The Peanuts Movie - This Movie Schultz Rocks
Dir: Steve Martino
Starring Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Woodstock, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, the Little Red Haired Girl, Schroeder, Sally, Pig Pen - the whole gang really
Martino’s loving homage to all things Peanuts made sure it had the family of the late great Charles M Schulz well and truly behind it, and whilst episodic in form (as befits a newspaper strip) it is utterly delightful. As much a tribute to the classic TV specials of the ‘60s and ‘70s, as to the original strip, The Peanuts Movie provides its audience with a series of moments, gags and motifs that are familiar, sometimes repeated verbatim, but nonetheless a timely and welcome reminder of the genius of Schulz, something that seems to have rapidly faded from pop culture consciousness in only a relatively short period of time.
The plot – such as it is – focuses on Charlie Brown’s eternal quest to win the heart of the Little Red Haired Girl, and Snoopy’s perennial battle with the Red Baron of his imagination. In between, all the characters are there, voiced to perfection, and, despite a new score, the classic themes of the Vince Guaraldi Trio are well to the fore, as timeless as ever, despite providing bucket loads of instant nostalgia.
Turning these traditional flat types into 3D models of their former selves is at first a little disconcerting, but something that is quickly forgotten as the wit and wisdom of the great cartoonist is revived. And it’s a lovely touch that these new filmmakers have used recodings of the late Bill Melendez (producer of those classic TV shows) as Snoopy and Woodstock.
Schulz’s comic creations have been out of sight and vogue both for the last few years. What The Peanuts Movie manages to do more than anything is remind us of what we’ve been missing. Funny, sharp, sweet and heart warming – works well for old fans, and should do the same for a whole new generation.
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