THE PEANUTS MOVIE
Director: Steve Martino (Horton Hears a Who!) Starring: Voices of Noah Schnapp, Hadley Belle Miller, Mariel Sheets, Alex Garfin Verdict: Good grief, it’s quite good!
A FITTINGLY low-key, yet sincerely lovable animated movie adaptation of the long-running comic strips by writer-illustrator Charles M. Schulz.
All of the iconic characters are present and accounted for. Just as importantly, their defining traits have not been tinkered with in the slightest.
The script is largely episodic in structure, allowing a wide selection of everyone’s favourite Peanuts moments (Charlie Brown falling for the
Little Red-Haired Girl, Lucy offering psychiatric analysis from her lemonade stand, Snoopy’s fearless airborne duels with his nemesis The Red Baron) to be covered more than satisfactorily.
Best of all, the uniquely poignant, bittersweet reflection associated with Schulz’s work is always to the fore. It is rare to see a children’s film that dares to speak to its audience so quietly, but so confidently.
Peanuts fans from earlier generations will also appreciate the timeless vibe that has been captured here. There is no internet, no smartphones, no selfies, no social media. Just kids making friends, making mistakes and making the most of their playtime in an environment which leaves them no option but to be themselves.