It has been almost 15 years since the last Peanuts comic was plublished in the newspaper one day after the passing of Charles M. Schulz. It still remains in reruns every Sunday and we still have the TV Holiday specials that have become a tradition around the world for some time now. So how put out a feature animated film without any “new” material to showcase or sell or promote? How do you “modernize” The Peanuts gang for this generation? Simple answer is… you dont!
The typical Hollywood formula would have been to put some iPhones in their hands or put them on some sort of adventure quest with major changes to the trusted formula so they would be relateable. Throw in some new jokes and even characters right? Not with this movie, not with our beloved rag tag team of just plain ol regular kids in school and dealing with everyday life.
That’s boring alot of people may have thought. We need to make these characters relevant to this younger audience that doesn’t see them all over TV or the Internet. Whose to say they aren’t relevant right now?
Opening weekend The Peanuts movie went up against the new James Bond film Spectre and came in at number 2 with a $45Million opening and it’s currently at around $90Million. That says it all right! Success! Well money is usually the measure studios take in order to greenlight a sequel but here we were looking to see how the fans and critics liked it. The did fantastic with both! Here’s my review.
2015 seems to be using nostalgia alot! Jurassic Park, Star Wars to name a couple. The movie opens up and right away you are whisked away into their circle of friends. Right there next to Lucy and Charlie Brown! That’s when you know a movie has you. When nothing else matters until the lights come up at the end of the movie. You almost feel as if you were reading one of their comics and were instantly sucked in. The first that got me was the quality of the animation and the perfect balance of Computer animation and the nod to the traditional animation. The story centers around Charlie Brown and his feelings of inadequacy and he tries to overcome them by never giving up. (Yes this is a kids movie) When you look at Charlie he is meek, nervous and lacks self confidence. He can’t fly a kite or even kick a football. He is in a way alot of how we feel and is relateable right away.
It’s a snow day and the kids are going skating and playing ice hockey but Charlie Brown is trying to get a win. Suddenly there is kid moving in across the street and we’ll Charlie is smitten and determined to get the girl. Now I won’t go in and spoil the film for you so here it goes. Kudos to the filmakers for sticking to the original story and do formula of what made us love these characters for the last 65 years. The screenplay was just like reading the comics and they did a spectacular job in bringing to life so many great aspects of the comic strip. The material was not mutated into something ridiculous like it so often happens and the story did a good job flowing through the film. Snoopy was flawless on screen and those who love him will see why. He is Charlie’s trusted dog and best friend and wants nothing but the best for him and will do whatever it takes for Charlie to get it. He also goes off on his own adventure like always and you will truly love how they blended it in. Having just watched The Great Pumpkin the other week I felt like they did a wonderful job in voice casting everyone!
To sum all of this up The Peanuts Movie is one you shouldn’t let you pass by and it’s ideal for both adults and kids. Our theatre had a nice mix and I loved hearing the kids laughing throughout the movie. The movie will pull at your heartstrings and you may just shed a few tears here and there. A great movie with a great all around message that will resonate with you after the movie ends. Great job 20th Century Fox, Blue Skies and the Schulz family for making this movie happen.