Ever since the announcement that this movie was coming, I’ve been patiently excited. Our lucky friends in the States saw Charlie Brown and Co released at the beginning of November but us Brits have had to wait until the 21st of December. But what a Christmas treat it was, well worth the wait.
I’ve always enjoyed Peanuts comic strips and as a child I could often be found with my head buried in one of the many volumes of books. Did I always get them, no but I loved the characters, their catchphrases, their ways and the infectious Charlie Brown. You can’t help but love this little boy, old before his time, always trying and never quitting.
I must admit I was a little concerned at the start of the movie, the pacing seemed off, a little slow. It was running like a series of Schulz cartoons, nothing wrong with that at all but it wasn’t progressing as an overall story. Then things picked up and flowed wonderfully. Phew.
This movie has clearly been made with a very loving heart. The animation is gorgeous, a style that rings true to the hand drawn comics and the expressions and movement of the characters mirror this too. Great lengths have clearly been gone to too preserve the magic of the original cartoons and the Peanuts legacy before it. The soundtrack replicates the sound of the original scores of Vince Guaraldi. Then there is the genius use of archive material of the great Ben Melendez used for the voice of Snoopy, a wonderful touch. Little nods are scattered throughout the movie like the locations of the pond, Snoopy finding his typewriter, Lucy’s psychiatric help booth, the kite flying, the ‘wah-wah’ voices for the adult characters and Snoopy wearing his ‘Joe Cool’ t-shirt.
The ending had me grinning from ear to ear, with tiny tears of joy welling in my eyes. A glow surrounding me. What a lovely feeling. In those moments you realise the power of that little boy, Charlie Brown and you can’t help but love him and his innocent ways.
I took my youngest Daughter along for the trip and she loved it, she’s been drawing Snoopy and the gang ever since. The fact that these characters were all new to her and they had captured her imagination and heart so quickly shows the power of Peanuts.
Good grief, what a film!