Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The Peanuts Movie REVIEW

I was worried that they might've messed this pooch up and the trailers didn't make me feel better. But good word of mouth convinced me to go. Indeed I'm pleased to say that the film is great, and even the jokes that felt cliché in the trailer came off better within the context of the film.

Peanuts is incredibly faithful to the spirit and style of the strips. It doesn't try to be modern outside of a few musical cues. It doesn't try to update itself in any unnecessary way like giving Lucy a touch screen phone or other such hijinks. There's only the characters and themes that we've grown up with.

Indeed it plays better towards nostalgic older audiences which may be slower than your typical children's cartoon pacing. There is no grand spectacle or epic journeys here outside of Snoopy's flights of fancy which were always done with just the right restraint. There's the story of good old Charlie Brown down on his luck, but never wavering and always honest. He's the loser we all associate with and cheer for when he succeeds. Every other characters from Linus on down maintains that of Charles Shultz' creation.

There is nothing more you need to ask for out of this. It hits every note as only Schroeder could. The only possible downside is that those who are not familiar or don't love the comic strips may come away unimpressed overall. But that's only if they were expecting something larger, but this is a small affair. It's on the scale of an 'Inside Out' to 'Finding Nemo,' or what 'Arriety' is compared to 'Spirited Away.' This is a film for those who love Snoopy and friends just as they are. It is of that lighter fare but entirely satisfying category.

From a technical level the execution of the Schultz style in CG is quite impeccable! Used with just the right amount of hybridizing with 3D modeling and texture work to maintain a 2D aesthetic. It will be interesting to see a behind-the-scenes and learn about the film's technical direction. It's a beautiful film that retains the Peanuts style.

If you've grown up on this stuff, then by all means watch the film before it's out of theaters. I highly recommend it! The creators of this film got so much of it so very right!