Move review: Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie
Charlie Brown lives in a land of telephones and typewriters. Kids still fly kites, play hopscotch and write assignments with fountain pens and ink.
This cute feature is a chance to slip on your metaphorical comfy slippers and wallow in nostalgia very beautifully portrayed, with up to the minute 21st century 3D animation. It’s penned by the son and grandson of original Snoopy creator Charles Schulz and the family’s stamp of approval celebrates the classic lovable loser from the Peanuts cartoon, fifty years on from his 1965 Christmas movie.
So all-in-all, parents can breathe easy, as their childhood chum Chuck saunters through his insecurities. And it still only costs a nickel for Lucy’s psychiatric help, so all is as was in the schoolyard, when you were a kid, or a student. Grown-ups are still baying trumpets, heard but not seen here in the land of rose-tinted suburban US childhood, a million miles removed from the likes of Springfield and the wise-cracking Bart Simpson.
In this new Peanuts movie, the little red-haired girl is the unexpected stranger who comes into the group, causing Charlie to fall head-over-heels in tongue-tied love with her. Snoopy meanwhile is penning a novel on the aforementioned typewriter and is also enamoured, with the elusive Fifi the flying ace. He is still doing battle with his nemesis, the fighter pilot, the Red Baron. It’s a rather laboured counterpoint to Charlie Brown’s travails to find love, success and happiness, however.
Chuck is determined to be a winner and is lauded by his school peers, when he appears to have scored 100 per cent in a school test. Sister Sally then starts capitalising on his celebrity, with guided tours of their home and lucrative merchandising opportunities.
It makes it all the more distressing for our hero, when Charlie finally fesses up that the top score was mistakenly attributed to him and that he is in fact still a failure, despite having mastered War and Peace in a weekend.
All in all, a little overlong, even at 88 minutes and it seems less satirical than the original comic strip, but gently enjoyable. One for a rainy December afternoon for the baby boomers. You could even bring the kids too.
by Liz Kennedy
Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie is certificate (U) and lasts 88 mins