The Peanuts Movie


Look. I have issues with this film. Putting Peanuts in the title seems disrespectful for starters (Schulz hated the name and it's never appeared in any of the dozens of previous films---in fact, except for three that were named for Snoopy, they've all had Charlie Brown in the title). The Meghan Trainor song was as ill-advised as we'd all feared (not only is it a bad song, the movie already feels aged by it). I'm troubled by all the kids being at the same school (though I get it), I don't like Linus and Lucy being the same age (really?), including Fifi seems weird (SHE WILL BREAK SNOOPY'S HEART!!!!), and I would have loved to see a production brave enough to never show the little red-haired girl (though even Bill Melendez broke that rule), but over all I accept this film. Nice job, Blue Sky.

First, although the early images freaked me out, in fact this film might show more respect for the original art than anything else done so far. That's a big statement and I'm not prepared to stand by it, but the use of Schulzian lines and animated strips and use of motion lines and sound effects etc were noble. And I have to admit the animated signature of Schulz writing itself across the screen at the end about did me in.

In fact, I was emotional through much of this movie. Largely because as long as it wasn't doing dirt on the gang, no one is more primed than me to see and love and know what they gave (see this recent post for more of my reading and my thinking on this topic). So although I was freaked out to hear about Charlie Brown winning, it wasn't too much winning. So although I was terrified Snoopy would overrun the show, in fact, it was just the right amount. And speaking of Snoopy, can we give a huge round of applause to the filmmakers for bringing Bill Melendez out of the grave/vault to do the voices of Snoopy and Woodstock again? That was a hero move, in my opinion. And the moving truck was a nice little homage as well.

Another thing I like about this movie is that there's no plan for another. Partially I like this because the whole LRHG plot made a sequel a disastrous possibility, and entirely because good things should not be driven into the ground for money.

So no, it's not a perfect movie. But yes, it's pretty wonderful all the same.

What I really want to do next is watch it frame by frame to figure out when Charlie Brown's hair switched directions and how they got the walking right.

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