Th all the characters we know and love
SNOOPY & Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie is a sweet little gift for fans of the long-running comic strip.
Based on a script written in part by the son and grandson of Peanuts creator Charles M Schulz, The Peanuts Movie is delightfully faithful to the earnest spirit of the original characters and their beloved holiday television specials. Director Steve Martino focuses on several themes familiar from those works: youthful angst, love, embarrassment and imagination, all of which will tug on the heartstrings of nostalgic adults alike while introducing even the youngest moviegoers to the world of Charlie Brown and his pals.
Charlie (voiced by Noah Schnapp) has fallen in love with the Little Red-Haired Girl (Francesca Capaldi), who has moved in across the street. Trying his hardest to impress her, he learns magic tricks and dance moves. But he’s repeatedly foiled before he can find the courage to talk to her.
Snoopy – whose vocalisations use archival recordings by the late Bill Melendez – is also in love, but with the dog of his daydreams. As the imaginary Flying Ace battling the Red Baron from the roof of his doghouse, Snoopy comes across a beautiful French poodle, Fifi (Kristin Chenoweth). The brightly coloured World War I flight scenes take good advantage of the film’s 3D animation.
Director Martino has captured the emotions that made Peanuts so meaningful, masterfully replicating Schulz’s hand-drawn expressions, including Charlie’s sighs, Sally’s smiles and the exasperated yells of Lucy (Hadley Belle Miller). The film-makers also stay true to the timelessness of Schulz’s world. The only tweets come from Woodstock, and Linus (Alexander Garfin) grips his blanket instead of an iPhone. Schroeder (Noah Johnston) still plays Beethoven on his toy piano, and Lucy charges only 5c for advice.
Parents’ hearts will melt every time Sally (Mariel Sheets) lovingly calls Charlie “Big Brother”, and when Charlie – feeling dejected at his prospects – laments that he has no future with the Little Red- Haired Girl because “she’s something, and I’m nothing”. An entertaining combination of humour and tenderness, The Peanuts Movie isn’t just an all-ages crowd-pleaser. It’s the perfect first feature film for a preschooler. – Washington Post
WIN: Three readers can win a hamper with a Peanuts bag, school set, cap,T-shirt and watch. E-mail your name, surname and age and with the subject line “The Peanuts Movie” to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday.