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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Movie Review - The Peanuts Movie

The Peanuts Movie (2015)
Featuring the voice talents of Noah Schnapp, Bill Melendez, Hadley Belle Miller, Alex Garfin, Mariel Sheets, Noah Johnston, Venus Omega Schultheis, Rebecca Bloom, Francesca Angelucci Capaldi, and Kristin Chenoweth
Directed by Steve Martino

There's a nostalgic charm that runs through The Peanuts Movie.  Despite utilizing computer animation as opposed to the hand-drawn lines of our childhood, that's the only update for our Charles Schulz-created beloved characters.  No cell phones or computers make appearances in this Bryan Schulz-written screenplay that (sometimes slavishly) harkens back to the Peanuts stories of yore.  Brightly colored and visually appealing, if Charlie Brown holiday specials are always on your tv-viewing agenda (or if you happened to play Charlie Brown in a high school musical like your revered blogger here), you'll find yourself quite satisfied by this new incarnation of beloved cultural icons.

The story is incredibly simple and reminiscent of cherished Peanuts tales -- Charlie Brown (Noah Schnapp) falls for the new cute little red-haired girl (Francesca Capaldi) who has moved into his neighborhood, but our downtrodden and sullen guy can't seem to ever have things go his way.  Although we've seen this story many times before, it's always pleasant to see Charlie have repartee with Lucy, Linus, his sister Sally, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty, and a variety of others.  The odd friendship Charlie has with his fellow classmates has always fueled my fascination with Schulz's writings and this film is no exception.

The film falters a little bit when it flips to Snoopy's storyline wherein our beloved dog takes on his Red Baron flying ace persona as he tries to rescue his paramour Fifi who was captured by some evil men.  This aspect of The Peanuts Movie drags on much too long and keeps popping up nearly every ten minutes when all I really wanted to see was Charlie Brown's story.  While not necessarily bad, the Red Baron aspect simply isn't as interesting and does bog down the tale a bit.

Still, the animation is very good, the voice acting is top notch, and there's a nostalgia here -- and admittedly I think that nostalgia plays a role in the grade The Peanuts Movie receives from me below.  While not without an aforementioned problem, I found myself pleasantly surprised by how much the film eschews modern culture and really plants itself firmly in a "G-rated" past.  That alone is something we don't often see nowadays and it's a bit of a treat to see something as innocent as this.

The RyMickey Rating:  B

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