The classic characters created by Charles M. Schulz head to the big screen in The Peanuts Movie. Charlie Brown is an awkward boy, whose most trusted companion is his beagle Snoopy. Together they hang out with Charlie’s friends Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Franklin, Pig-Pen, and Charlie’s sister Sally. When a Little Red-Haired Girl moves onto his block, Charlie Brown tries his best to impress her, though he fails at every turn. Meanwhile, Snoopy writes a story about a flying ace trying to save his love Fifi from the Red Baron.
Running from 1950 until Charles M. Schulz’s death in 2000, Peanuts is one of the all-time most influential comic strips. For those who did not read the adventures of Charlie Brown and Snoopy in their local newspaper, many would have have been introduced to the characters through the many television specials and series, such as 1965’s A Charlie Brown Christmas and 1966’s It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
The Peanuts Movie is a film produced with a mix of CGI and 2D visuals that greatly preserves the look of the original comics. In fact, the film as a whole has a very nostalgic feel to it, including the use of the very familiar piano-based theme song. While the young cast of the film consists of mostly newcomers, they still sound the way you would expect Charlie Brown and his friends to. Also, a nice little touch is the fact that the animal characters of Snoopy and Woodstock are voiced by archive footage of original voice actor Bill Melendez, since any other sounds for those characters would just not sound the same.
The Peanuts Movie features a two tier plot, which moves back and forth between the main plot of Charlie Brown trying to impress the Little Red-Haired Girl and the more fantastical scenes of Snoopy’s flying ace fighting against the Red Baron. It is the latter plot that gives The Peanuts Movie a cinematic feel to it. Otherwise, the film can be described as a typical Peanuts adventure, which isn’t entirely a bad thing.
With many films bringing back nostalgic properties, only to completely modernize them, it is an absolutely great thing that The Peanuts Movie retains the spirit of the characters that many people grew up with. Here’s hoping that The Peanuts Movie will serve to introduce Charlie Brown and Snoopy to an all new generation, who can enjoy them as much as I did.