The Peanuts Movie
By Liz Casanova
Starring Noah Schnapp, Bill Melendez and Hadley Belle Miller
Written by Bryan Schulz, Charles M. Schulz (comic strip), Craig Schulz and Cornelius Uliano
Directed by Steve Martino
Running time 93 min
MPAA rating G
Selig Film Rating Matinee
The most beloved American comic strip takes on the big screen in 3D form in The Peanuts Movie. Charlie Brown can't catch a break. He decides to fall madly in love with the new "Little Red Haired Girl" in his class. And it seems like the universe is conspiring against him. As soon as he conjures up a plan to win her attention, much like a Lucy-taking-the-football moment, he falls flat on his back. With advice from his best friend Linus, psychotherapy from Lucy, and loving encouragement from Snoopy, he makes several desperate attempts to prove that he's special enough to get the girl's attention.
Meanwhile, Snoopy deals with his own fictional love issues. He writes an adventurous story about the Flying Ace and his mission to take down the Red Baron. Snoopy's best friend Woodstock serves as his editor and critic, but is always there as a supportive force.
The Peanuts Movie is surprisingly awesome. It takes the spirit of the comic strip and tells a fresh new story. No one has a Facebook page. Woodstock doesn't even have a Twitter account. Instead, the setting is the same timeless location with the same timeless faces. Good grief, everyone in this world still has a house phone. What makes the Peanuts franchise so successful, and this film so great, is that the writers and director assume that children watching are smart enough to understand more intelligent dialogue and complex emotions. There is no condescension in the storytelling.
The only complaint is that it is in dreaded 3D, and that technology really isn't necessary. This film is solid enough to stand on its own and entertaining enough for kids and their adults. Wua, wua.