Returning to the big screen for the first time in thirty five years, “Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie” sees the gang brought to vivid, three dimensional computer animated life by Blue Sky Studios, the studio behind animated hits “Ice Age” and “Rio”.
When a little Red-Haired Girl moves into his neighbourhood, Charlie Brown is instantly smitten. Fearing his long-running streak of bad luck will frustrate his romantic ambitions, he consults 5 cent psychiatrist Lucy who advises him to be more confident. So Charlie Brown sets out to get the attention of his crush by trying out some new activities. Meanwhile, Snoopy discovers a typewriter in a dumpster and begins writing his first novel, a tale of derring-do chronicling a World War I fighter pilot’s skirmishes with the dastardly Red Baron.
The real joy here is in the voice work and animation. Great care has been taken to bring the aesthetic of the original to life with cutting edge 3d computer animation without losing the essence of what made it so great in the first place. It’s a particularly nice touch that Snoopy and Woodstock ate both ‘voiced’ by original actor Bill Melendez via archive recordings.
It’s also a welcome surprise to see a revival of a beloved classic cartoon that feels no need to bring in edgy, contemporary dilemmas or social issues, preferring to trust in the timeless qualities of the everyday trials and tribulations of elementary school life and Schulz’s wittily realised characters. The film look polished and well-crafted yet retains the charm and innocence of the original hand drawn “Peanuts” cartoons, even if the comic strip’s satirical subtext is somewhat dialled down.
“Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie” provides a bright, breezy and welcoming introduction to the world of its classic characters for a whole new generation with a sweet and simple story that offers ample opportunities for nostalgic callbacks – including frequent use of Vince Guaraldi’s iconic “Linus & Lucy” theme – for the adults who grew up with Snoopy, Woodstock and the rest of the gang.