The Peanuts Movie
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DREAM BIG AND LAUGH ALONG with good ol Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved Peanuts gang as you ve never seen them before in a brand-new feature film from the imagination of Charles M. Schulz and the creators of Ice Age. Join everyone s favorite eternal optimist, Charlie Brown, as he embarks on a heroic quest, while his beagle pal Snoopy takes to the skies to pursue his archnemesis, the Red Baron. It s a hilarious and heartwarming adventure that proves every underdog has his day!
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And though I was admittedly skeptical, I left the theater with a smile. Seeing Charlie, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Franklin, and the rest of the gang adapted on-screen was a real treat for a fan like myself. The plot involves all your favorite characters and revolves primarily around Charlie having a crush on the sweet Little Red-Haired girl.
When I watch an animated movie, I expect two things 1. For it to retain the innocent childlike qualities on which it sets out to achieve 2. be entertaining for both kids and adults. Number 2 is important because as adorable as little children are, they can't pay the price of admission!
The Peanuts movie has that childhood adventure and quality that will bring out the kid in everyone who watches the film. While watching The Peanuts movie, there were numerous times I was reminded of why these characters are so special and why even today they hold such an impact.
And the animation (for today's generation) is done exceptionally well in The Peanuts Movie. Pig-Pen is still as dirty as ever, and Snoopy still looks as recognizable as ever.
More importantly, I love how The Peanuts Movie has a lesson for both kids (and as a guy who is currently crushing on a girl right now and is still admittedly a bit shy) and adults to take to heart. It never fails to stay true to Charle Schulz's stories, nor does it cease to entertain. I'd gladly see The Peanuts Movie again and again, and it is one of my favorite animated movies released this year.
I've been a HUGE fan of the Peanuts comic strips for decades and so has my wife, so when this movie came out we went to see it in the theater. We really didn't know what to expect but we hoped to see The Peanuts Gang in all their glory, each member with their own individual quirks, and maybe some of the old but favorite Schulz gags. This movie did not fail to disappoint on any level.
I knew it was going to be good 20 seconds into the movie. The 20th Century Fox logo comes up, you hear the drum roll, and then (perhaps unexpectedly) you hear the musical fanfare being played on piano. As the logo spins around, you see Schroeder playing the fanfare. VERY clever.
According to the special features, they based the appearance of the characters on the circa 1980's Peanuts comic strips. It's readily apparent the animators went into painstaking detail to get the look right -- and to bring a three-dimensional look to them. It worked. You really can see the Peanuts characters "coming to life" in this movie. You can also see the amount of work that went into getting the backgrounds looking right. In short, the visuals are fantastic.
The storyline starts with a "snow day" where the Peanuts Gang goes out to play hockey -- except for Charlie Brown, of course. He decides to fly his kite. Hey, the kite-eating-tree has lost all its leaves and is hibernating for the winter, so it makes sense in a Charlie Brown way, right? The story then continues through the school year and ends on the day class is released for summer vacation. Along the way, you see Charlie Brown weave his way through numerous situations (and numerous foibles) as he vies for the attention of The Little Red Haired Girl, who moved into town on that "snow day" where the story starts -- but we don't find that out right away, of course...
The best part of this movie is we get to see Snoopy in action as The World War I Flying Ace. They devoted an entire back-story to this premise, and yes, we get to see the dog house (a.k.a. Sopwith Camel) fly. We get to see Snoopy attempt to romance Fifi (who flies an actual plane), get into dogfights with The Red Baron (GREAT action scenes) and we also get to see Snoopy save the day and rescue the girl -- along with some help from Woodstock and his bird pals.
As for the Charlie Brown storyline, we see Snoopy try to teach Charlie Brown practicing magic for a talent show and learning how to dance (HILARIOUS bit where Snoopy does the Flamenco and Charlie Brown responds with The Chicken Dance), we see Charlie Brown get the highest score on the yearly standardized test -- or so it seems, we see him pull an all-nighter doing a book report by himself because his partner -- The Little Red Haired Girl -- had to leave town due to a family emergency, and of course there are some great classic bits of Charlie Brown getting shellacked while playing baseball and trying to fly his kite.
What's not to like? Well, some people have written less-than-praiseful reviews because -- SPOILER ALERT -- Charlie Brown gets The Little Red Haired Girl (she volunteers to be his pen-pal over summer vacation). Apparently this rubbed a lot of Peanuts fans the wrong way because they believe Charlie Brown is and always should be a perpetual loser. Some have even given the opinion that the movie falls in line with the new-age thinking "Everyone is a winner" so the producers HAD to make Charlie Brown win in the end.
I would say the people giving these opinions have really missed a significant point in this movie. Yes, Charlie Brown has more than his share of stupendous screw-ups throughout the course of the movie, but he demonstrates a lot of positive qualities like honesty, integrity, giving his best effort for the team, putting others before himself, etc. THESE are the things that The Little Red Haired Girl liked about Charlie Brown. Is that a bad thing? Don't you think there's a valuable lesson for children there?
In short, if you're like me and my wife and still enjoy watching the Peanuts holiday specials, you're going to LOVE The Peanuts Movie. If you have children, this is a very good, very wholesome movie with a few things that might be mildly scary but usually have a comedic payoff. So I think it's safe to say this movie has something for everyone -- except the people who get sour grapes over anything good happening to Charlie Brown...
I was afraid they were going to modernize the characters such the characters using cell phones, texting etc. As a reader of the classic cartoon itself and enjoying the TV specials I was was pleasantly surprised by this movie. This is the classic brought to life with modern film making. Charlie Brown is a great character and they do him justice in this movie.
side note: I loved how they were able to properly fill in the holes to keep the right feel for the neighborhood. The little houses look just like those found in the St. Paul neighborhood where Charles Schultz grew up.