The Peanuts Movie Review

Peanuts was a syndicated comic strip, which debuted in October 1950, and was written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz. This influential and incredibly popular comic strip ran for fifty years, totaling in over 17,000 strips published, and it continues to be a major icon in pop culture. Peanuts was read and seen in 75 countries and reprints appear in almost every U.S. newspaper today. The lovable characters from the strip eventually leaped off the page and appeared in several successful TV specials, such as It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and A Charlie Brown Christmas, and even theatrical films. Similar to the comic strip, these critically acclaimed specials still air during the holidays. Now, for the first time in 35 years the Peanuts gang return to the big screen for the new film—The Peanuts Movie.

Sally Brown, Charlie Brown, and Snoopy in The Peanuts Movie

Sally Brown, Charlie Brown, and Snoopy in The Peanuts Movie

 The Peanuts Movie tells the story of good man Charlie Brown (Noah Schnapp), a nervous, unconfident, but gentle boy. But that must all change so he can impress his new neighbor and crush, The Little Red-Haired Girl (Francesca Capaldi). At the same time, Snoopy (archival recordings of Bill Melendez), one of the world’s favorite dogs, takes to the sky to chase his arch-nemesis The Red Baron.

The new film from director Steve Martino truly holds the spirit of the classic, American comic strip. That may be because Charles Schulz’s son and grandson (Craig and Bryan Schulz) wrote the movie and were heavily involved in the production. But, a lot of it was so also because of the it’s style. The characters looked like they jumped off the page into modern times—in 3D! I will say that this picture is for a much younger audience. Yes, I know you might already know it’s a “kid’s movie,” but some people call movies like Inside Out a film for a younger audience. That isn’t the case. Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks have indeed mastered the art of the family film. Where I think little ones will enjoy this movie, but some parents might grow tired of it quite fast, even after the nostalgia kicks in. It just doesn’t offer the depth that these companies have taught us to expect from a “kid’s movie.”

The Peanuts Movie’s major struggle lies with the story. Unfortunately, it’s so drawn out that it’s easy to lose interest. It just seems we are going out of our way to avoid the inevitable end so that they can get close to ninety minutes. I found myself enjoying the film for its aesthetics but not its content. To be honest, I felt the film would have been far more efficient if it was broken up into three or four little stories. There are easily three in here already, but separating them, and playing them out for 20 to 30-minute sequences would have made the movie not seem so drawn out. It would have seemed like more material that doesn’t get old, opposed to the same material that does.

The Peanuts Movie is a colorful and vivid escape. It’s the style and look of the movie that won my heart over. Everything looks so different from what were supposed too. Instead of your average computer animated movie, it was just the updated version of Schulz’s legendary world. But, Snoopy and Woodstock helped too. I’m sure they will be as popular as ever after the new animated feature; I can see the toy aisles now. It was nice to visit the old’ Peanuts Gang, especially good old Charlie Brown.

-By Jacob Tiranno

Here is our review for the other movie that came out this week: Spectre

In case you missed our video review for this week, check it out below:

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