film does a magnificent job at recreating its comic origins, as well as maintaining the simplistic charm that defined it. “The Peanuts Movie” is a fantastic adaptation of familiar characters with modern animation to showcase the process of how charming and memorable time as made them.
The story has Charlie Brown (Noah Schnapp) trying to impress The Little Red-Haired Girl (Francesca Capaldi), even though he does not have the complete social skills to talk to her. Charlie Brown does his best to win her heart, but to no avail, unfortunately. With the help of his trustful dog Snoopy (Bill Melendez archives), Charlie Brown must discover who he truly is, and find out what it means to stand up for yourself.
“The Peanuts Movie” is a brilliant representation of the works that Schulz did. The characters are the ones everyone knows and loves, and they are represented well here. Charlie Brown is the lovable loser, Lucy is the bossy one, Linus is the supportive friend, Snoopy is the loyal dog companion, and so on. The music has a nice tone to the sweet nature that the comic strips provided, and even includes a few selections from some of the specials that ‘Peanuts’ have done- most notably, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” bringing up some familiar tunes. But really makes the film worth the price of admission is the story, and the animation.
Let’s start with the animation. Blue Sky Studios has been known for a more realistic cartoonish style when it comes to their movies. But with “The Peanuts Movie”, co-writers and producers Craig and Bryan Schulz- the son and grandson of Charles Schultz- working on this movie, we have gotten a very memorable animated film. The art style mimics that of Schulz, and even though the movie is done in CGI, it almost looks like a 2D animated film. The talented team behind this movie definitely deserves praise as they did an outstanding job recreating the style of the work of Schulz.
Now, let’s move on to the story. The story provided in the movie is simplistic in nature, and in spirit to what the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip was all about: providing the inside outlook in the mind of a child. Plus, the movie has a simple lesson that kids would understand very easily. This is a good story for an otherwise great movie.
There is, however, one minor problem with the story, and that is wishing for a little more sarcastic humor that the comic strip was best known for.
Good grief, that was a lot! But in conclusion, “The Peanuts Movie” wonderfully brings to life the charm and simplistic greatness that Charles M. Schulz provided in his comic strips nearly all those years ago, and this is proof that the legacy has continued. Welcome back Charlie Brown, we’ve missed you.