The Peanuts Movie isn’t great but more than satisfactory and will certainly please its core fans as it shows some of the classic scenes from the strip and various TV specials. All around it’s just a smile-enducing flick that kids will love and parents and passively enjoy, even those (like myself) who aren’t fans of the comic.
The Peanuts Movie
Genre(s): Animation, Family, Comedy
Fox | G – 88 min. – $39.99 | March 8, 2016
Date Published: 03/14/2016 | Author: The Movieman
THE MOVIE – 3.5/5
There have been very few comic strips more resilient than “The Peanuts”. Going on 16 years since the death of creator Charles Schulz, the strip still runs in papers and its characters are recognizable worldwide. With the protection of Schulz’s family, the comic has resisted the temptation of Hollywood, beyond the classic animated television specials, but has finally taken the leap to the big screen. The result? For me, it’s the same feeling when reading the comic: smiles and amusement. I’ve never found it laugh-out-loud funny but it has pure and innocent stories that hold true today as when they first ran, avoiding cultural pratfalls that often date them.
The Peanuts Movie, as with the strip and animated specials, centers around good ole’ boy Charlie Brown (NOAH SCHNAPP) getting up for the day with optimism on his mind. After picking his favorite yellow and black zigzag t-shirt, he’s determined to fly his kite despite it being in the middle of the winter. But he makes a valiant attempt before the kite-eating tree bests him once again, much to the amusement, and mockery, of his supposed friends, especially Lucy (HADLEY BELLE MILLER).
But Charlie believes his luck may change around when a new girl, simply named “The Little Red-Head Girl” (FRANCESCA CAPALDI), arrives in town. Now he can make a new impression and reset his reputation with this girl whom he has a major crush on. But as you would expect, nothing goes as plan and no matter what he tries, he manages to mess things up.
Helping Charlie on his journey to even talk to this girl, is his trusted pal, Snoopy and the film takes us inside the beagle’s own adventurous mind as he sets off on his own escapade pursuing a poodle who has been captured by evil forces led by Snoopy’s arch nemesis, The Red Baron.
The movie might not be great nor laugh-out-loud funny but it does have its moments and for sure fans of “The Peanuts” will find it more than enjoyable and should bring along a new generation to appreciate the values the characters teach that might seem basic but with the doom, gloom and grit that permeates other adaptations, for better or worse, it is nice to see something that is pure and innocent.
Directed by Steve Martino and animated by the folks over at Blue Sky Studios, The Peanuts Movie has some fantastic animated and brings to life these classic characters like they’ve never been seen before. The story also includes some fun elements seen in the strip and animated specials (like the kids dancing), Charlie’s frustration getting his kite off the ground and, of course, Lucy and the football.
Even though I wasn’t overly enamored given I’ve never been the biggest fan, The Peanuts Movie is still well worth at least a rental if not full on purchase especially if you have young kids who will have a blast.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5
The release I received for review is the Limited Edition that includes a stuffed Snoopy toy. The “Collector’s Edition” Blu-ray was in a standard case, no slip cover. Inside the case was the regular DVD Copy and a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
Snoopy Snippets (2:45; HD) are six mini-stories featuring our favorite pup and Charlie Brown.
You Never Grow Up Charlie Brown (30:17; HD) – This is a collection of some featurettes with interviews by the filmmakers as they talk about their childhood and fandom for The Peanuts and casting the voice talents and developing the animation. For a kids movie, this is somewhat in-depth.
Snoopy’s Sibling Salute (1:55; HD) is a short featurette on seeing Snoopy’s family.
Learn to Draw Snoopy (4:13; HD) and Learn to Draw Woodstock (3:04; HD), Learn to Draw Charlie Brown (4:02; HD) follows the director as he teaches you how to draw Snoopy, Woodstock and Charlie Brown.
Get Down with Snoopy and Woodstock Music Video (2:17; HD)
“Better When I’m Dancin’” Lyric Video (3:01; HD)
“Better When I’m Dancin’” Music Video (3:08; HD) with Meghan Trainor.
Behind the Scenes of “Better When I’m Dancin’” (2:53; HD) shows viewers how the video was filmed.
Snoopy’s Playlist (27:52; HD) are various scenes from the movie that feature Snoopy.
There’s also a Gallery featuring Concept Art, Color Keys, Characters and Final Art.
Trailers: Official Trailer 1 (2:50), Official Trailer 2 (2:26), Teaser Trailer 1 (0:56), Teaser Trailer 2 (1:36) and Official Holiday Trailer (1:41).
VIDEO – 5.0/5
|Fox releases The Peanuts Movie shown in its original theatrical 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer where the animation style greatly benefits. Colors are spectacularly bright and cheerful, there were no major flaws like artifacts, aliasing and even banding isn’t terribly noticeable. It’s a fantastic transfer that looks incredible in HD.|
AUDIO – 4.75/5
|The disc includes a robust 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio track providing for clear dialogue but where the track really excels is with the music, custom work by Meghan Trainor, and the score from composer Christophe Beck (Edge of Tomorrow). For an animated movie, and one where the majority of the action takes place during the Snoopy vs. Red Baron sequences, it’s a well rounded lossless track.|
OVERALL – 3.5/5
|Overall, The Peanuts Movie isn’t great but more than satisfactory and will certainly please its core fans as it shows some of the classic scenes from the strip and various TV specials. All around it’s just a smile-enducing flick that kids will love and parents and passively enjoy, even those (like myself) who aren’t fans of the comic. The Blu-ray released by Fox offers incredible video and audio transfers and a fine selection of bonus material.|
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.