'The Peanuts Movie' reignites passion in lifelong fan


By Flynn GeraghtyThe-Peanuts-Movie-2015
When I was little, I would wake up on Sunday mornings and head down into the basement to read the newspaper comics with my dad. As he sipped his morning coffee, we would laugh as we would read strips like “Blondie” and “Dilbert,” but my favorites had to be “Peanuts” by Charles Shultz. I always found myself liking their charm and simplicity.
That’s why I was worried when I saw that Blue Sky had the audacity to make a full-length animated movie starring those beloved characters of mine. OK, Hollywood, you can mess with the Smurfs, you can mess with Alvin and the Chipmunks, but the second you tamper with the classic Peanuts characters, you’ve gone too far.
I walked into the theater awaiting the catastrophe that awaited me.
The story is very simple. Charlie Brown is down on his luck, as usual, when a red-haired girl moves into the house across the street from his. Immediately he is infatuated with her, and he sets out to impress her and make a new start.
Right off the bat, I was floored by its animation. These characters looked like they had walked off of the comic strip and right onto the big screen. The character models themselves were very smooth, but distinct features were added to give it a cartoon-like feeling. Their eyes were made to look like two-dimensional sketches. There were pencil lines added in to show quick motion like Shultz would do in the comics. This is what computer generated animation should be used for.
Despite this, I still was apprehensive. You can dazzle me all you want with your fancy animation, but it doesn’t mean anything to me unless you properly represent these characters.
The characters are just as you remember them, and they’re treated with the respect they deserve. The writers don’t try and make the movie all modern and rad either. You won’t find Snoopy twerking or Woodstock whipping out any sick raps. Everything is simple, sweet and innocent, just like the original cartoons.
But when it comes down to it, the reason I enjoyed this movie was because it reminded me why I liked the comics in the first place, and especially why I like Charlie Brown.
On the surface, Charlie Brown is a really depressing character. He can never do anything right, no one really likes him, and no matter what he does, things just don’t go his way. But, despite all of this, he keeps trying and keeps being a kind, decent person. He always believes that he can kick that football before Lucy inevitably pulls it away, and that’s what counts. He might have the most pathetic life in the history of the world, but he’ll always get back up.
“The Peanuts Movie” isn’t perfect. Its jokes don’t always land, and its story is a bit too loose for my taste, but in the end, that doesn’t matter. “Peanuts” was an adorable movie that was able to bring me back to those Sunday mornings when I would sit my father’s lap and read those comics. I hope it can do the same for you.