Film Review – The Peanuts Movie

The trouble with trying to bring a book to the big screen is that every reader will have their own visual image of the characters and how their voices sound in their head

Bringing a comic strip to the big screen has the advantage of having the visual images to work with but with so few panels to tell a story, it relies on the power of the reader’s imagination to fill in the action

So, did The Peanuts Movie match up to the mental image that dad, ‘future mom’ and I had built up over years of reading Charles M Schulz’s classic cartoon? Well, we walked out of the cinema with big grins 

 The biggest praise I can give the animation is that we didn’t notice it was an animation after about 10 minutes. The characters are big, colourful and have a satisfying 3D depth and weight to them. However, they do undertake typically cartoon movements too

The voices perfectly match what our imaginations conjured up when reading the comic strip, even down to Snoppy and sidekick Woodstock

 The story revolves around Charlie Brown and his efforts to get the new girl with the red hair in his class to notice him. Always the underdog in the comic strip, it’s a journey which takes Charlie Brown on various ups and downs and we won’t spoil the ending for you. To find out if he succeeds, you’ll have to watch the film

 If you have a favourite character, be reassured that they all appear and play to type. The ensemble are important as the comic strip is so well balanced with many famous set pieces now part of our culture

 However, our favourite character in this movie is that crazy beagle Snoopy, who steals the top spot with frequent cutscenes of his continuing battle against the infamous Red Baron while trying to rescue a lady beagle with pink hair. One of our favourite Peanuts images is of Snoopy at his trusty typewriter, coming up with fantastic stories and duels with the red triplane and the movie brings them to life fantastically. Snoopy on his red flying doghouse will be the enduring image of this movie for us

  

The Peanuts Movie is a fun, easy-going tale for the whole family. Nostalgia for the adults and cute, feel good characters for the kids

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