By Liz Lopez
Charles M. Schulz’ comic strip that began with one name in the late 1940s, and was renamed Peanuts by the time of its debut in 1950, went on to become the most-syndicated strip in history. It went on to be read by many over the course of many decades until the death of Schultz on February 13th, 2000. Now, over 15 years later, 20th Century Fox presents The Peanuts Movie in 3D animation, directed by Steve Martino. For faithful comic strip readers, this will be a journey down memory lane, but now on the big screen based on the imagination of the original author, and writer/producers Bryan Schulz, Craig Schulz and Cornelius Uliano.
It is difficult to rate this beloved “Peanuts” gang film, featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the many other characters many of us grew up with. It is hard not to like the stories Schultz created, but somehow, when it is translated to a screenplay, I had a hard time enjoying the humor. There were a couple of times when I can say the lines resulted in a genuine laugh for me, but otherwise, the children who are just now meeting “the gang” will enjoy it more.
The 3D animation is very good, capturing the curly – cues of Charlie Brown’s hair, the bright yellow shirt and brilliant red of his snow jacket. I especially enjoyed the gang peering over the fence at the new kid moving in and then watching it go down in a domino effect and everyone running off claiming they are not responsible. Another cool scene is when the lovable and flying ace beagle, Snoopy, takes on the mission to take down The Red Baron and save his gal, while Charlie gathers his confidence to get the attention of the “little red-haired girl.”
Michael J. Travers and Paul Feig also serve as producers, and Blue Sky Studios, the creators of the Ice Age films, present The Peanuts Movie. It is still worth viewing, if not for just a pleasant journey down memory lane for many fans of the gang who can now take a younger generation to learn where one source of “Oh good grief” came from and became part of our everyday life.