Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie was originally billed with a title comprised of just the last three words, but was changed to the longer one as if the studio had zero confidence that no-one would know it by its comic strip name of “Peanuts“. Okay, so ‘Charlie Brown’ was in all of the TV animations (at least the ones I saw, in case any slipped through the net), but then again it was advertised to death, even as far back as December 2014! Perhaps 20th Century Fox extended the title for the hard of thinking?
The film does what I criticised Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens for, in harking too much back to originals, but Peanuts manages to retain the charm of the originals whilst also bringing the Peanuts canon up to date without overdoing and, therefore, ruining it, such as Snoopy and a great Mission Impossible scene. Yes, the animation is beaten by a lot of modern films but Charlie Brown is the eternal underdog to which we can all aspire, in fancying the unobtainable female, and I hope it does still work as well for young children of today as it did when I was in single digits.
There’s a neat opener with Schroedinger tinkling the ivories along to the 20th Century Fox theme. Elsewhere, Woodstock still has the trails behind him and, in fact, both his and Snoopy’s voices still come from the late, great Bill Melendez. The piano-playing Schroedinger loves Beethoven as usual; there’s vain Lucy, still offering psychiatric help for 5c; Snoopy still has his typewriter, with words appearing above as he types them; their teacher, Miss Othmar, stil drones on with the same “wah wah” voice; Charlie Brown clothes are unchanged and he still fears the kite-eating tree… Can he beat is this time? And will he ever get the girl?
All the voices are also spot-on, even though the majority of the cast will have obviously changed. The only downside is that the Red Baron scenes go on a bit too long out of the 88-minute running time, but then, overall, this is like three episodes rolled into one.
I also saw this in 2D and I can’t say there’s anything that *demands* to be seen in 3D, so save your pennies.
Oh, and I also once tried to impress a girl as we danced to The Birdie Song. Needless to say, it went no further.
Running time: 88 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: 1.85:1 (35 mm (Kodak Vision 2383), D-Cinema)
Released: December 21st 2015
Director: Steve Martino
Producers: Paul Feig, Bryan Schulz, Craig Schulz, Michael J Travers and Cornelius Uliano
Screenplay: Bryan Schulz, Craig Schulz and Cornelius Uliano (based on the cartoon strip by Charles M Schulz)
Music: Christophe Beck
Charlie Brown: Noah Schnapp
Snoopy/Woodstock: Bill Melendez
Lucy: Hadley Belle Miller
Sally: Mariel Sheets
Linus: Alexander Garfin
Peppermint Patty: Venus Schultheis
Marcie: Rebecca Bloom
Pig-Pen: AJ Tecce
Miss Othmar/Mrs Little Red-Haired Girl: Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews
The Little Red-Haired Girl/Frieda: Francesca Angelucci Capaldi
Fifi: Kristin Chenoweth
Schroeder: Noah Johnston
Little Kid: Micah Revelli
Violet Gray: Madisyn Shipman
Franklin: Marelik ‘Mar Mar’ Walker
Shermy: William ‘Alex’ Wunsch
Patty: Anastasia Bredikhina
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.