The Peanuts Movie
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The Peanuts Movie

Long before most of the current forms of entertainment there were comic strips. The little cartoon drawings consisting of three or four panels that related a humorous story or part of the longer, serialized tale. There were typically in black-and-white except for Sundays with they were full-color intellect into one section of the newspaper affectionately refer to "as’ the funny papers’. One of the longest lived in most beloved of the comic strips was the creation of Charles M. Schulz, ‘Peanuts’. Mr. Schultz wrote and illustrated this trip from 1950 until 2000. Made for television movies based on Peanuts have become culturally significant traditions around the holidays. 20th Century Fox has previously delved into the modernization of a perennial childhood favorite with the 3-D release of ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman,’ and are giving the same or lower treatment to Charlie Brown and his friends with ‘The Peanuts Movie’. Although it fall short of the solid emotional depth that is so frequently achieved by Pixar/Disney, this film has plenty of heart to go around it is certain to strike a nostalgic chord with everyone in the audience. For us grown-ups the Peanuts gang was a fondly remembered part of a childhood. The children even grandchildren on the odd chance that they haven’t seen the made-for-TV films they are short to be captivated by the distinctive personalities of each of these characters and of course the ethics of the world’s most famous flying beagle, Snoopy. Most importantly the producers of this incarnation of Mr. Schultz’s legacy refrain from the trend of using modern animation techniques to reinvent these most familiar characters. No artificial reality was forced upon any of these characters: they look exactly as they have over the last 60 years or so. To have done so and would have destroyed the purity and innocence of this self-contained world populated by children the only adult influence the sound of a trombone ringing in the ears of the children.

There comes a time in every young boy’s life meant to stop being the strange creatures reportedly contagious with ‘cooties’ and begin to elicit strange feelings of attraction. For Charlie Brown (voiced by Noah Schnapp) that moment occurred when he first noticed a new addition to the neighborhood, The Little Redheaded Girl (voiced by Francesca Capaldi). For Charlie Brown success in any endeavor completely foreign concept of which he has no first-hand knowledge. When he expresses his doubt to his friend Lucy Van Pelt (Hadley Belle Miller), she quickly advises him to be more confident. Feeling that is the right way to go in box on a personal mission to do just that and gain the attention of the Little Redheaded Girl. This provides the basis for the main theme of the film; an episodic look at Charlie Brown’s self-reinvention.

It should come as no surprise that despite Charlie Brown’s romantic intentions to finally succeed that the only success he has is in creating an open string of failure. The school is going to have a talent show so Charlie Brown decides to enter as a magic act. Snoopy and Woodstock are listed to be his assistants. His sister Sally (Mariel Sheets) is on before him and her act is a disaster resulting in Charlie sacrificing his timeslot to extend hers. Next year tries to impress the Little Redheaded Girl with his dancing skills so re-signs up to the upcoming school dance. In elementary school district certainly has more than its share of extracurricular activities. Just when it looks as though his plan is beginning to work he slips and set off the sprinkler system. Once again what he has done his renewed his humiliation. Once again just as it seems that fate is smiling at him everything goes tragically wrong for him. The teacher (voiced by Trombone Shorty) assigns him a book report and taught December the Little Redheaded Girl. It’s a class assignment so now she’s going to have to notice him but as always the cards are stacked against him. She’s called away on a family emergency Charlie Brown decides to do the report on his. Charlie Brown does have a tendency to overreach and by choosing a book may be on his reading level insurance failure for himself and The Little Redheaded Girl. Interspersed between these vignettes of failure is a running side story featuring Snoopy as it is persona as a World War I flying ace. Running an old typewriter he decides to write a book detailing adventure of how he rescued the Fifi from the clutches of that heinous aviator.

It is quite obvious that the producers approach this project the great deal of respect. They also had the difficulty of appealing to a bifurcated general demographic requiring the film to appeal to both current group of elementary school kids and their nostalgically inclined parents. The director Steve Martino has been involved in the production company’s most notable franchise, ‘Ice Age’ As Well as Dr. Seuss’s classic ‘Horton Hears a Who’ It really shows the respect not only for the legion of lifetime fans for the creator of the Peanuts original comic strip screenplay was written by Craig and Bryan Schulz, the son and grandson respectively of Charles Schultz. Not only did they both serve as screenwriters they acted in the capacity as produces as well. It is impossible to ignore the bona fides of this movie was validity as part of the ongoing Peanuts legacy.

Wherever possible children were chosen, at least in part, for their ability to sound that the voices have become accustomed to associating with their particular characters. Although there were some notable differences there was sufficiently close enough that memories of watching the original TV specials come flooding back to mind. The same could be said that the musical score which obvious copyright reasons many differences but still embodied the spirit of the original jazz influence music. The whole gang is present including the infamous ‘Kite Eating Tree’ and Lucy’s promise not to pull the football away at the last moment. Second act such as this still hold really appeal to the newest members of the still growing Peanuts fan base.The biggest concern I had going into watching this film was how the 3-D effects of warmth and simplicity of Charles Schultz’s original artwork. I was quite pleased when I found that the use of the new 3-D technology enhanced the storytelling, not detracted from it. The character more realistically than the venerable TV films and only took a few moments before seeing these characters in three dimensions felt natural and acceptable.

bullet6 Snoopy Snippets
bullet"Better When I'm Dancin'" Meghan Trainor Music and Lyric Videos
bulletYou Never Grow Up Charlie Brown
bulletSnoopy's Sibling Salute
bulletLearn to Draw Snoopy, Woodstock, and Charlie Brown
bulletGet Down with Snoopy and Woodstock Music Video
bulletBehind the Scenes of "Better When I'm Dancin'"
bulletSnoopy's Playlist

Posted 03/10/2016

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