This is such a charming and colour filled feature that explores the Peanuts gang and of course; loveable failure Charlie Brown in a story that’s sweet for the children and engaging enough for the grown ups, it also helps that Blue Sky Studios have not taken away the magical hand drawn feel of the characters.
Charlie Brown is smitten when a new girl arrives over the road and through different ways he tries getting the Little Red-Haired Girl to notice him for not being the loser the rest of the school know him as. At the same time as his awkward journey we follow imaginative dog Snoopy as he both helps Charlie and immerses into his own romantic quest against the Red Baron.
Animation wise, this movie is glorious. Just the short teasers earlier in the year had my interest peaked because the computer animated design looked quirky and comic strip like which is fantastic in harking back to Charles Schulz’s original illustrations. Throughout the film, shaky lines or additional graphics enhance the storytelling and gift the movie a unique touch and one that deserves recognition.
It’s not exactly a narrative wonder for the senses for people past 10, adults that grew up with it or not won’t be enthralled by the story or if they will then they haven’t seen this plot before. It’s done well but it’s ultimately not pushing very far as we follow along on a simply plotted tale of first crushes and the heart to never give up. Cornelius Uliano and Schulz’s son and grandson stick to what people know and write what’s expected with the Peanuts troupe as they all interact in winter, summer and school scenarios.
The many cuts away to Snoopy, Woodstock and the Red Baron escapades are clearly in for the attempt to raise some adrenaline in an otherwise pedestrian story. The aerial dogfights, pun not intended, are well storyboarded and look great on the big screen bringing some much desired action to the film. There’s enjoyment to be had with the dance call in the school hall and the childlike hubbub of the film is prominent throughout which does get slightly annoying if I have to be honest.
Everything is predictable in the film but then it’s not trying to be something unexpected so I can’t truly fault it for that. The movie has some neat moments, the attention to characters and background, the playful music and the Leo Tolstoy moment are all fab moments that add to that general delight. The music is such a key part as it bounces away in the background so much that it becomes a helpful tool to the story. Christophe Beck adds another score credit to his arsenal, seriously look him up, he’s responsible for a lot of well known film scores.
It’s undeniable that there’s an endearing charm to the movie and each character does get a fair share of time in the film for newbies to understand their role and get to like or dislike them…my fingers pointing firmly at Lucy van Pelt for that. Everything is bright and faithful to the gem of the original which is always a bonus to shout about. It might not stand out against past and future animated movies but if you do drag yourself along you’ll find a sweet treat.
Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie might have a long title but to be short – this is a cute and enjoyable enough outing.