Respond to these rapid questions in our The Peanuts Movie quiz and we will tell you which The Peanuts Movie character you are. Play it now.
Charlie Brown’s improbable charm lies in the fact that he never gives up trying, despite the fact that he is consistently unsuccessful. It doesn’t matter if he’s embarrassed in front of his classmates, gets tangled up in kite string, or gets knocked on his butt on the pitcher’s mound or the football field; he gets back up, brushes himself off, and tries again. He refuses to be defined by the blockhead nickname that has been given to him. He makes it a consistent goal to get better, hoping to shock all of us and even himself in the process.
Charlie Brown is a pretty ballsy dude, despite the fact that this may seem to be at odds with the insecure, underdog persona that he portrays.
In contrast, “The Peanuts Movie” is all about taking the path of least resistance. It is all about repackaging and regurgitating what we have already seen and what we already know. Nothing new is being presented here. It takes ideas, images, plot points, and even verbatim bits of dialogue from previous “Peanuts” incarnations and projects them onto the big screen for a new generation without breathing much new life into them, which is somewhat disappointing. It is disheartening and actually kind of cynical in the way that it refuses to try anything even remotely innovative with these well-known characters.
Not that the world requires a post-modern interpretation of the decades-old vision that the late Charles M. Schulz had for his comic strip “Peanuts.” The film “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” directed by Steve Martino and written by Schulz’s son Craig and grandson Bryan, along with Cornelius Uliano, stays true to the ageless innocence and warm-hearted humor of the later comic strips and television specials that have endured for decades. There is not even the tiniest hint of snarkiness to be found, which is, in its own way, very refreshing.
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In this world, telephones still have cords, Snoopy uses a manual typewriter, and the adults who do exist are never seen but are only heard speaking in a garbled wah-wah. All of the children’s G-rated adventures seem that much more delightful with Vince Guaraldi’s jazzy score as a backdrop. Soulful Schroeder still plays a toy piano, sassy Lucy still gives psychiatric advice from her sidewalk stand for just a nickel, and loyal Marcie still calls bossy Peppermint Patty “Sir.”
Despite the forward-thinking technological decision of using 3-D animation, “The Peanuts Movie” adheres closely to Schulz’s aesthetic, which is characterized by a bright color palette and straightforward stylistic touches. Because the voices of all of the well-known and well-loved characters were provided by real-life child actors, the experience was authentic and immersive.
The Peanuts Movie Quiz
It is all very endearing until you realize very quickly that there isn’t much going on here other than a wallowing in nostalgia with very little narrative drive. After that, it is completely charming.
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I should also mention that I am not thrilled to share this information with you. I was a huge fan of everything “Peanuts” when I was a little girl; in fact, I even had Snoopy and Woodstock sheets on my twin bed. Now that I’m a mother, I regularly show my son classic Peanuts television specials like “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” When I was a little girl, I even had Snoopy and Woodstock sheets on my bed. I even created a character based on myself in the Peanuts comic strip using that website thing where you can do that. I am a member of the intended audience. It was a go for me.
My son, however, has come to the conclusion that “The Peanuts Movie” is a pleasant and mild film, but not much more. (He also understood right away what Peppermint Patty meant when she told Charlie Brown, “You’re holding my hand, Chuck. You crafty canine,” that the line had been lifted straight from “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.”)
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The movie is essentially made up of a series of vignettes that are connected to one another by a couple of intertwined through-lines. Charlie Brown, who is voiced pretty darn perfectly by Noah Schnapp, works up the courage to talk to the mythological Little Red-Haired Girl (Francesca Capaldi), while Charlie Brown’s faithful beagle, Snoopy, who is in his rich fantasy world as the World War I Flying Ace, works up
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Simply describing the plot gives the impression that there is too much going on, but at the same time, there is not enough. After an exciting opening sequence in which the children discover that they have a snow day and joyfully bound out of their homes and onto the ice, the pacing settles into a lull from which it does not even attempt to emerge, and this continues for the remainder of the film.
Always and in every instance, these characters, along with all the others, do precisely what you anticipate they will do; they do neither more nor less. At the precise moment that Charlie Brown is about to kick the football, Lucy (Hadley Belle Miller) grabs it away from him. Linus, played by Alexander Garfin, utters a profound thought under his breath while tightly grasping his blue blanket. Linus is affectionately referred to as “sweet baboo” by Sally, played by Mariel Sheets. And Snoopy always manages to swoop in and do a great job of stealing the show.
The entire thing is completely risk-free and reassuring, making it an excellent first movie pick for the youngest children living in your home. It won’t have a negative impact on their childhood or on the memories you have of your own. However, it had the potential to be fantastic.