Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved “Peanuts” gang make their big-screen debut, like they’ve never been seen before, in state of the art 3D animation. Charlie Brown, the world’s most beloved underdog, embarks upon an epic and heroic quest, while his best pal, the lovable beagle Snoopy, takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron. From the imagination of Charles M. Schulz and the creators of the ICE AGE films, SNOOPY AND CHARLIE BROWN: THE PEANUTS MOVIE will prove that every underdog has his day. (official synopsis via The Peanuts Movie official site)
I fell in love with Peanuts back in the mid-1970s when they were at the height of their popularity in Australia.
I obsessively collected cheap paperback collections of the comic strips from the local secondhand books store – money was tight so this was the only way to do it – bought the occasional toy (merchandising was really still in its infancy) and I did my best, limited artistic ability notwithstanding, to draw Charlie Brown and Snoopy over and over in the same note books that contained my short stories and ABBA song lyrics.
And even though Peanuts isn’t as popular in Australia at it once was – it slipped off the zeitgeist much like the Muppets did at one time – I’ve kept the faith because there’s something about the messages that Charles M. Schulz put in his beloved comic strip, and the deeply engaging characters he created to convey them, that resonates with me still, and being Charlie Brown at heart, with all his tenacity, optimism and not-quite-getting-there-ness, probably always will.
Which is why I’m thrilled that The Peanuts Movie is almost out, and that it is, by all accounts, every bit as much as the comic strip I love sprung to the big screen that I hoped it would be, a rare feat in the entertainment world where many comic strips and TV shows lose their very essence when they attempt a big modern cinematic comeback.
The previous trailers have strongly suggested that, all the interviews with the scriptwriters conveyed the sense that making this movie in the spirit that Charles M. Schulz would have wanted, mattered to them, and now a review by The Hollywood Reporter, on the eve of the film’s North American release, confirms it.
“It’s evident from the very start—with Schroeder accompanying the Fox fanfare on his baby, baby grand—that those who may have initially cried “Good grief!” when the studio announced the upgrade three years ago could just sit back and relax.
“Well aware that they were dealing with precious cargo, director Steve Martino, previously credited with preserving the distinctly Seussian qualities of his 2008 adaptation of Horton Hears A Who!, and screenwriters Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz and Cornelius Uliano, have similarly brought the Peanuts gang into the 21st century without betraying that crucial, fondly nostalgic element.
“The thoroughly engaging result, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the first airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas, should deservedly carry its good cheer well into the holiday season.”
Good grief, Charlie Brown it looks you’re back, and how!
But then as far as I, and millions of other faithful, lifelong fans are convinced, you never really went away.
The Peanuts Movie opens 6 November in USA and 1 January in Australia.