Granger on Movies: ‘The Peanuts Movie’
Updated 3:40 pm, Friday, November 27, 2015
Fairfield Citizen film critic Susan Granger reviews the new “The Peanuts Movie.”
Good grief! Charles M. Schulz’s beloved comic strip characters are now CG-animated and in 3D for the first time.
Working from a simplistic script co-written by Schulz’s son Craig and grandson Brian, along with Cornelius Uliano, director Steve Martino, art director Nash Dunnigan and Blue Sky Studios (“Ice Age,” “Horton Hears a Who!”) have brought Charlie Brown and his gang back to the big screen for the first time since 1980’s “Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!).”
Their gently spirited concept faithfully replicates many of the individual characters’ quirks and idiosyncrasies. It revolves around how good-hearted Charlie Brown (voiced by Noah Schnapp) is immediately smitten when the Little Red-Haired Girl moves into the neighborhood, while a secondary plot involves Charlie’s fun-loving beagle Snoopy and his penchant for creative writing.
There’s Lucy, Schroeder, Sally, Pigpen, Woodstock, Peppermint Patty, Marcie and Linus, clutching his security blanket, along with the kite-eating tree, the missing football, the Great Pumpkin, the high-flying Red Baron and Fifi, a femme fatale poodle (voiced by Kristin Chenoweth).
Parents and grandparents may have to explain outdated items like a rotary telephone, fountain pen and manual typewriter to youngsters — but that’s not a bad thing. Many of us still use those archaic staples.
Significantly, Charles’ widow Jean Schulz has indicated that, while her husband would be proud of this modern version, she is in “no rush” to encourage a sequel — and her consent is vital to filmmakers at 20th Century-Fox who obtained the right to produce only one movie.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Peanut Movie” is an amiable, satisfying 7, sweetly nostalgic family fare.