There’s not a single person on this planet who thinks the Peanuts are “just cartoons.” They bring us back to our most nostalgic period through a charm that is practically unparalleled.
Which is why it was exciting yet worrying to see a new Peanuts movie in development. How great would it be if we get a fresh Peanuts story that pays respect to its creator? But how horrible would it be if a sloppy juvenile nightmare bears the name “The Peanuts Movie“?
Thankfully, from a script by Cornelius Uliano and Charles M. Schulz’s son Craig and his son Bryan, The Peanuts Movie is an absolutely delightful love letter to its creator that flawlessly evokes the innocence and purity that made the original cartoons holiday traditions.
Some may be displeased with Blue Sky’s CGI, which rips the characters from their suburban backgrounds with a $100 million budget. I dig the new look, especially since all the little mannerisms and quirks of the original animations live strong. Their facial characteristics are faithfully represented, and the gang still shuffles along wherever they go. It’s a new start for the Peanuts, and their fresh appearance is welcome.
The voice acting is top notch, with each of the child voice actors perfectly matching their now 60-year-old counterparts. Kristen Chenoweth is far from recognizable as a love interest for Snoopy, and nobody will disagree with the use of archival recordings of Bill Melendez for the voice of Snoopy and Woodstock.
But nothing retains the spirit of the Peanuts greater than the writing. None of those guys have penned a feature-length film before, and it does admittedly show a tad.
The film does venture off into Snoopy’s imagination more frequently than necessary. What would have been a terrific sequence was stretched out over five or six times throughout the 93 minute movie. It cleverly ties itself into the main story, but it was still a constant disruption.
Maybe if Charlie Brown’s pursuit of the Little Red-Haired Girl wasn’t so compelling, I wouldn’t have minded the frequent interruptions. That loser’s constant failure perfectly embodies the trials and tribulations of being a kid. Watching Charlie Brown and his buddies take one teeny situation and blow it way out of proportion, coming up with ridiculous solutions to said situations, is so enchanting yet so sad to watch.
Little Sally complains at the end of the movie about the seemingly never-ending amount of schooling she has left, not realizing how fast that time will fly.
19-years-old and currently in college, I remember thinking the same thing, and now that I can say I’ll hopefully never step foot on another school bus again, there is a sadness that comes knowing I’ll never feel that pure glee of stepping off the school bus before Winter break. Christmastime is here, and life couldn’t be better.
Watching this film brought me back. Something so simple brought so much joy, and as I get older that now comes in the form of finding a dollar bill on the street or the Wi-Fi at my college actually working. And those pleasures don’t amount to 1/10 the joy I felt stepping off that school bus on a cold December afternoon.
This movie perfectly encapsulates that childlike wisdom and joy. Director Steve Martino along with an emotionally charged script with a copious amount of creativity and charm, made The Peanuts Movie the nostalgia-filled trip worthy to bear the name. Here’s hoping there’s more adventures to be had.