7 WAYS THE PEANUTS MOVIE GETS IT RIGHT
- •No Unnecessary Celebrity VoicesNot only is there not a "known-name" to be found the voice actors they found are so true to the voices we've all grown to know that's it's absolutely uncanny. There's not a misstep in the bunch and that is no small feat. I think what they understood is that with Peanuts, the characters ARE the celebrities and that's all you need.
- •True to the CharactersThey are all very much who they've always been. Lucy the brash, narcissist with a hint of a soft-side (and an aversion to dog germs), Sally the materialistic and idealistic dreamer. Linus, the sage giver of advice. Frieda and her naturally curly hair. Pig Pen, a proud mess. And of course Charlie Brown. The sweet, dreamer who never gets a break, yet never gives up.
- •Digital with a Pencil Drawn FeeAside from Linus' hair being a little strange (I did often fixate on it) there are some great touches in the digital rendering that keeps the 2D feel intact. The bodies may be digital, but the faces are still "drawn" on and there are many moments from Charlie's memories animated in perfect, pencil-drawn thought boxes.
- •No Pandering HumorWhether by mandate or design, the Peanuts gang remains wonderfully free of modern influences. There were no lazy texting jokes. No tablets. No sad attempts to be "current." And best of all, no lazy bodily humor. Not fart jokes. To appreciate this restraint, all you had to do was watch the trailers that preceded the movie (Angry Birds, Norm of the North, Chipmunks' "Road Chip," Ratchet & Clank) which all featured at least one such moment of what is a lame, hacky writer's crutch.
- •The Greatest HitsWhether it's Charlie getting his clothes knocked off on the mound, Snoopy's antics, Lucy doling out psychiatric advice for a nickel, the kids' famous dance moves - it's all here. It's easy, and it's perfectly executed. After all, it's purposefully titled, The Peanuts Movie rather than using the naming convention of so many other Peanuts specials with a "statement" title (like She's Just Not That Into You, Charlie Brown) because this is a true, self-titled reintroduction to the gang for all.
- •Lots of SnoopySome have criticize the movie for having too much Snoopy. To that, I say, "can you have too much Snoopy?" (Answer: "no"). Yes, the Red Baron sequence is pure padding, but it's all worth it if only for the part where we is traversing the "enemy territory" to make it back to base and you get his view and reality spliced together in escalating sight gags (him in the tub with Franklin and hand-walking the Christmas lights in front of Patty's house the best among them).
- •No RerunI was never a fan of the addition of Lucy and Linus' little brother, Rerun Van Pelt and thankfully it appears he was deemed unnecessary. I will also praise the filmmakers for leaving out Snoopy's brother Spike. Though there is a sight gag in reference to him and then a mercifully brief appearance at the very end in a group setting, it's mostly blink and you'll miss it, so I'll count that as a win.