The Peanuts Movie
Directed by Steve Martino
Written by Bryan Schulz, Craig Schulz, and Cornelius Uliano
Starring: Noah Schnapp, Bill Melendez, Francesca Capaldi, Hadley Belle Miller, Mariel Sheets, Venus Schultheis, Noah Johnston, Rebecca Bloom, Mar Mar, AJ Teece, Alexander Garfin, and Kristin Chenoweth
“The Peanuts Movie” is an adaptation that is faithful and respectful of the source material. The source material in question is Charles M. Schulz’s beloved “Peanuts” comic strip. “The Peanuts Movie” is everything that you would want a “Peanuts” movie to be. The film is simultaneously humorous and sweet. The movie has Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Sally, Pigpen, Peppermint Patty, and, of course, Snoopy on the big screen, acting exactly how you would want them to act.
“The Peanuts Movie” is animated in the modern 3D computer animated style. However, the film manages to maintain the classic look of the comic strip, and holiday specials that have been a part of the childhoods of so many people. The entire time you are watching the movie you never forget that you are watching a “Peanuts “cartoon, because it feels like a “Peanuts” cartoon.
The film also includes classic “Peanuts” iconography. It has everything from Snoopy and the Red Barron, Lucy the nickel psychologist, a reference to the Great Pumpkin, and the iconic “Linus and Lucy.” Charlie Brown even reflects on past failures when he hears that a new kid moves in next door. During this scene, you see Charlie Brown think back on the famous moment in the Thanksgiving special where Lucy moves the football while Charlie Brown tries to kick it, hooray for nostalgia.
While the movie does deliver great “Peanuts” nostalgia, it is, however, only a series of vignettes instead of one through-line plot. These segments are roughly connected by Charlie Brown’s crush on the new girl across the street. What works about having vignettes is that a Snoopy and the Red Barron segment that comes from Snoopy writing a book about fighting the Red Barron acts transition between them. Each of these Snoopy/Barron segments is roughly related to where Charlie Brown was emotionally in the previous scene.