Since the 1950s, Charles Schultz’s beloved Peanuts has brought entertainment to people around the globe. Many have fond memories of watching some of the many TV specials such as It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Since Schultz’s death in 2000, new Peanuts related content had been ____, causing the current generation of children to grow up without Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and friends. Now, five years since the last TV special, Charlie Brown is reborn in The Peanuts Movie.
The film essentially rehashes the Peanuts stories audiences have come to love over the years. Holding everything together is Charlie Brown’s (Noah Schnapp) attempt to pick up this little red-haired girl (Francesca Capaldi). In the meantime, there is a lackluster sideplot about Snoopy flying a plane. As those familiar with the comics will expect, Lucy (Hadley Belle Miller) is at her bitchiest and just does not want to let anyone catch a break; with the exception of Schroeder of course.
In an admirable move, director Steve Martino cast unknown child actors to voice the characters. Thus, the voicework is entirely beliveable and is actually quite good. Marleik “Mar Mar” Walker’s interpretation of Franklin is most admirable.
There really is not anything new here, but is that so bad?. Many would have preferred the writers to cook up some new stories, but it was among Shultz’s dying wishes that the characters be kept the same, and the stories repeated. The 3D animation adds some visual flair to the notoriously flat characters, so that in itself is change enough. Those who loved Peanuts growing up will love it now, and children unfamiliar with the characters will surely grow to love them. The only thing that really would have made this film better would be if Lucy finally let Charlie Brown kick that damn ball.