Monday, November 23, 2015

Movie Review: Peanuts

Raise your hand if you thought I would have since this on opening night.  I should have, but I was running a race in FL, then the next week a race in CA, so I couldn’t quite find time to dedicate to the Peanuts crew.  If you grew up on Peanuts or are new to the characters, the movie picks up almost from the beginning, as if the audience has some idea of who the characters are, but it doesn’t seem heavy-handed in the least.  The movie follows the story of Charlie Brown, the hero of the piece, and how he struggles with what is usually a lot of bad luck.

This is a kid’s movie, so I don’t feel like a huge plot synopsis (SPOILERS) are really needed.  The animation was a nice mix between CGI and the classic structure that Schulz is known for.  It was interesting being able to almost see the fur on Snoopy and the feathers on Woodstock.  While the voices had changed, which was a little strange, I really did enjoy the movie.

The movie centers around Charlie Brown trying to work up the nerve to speak to the Little Red-Haired girl.  For those of you that aren’t familiar, this is an ongoing struggle for Brown in the comic strips.  I don’t remember ever seeing her in the comic, but the audience is treated to quick glimpses of her before seeing her fully.  In most of the comic strips, Charlie Brown is the unlucky, unlike one.  This movie took much of that away, which was an interesting dynamic.  No longer was he the butt of every joke, but just unfortunate circumstances.  In a wonderful scene at the talent show, he has to give up his shot to impress the Little Red-Haired girl to save Sally, his younger sister, from complete embarrassment. This isn’t the old Peanuts, but a newer version that somehow still felt right.

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