Howdy people of the internet and today I’m continuing my 2015 film catch-up session with The Peanuts Movie (aka Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie). I missed this film when it was originally released, but since I had some free time yesterday I decided to check it out and now I’m ready to pass judgement.
The story can be described as the following:
“Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved “Peanuts” gang make their big-screen debut, like they’ve never been seen before, in state of the art 3D animation. Charlie Brown, the world’s most beloved underdog, embarks upon an epic and heroic quest, while his best pal, the lovable beagle Snoopy, takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron.”
The story was simple yet familiar. but it was certainly an enjoyable one. The film operates in two halves; the one that focuses on Charlie Brown’s story and the other on Snoopy’s side story. For anyone who has seen any of the Peanuts TV shows or specials, they’ll be in be in nostalgic heaven as this film took a lot of elements from the source material, but also found a way to update some of the classic elements in ways that felt relevant. What I loved about this film was how well it captured the essence of what made the old TV adaptations so enjoyable, there’s that same sense of wit, charm and relatability, but there’s also lot of interesting moral and ethical life lessons in this film that certain animated films lack. Now one could argue that this film relies too heavily on nostalgia and there were moments where I did feel like I was just reliving the past with no variation, but it never got to the point where I hated it.
As for the characters they’re all there and kicked ass. Everyone you could think of showed up had a moment in the sun whether you’re talking about Snoopy and Woodstock or Charlie Brown, Linus, Sally, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Lucy, etc. It was delightful to see all of these characters again with all of their interesting personality and physical traits intact, and I also liked seeing some more moments dedicated to some of my favourite people like Franklin and Pig-Pen. But I LOVED Charlie Brown though, this kid has been my favourite for years purely because he’s one of the most unlucky people in the history of existence, and yet he’s so kind and righteous, you just want the kid to succeed and those characteristics were evident in this film as well. I felt so bad for this kid when he was failing that it hurt, but I also loved when he was the right side of success as well and I really liked Noah Schnapp brought to the role. Also Snoopy was still just as loveable, charismatic and creative as ever with his interactions with the other children, but also while on his Red Baron adventures. I also have to give a shout-out to Alex Garfin who did a fabulous job voicing as Linus, Garfin sounded spot-on to the original voice actor.
When it comes to the presentation it is nearly flawless. Visually this film takes a 3D CGI approach to the animation as opposed to the old 2D traditional style, but interestingly the filmmakers reworked the art and animation style to mimic the old cartoons. So when characters move, dance or talk it looks just like it did back in the day but with a 3D coat of paint, and besides certain moments where the CGI looked a bit jarring, otherwise it was gorgeous to look at. Oh and the music is great too, besides the use of modern music which wasn’t for me, this film included several of the classic Vince Guaraldi music which still sounds as great as ever. But I also have to hand it to Christophe Beck for his awesome film score which felt new, but also appropriate to the tone of Peanuts and there were some absolutely gorgeous pieces especially when it came to “Fifi’s Theme“.
In conclusion The Peanuts Movie is everything you want from an animated children’s film, it has humour, adventure, style, charm and heart. For long-term fans it provides the right level of nostalgia and for people new to the franchise it’s a unique and relatable experience that they may fall in love with too. This film was everything I wanted to be and more, and I’m gutted I didn’t see it sooner as I ADORED this film and it should be seen by everyone as soon as possible!
So have you seen The Peanuts Movie and if so what did you think of it? Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next film review, laters! 😀
February 15, 2016 at 11:30 pm
I wanted a little bit more from the movie. I enjoyed it but wanted to be blown away and I think the movie relied too much on nostalgia. Like you already mentioned, i felt like I’d seen too much of it already. The charm of Peanuts saw it through though.
February 17, 2016 at 2:23 pm
I can totally understand that, the film really was the greatest hits of Peanuts stories with a few new elements, but much like the recent Star Wars film the nostalgia worked for me and there was a charm and heart that was so strong that it superseded any negatives I had with the film.