Movie Review: The Peanuts Movie (2015)

Posted: June 26, 2016 in Animation

peanuts movie

Charlie Brown (Noah Scnapp) tries his hand at everything, flying kites, playing baseball, kicking a football, with little success.  But he thinks he can make a fresh start of his life when The Little Red Haired Girl (Francesca Capaldi) moves in next door.  Now, he tries to put his prior experiences behind him and concentrate on trying to win the heart of The Little Red Haired Girl.  He first tries magic at the school talent show, but gives up his chance to do his magic tricks, so that his sister Sally (Mariel Sheets) can finish her act.  Charlie Brown next learns that the Little Red Haired Girl likes to dance, so he learns to dance, but then slips on some punch on the floor, and triggers the sprinkler system.  Charlie Brown then gets a chance to partner with The Little Red Haired Girl on a book report.  He picks War and Peace to write about after consulting with Marcie (Rebecca Bloom) Does he read the book and finish the book report in time to help The Little Red Haired Girl who is away nursing her ailing grandmother?

Snoopy (Bill Melendez) Charlie Brown’s faithful dog, is off in his own world, pretending to be a World War I Flying Ace trying to rescue a female dog named Fifi (Kristen Chenoweth) from his arch  enemy the Red Baron. Does he succeed?

Unfortunately, The Peanuts Movie is a superficial telling of Charles Shultz’s iconic comic strip.  It hits all the high notes of Charlie Brown’s life, but somehow lacks depth.  The element that seems the most superficial is the development of the Little Red Haired Girl.  In Schultz’s comic strip, the Little Red Haired Girl was the unattainable girl, every person knows what that is, and that’s what made Charlie Brown so relatable.  That changes with this ending, all the subtleties of the previous Charlie Brown tv specials is lost and so, even though this ending is sad and sweet, it is not as satisfying as the tv movies.

The Snoopy sequences seem overproduced with dramatic Hollywood action movie music, which wasn’t really necessary.  The animation wasn’t as endearing as the hand drawn specials of the 70’s.  The 70’s animation was pretty bad, but the new animation looks too sterile and mechanical.

Charlie Brown’s blues deepened by Red Haired Girl.

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