A love letter to a generation of comics and cartoon lovers, Charles Schulz’s beloved characters come to the big screen in Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie.
After a string of film adaptations and classic comic strips, characters Charlie Brown and his beloved dog Snoopy star in this 3D animation. In this film, Charlie (Noah Schnapp) tries to win the affections of the Little Red-Haired Girl (Francesca Angelucci Capabaldi). Each opportunity he has to impress her is met with clumsiness and embarrassment, a sentiment echoed by Snoopy (Bill Melendez) who falls in love with Fifi (Kristen Chenoweth). Imagining himself as the ultimate hero, Snoopy prepares for battle with his arch nemesis, the Red Baron. The entire gang returns including Linus, Peppermint Patty, Woodstock and Lucy Van Pelt for this contemporary take of the classic Peanuts.
In this modern adaptation, Charlie Brown and his friends return for a series of adventures – from the various activities Charlie completes to impress the Little Red-Haired Girl to Snoopy’s wild imaginations of his alter-ego, World War I Flying Ace. In typical Charlie Brown form, the film highlights the different interactions of the young children but unfortunately lacks a solid plot, instead Peanuts eerily feels like a compilation of comic strips in 89 minutes. However, the innocence and charming appeal of Peanuts overpowers its faults. Classic jokes are pronounced in Peanuts; the subtle and lighthearted humour it is well-known is unmistakable, an element which may have been distinct by the collaboration of the screenwriters such as hilarious Paul Feig (Bridemaids).
The Peanuts Movie is filled with classic memories and nostalgic moments that breathe a reminiscent air of earlier times. The well-known faces of such beloved characters bring back childhood moments for an era which adored these cute and endearing comic heroes. Charlie Brown and the gang create a sweet reflection of traditions and familiarity, showing a simplicity that is lacking from most animated films today. An iconic moment in pop culture, Peanuts injects the old-fashioned underdog comedy that it was remembered for.
Renowned for animated franchises such as Ice Age and Rio, Blue Sky Studios captured the simple expressions of the characters without a over-dramaticised feel, including visually appealing sequences and romantic scenery that is reminiscent of Schulz’s tone. However, for the nostalgia and pop culture appeal of Peanuts, the film lacks an adequate soundtrack, especially with its original song. Meghan Trainor’s ‘Better When I’m Dancing’ contribution, whilst upbeat and full of pop feels awkward and unsuitable for the classic comic. A whimsical film for childhood fans, The Peanuts Movie is adorable, classic and nostalgic, a salute to a simpler times.