Having first appeared in comic strip form during the late 1940’s, the hapless Charlie Brown and his trusted companion Snoopy, as well as other characters created by Charles M. Schulz, are brought back to life for the big screen in The Peanuts Movie.
For anybody who may be familiar with the source material, the story should come as no surprise; the down on his luck, Charlie Brown desperately wants to be noticed by a new girl at school. With the help of his beloved dog and his various friends, he attempts to pluck up the courage to speak to her, often with disastrous faults.
Fans of the television series and comics will be pleased to hear that its transition to the cinema with realitive ease. Rather than over complicate the story and throw in exaggerated plot devices, The Peanuts Movie plays out like a series of sketches, much like it would on television or in print.
Its refreshing simplicity not only means that newcomers will be able to understand it straight away, but its target audience of the very young should find it an easy and enjoyable watch as well.
In a year of outstanding animation, The Peanuts Movie had to do a lot to make sure it stood out from the crowd and was at least memorable. Whilst I think it has failed in that respect – there has been a very high standard of animated features this year, after all – it’s still light, breezy and has a few decent laughs dotted throughout, that mainly stem from a plot thread which sees Snoopy imagining himself battling against the Red Baron in the Great War.
The best thing about the movie, however, are the visuals themselves. Effortlessly blending hand drawn imagination with CGI, it’s often difficult to distinguish between the two. There’s a sense of the old and new in this respect, as The Peanuts Movie has the feel of its original comic strip form, whilst looking modern at the same time.
Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie is colourful and harmless family fun, which might not be the greatest animated feature we’ve seen all year, but is none the less charming and entertaining.
Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie is out everywhere in the UK on December 21st.