The spirit of Charles M. Schulz is ever-present in The Peanuts Movie, a sweet, fun update of the popular comic strip that birthed some pretty cool TV specials long ago.
The look of the film, especially in the 3-D format, reminds me of the View-Master toy I had when I was a kid. The plot is a simple: Charlie Brown is trying to get the attention of the Little Red-Haired Girl, while Snoopy fantasizes about battling the Red Baron.
Director Steve Martino captures the adorable essence of Peanuts, remaining faithful to its origins and ignoring temptations to modernize it. He’s also done a nice job of assembling the voice cast, with all of the characters sounding much like they did decades ago. (One exception: Peppermint Patty sounds very different.)
The soundtrack often pays tribute to the iconic piano sounds of Vince Guaraldi; the film even gets the classic Peanuts dance moves correct.
I watched this with a sea of kids, and they ate it up, so I imagine more films will be on the way. It’s good to see Chuck and Snoopy getting a big-screen adaptation worthy of them.
The Peanuts Movie is playing at theaters across the valley.