November 6, 2015

The Peanuts Movie.

Review #754: The Peanuts Movie.

Noah Schnapp (Charlie Brown), Bill Melendez (Snoopy and Woodstock), Hadley Belle Miller (Lucy van Pelt), Mariel Sheets (Sally Brown), Francesca Capaldi (Little Red-Haired Girl and Frieda), Anastasia Bredikhina (Patty), Noah Johnston (Schroeder), Rebecca Bloom (Marcie), Mar Mar (Franklin Armstrong), William Alexander Wunsch (Shermy), Venus Schultheis (Peppermint Patty), Madisyn Shipman (Violet Gray), AJ Teece (Pig-Pen), Alexander Garfin (Linus van Pelt), and Kristin Chenoweth (Fifi) Directed by Steve Martino (#483 - Horton Hears a Who!)

Prior to Charles Schulz's death in 2000, there had been four movies (#295 - A Boy Named Charlie Brown, #298 - Snoopy, Come Home, #424 - Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown, and #489 - Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) based on the famed comic strip. 15 years later, we have a new Peanuts movie, so I decided to see it to wonder if ol' Chuck can spruce up the same magic that has entertained the world for so long. For what it's worth, I thought it was enjoyable. Is it perfect? No. But then again, neither was Charlie Brown. The animation looks great, toeing the line of the traditional style while managing to stand out in its own way (in fact, some of the thought bubbles use the comic style). The movie retains the basic charm of what made Charlie Brown so likable even with all of his failures (such as never throwing a good fastball, flying a kite, or kicking a football)...and his attempts at trying to be a winner. Charlie's infatuation with the Little Red-Haired Girl is still there, but with a twist. For one thing, the Girl actually speaks, and I appreciate the fact that it wasn't just Charlie Brown trying (and failing) to get her attention. The movie doesn't take too much risks, but it at least is entertaining. Snoopy's scenes (most of which dealing with the Red Baron) are amusing enough, even if it almost comes off as a way to pad the movie a bit. The dialogue is reasonably balanced, never veering off the rails too much.While the movie lasts 93 minutes, it doesn't feel too short nor drag too badly. I enjoyed seeing the Peanuts gang again, especially Charlie, who is my favorite character. He's my favorite because he is easy to empathize with when he fails but when he does get in a victory ever so often, it is satisfying, even when it is simple as flying a kite. I always appreciated how hard he tried even when he failed because that made me want to try even with all the risks I had (and still have) in my life. I'd recommend it for any Peanuts fan because of the way it brings the magic back into the theater after all these years.

Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.

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