From newspaper comics to TV movies, Charles Schultz’s comic characters, “The Peanuts,” have entertained families for generations. With previous “Peanuts” films only premiering on TV and on straight to DVD movies, the characters had never hit the big screen until now, with Director Steve Martino’s new film “The Peanuts Movie.”
The film starts with the Little Red-Haired Girl (Francesca Capaldi) moving into Charlie Brown’s (Noah Schnapp) neighborhood. Love struck, Charlie Brown becomes frustrated about his constant bad luck and how it could prevent him of being noticed by the Little Red-Haired Girl. Charlie goes to Lucy (Hadley Miller) for help, and she tells him that girls like guys with confidence, so Charlie Brown must find confidence in himself. Charlie Brown decides to go through a series of activities in search of one that will get the Little Red-Haired Girl to notice him.
The art direction in the movie is beautiful, as the style still resembles the artwork of Schultz’s original comics and films. However, unlike past “Peanuts” films, which used 2D hand draw animation, “The Peanuts Movie” style has a mixture of both 3D and 2D-like animation. The animators use 2D-like animation for the outlines, eyes, and mouth for the characters and 3D animation being used for the rest of the animation.
The soundtrack for the film has a lot of old “Peanuts” melodies performed by Vince Gauraldi Trio, such as “Christmas Time Is Here,” and “Linus and Lucy.” There are also some pop music singles thrown into the soundtrack as well such as Meghan Trainor’s “Better When I’m Dancing,” and Flo Rida’s “That’s What I Like.”
The voice acting for the movie is spot on as most of the characters sound just like the voice actors from the original “Peanuts.” The characters’ personalities and charm have not changed as well, again staying reminiscent to the original comics.
While the movie has a lot going for it, there are a couple of issues. There is a side story that follows Snoopy (Bill Melendez), Charlie Brown’s iconic dog, who finds a typewriter and takes the audience away from the main story and, for a while, illustrates the story that Snoopy writes. While this adds some charm to the film, it can also distract the audience from the main story. Another issue is that the soundtrack and film have a bit of pop culture shoved into it. While this can be more pleasing to younger audience, it can take the older audience out of the film as this does not stay reminiscent of the classic “Peanuts.”
With this issues out of the way, “The Peanuts Movie” is perfect for anyone of any age to see. With a lot of laughs and heartwarming moments, a film like this is perfect for this holiday season as families are flying in to spend time with other family members. If you’re a fan of the “Peanuts” or just want a charming family film, then this film is for you. “The Peanuts Movie” gets a 4.5/5.