Peanuts Movie, The (2015)

Review #1,241

Director:  Steve Martino
Cast:  Noah Schnapp, Bill Melendez, Hadley Belle Miller
Plot:  Snoopy embarks upon his greatest mission as he and his team take to the skies to pursue their arch-nemesis, while his best pal Charlie Brown begins his own epic quest back home.

Genre:  Animation / Adventure / Comedy
Awards:  -
Runtime:  88min
Rating:  G
Distributor:  20th Century Fox

“You've got to help me, Linus!  I'm not sure I can handle being partners with the Little Red-Haired Girl!  How will I support her?  I can't afford a mortgage!  What if I'm put into escrow?”

There’s no secret I love Snoopy.  When I was a baby, a Snoopy lay beside me in the cot, a gift from my parents.  It was almost my size then.  I still have him (and his increasingly growing family).  Yes, he’s healthy and feeling fine, in case you bothered to ask.  I wanted to bring my Snoopy out to see The Peanuts Movie, but like any overprotective nanny, I decided not to, for fear of losing him in the midst of sardined Orchard Road.  So really, a part of me wants to give the movie five stars because…. SNOOPY! 

But nah, this is a borderline three-and-a-half stars movie.  From Blue Sky Studios that gave us the ‘Ice Age’ series, The Peanuts Movie is probably the only known feature-length motion picture centering on Charlie Brown and gang for as long as I can remember.  It is in animation, of course.  Hmm… how would Snoopy look like if the film was in live-action? 

Anyway, the story centers on Charlie and his pet dog, both with their own missions.  A new pretty girl moves into town, and the shy and bumbling Charlie wants to make a good impression, while the daydreaming typewriter-tapping Snoopy entertains fantasies of defeating the evil Red Baron in a dogfight. 

It is silly fun for the whole family, with loads of laughter in stored if you can stomach the no-frills physical and situational comedy gags.  The storytelling is unambitious, so is the entire movie.  But it plays that weakness right up its alley by being possibly the perfect family movie this holiday season.  It will entertain kids, and maybe adults with a bout of nostalgia.  The Peanuts Movie does stay true to the essence of the comics created by Charles M. Schultz, both in its characterizations and aesthetics. 

Well, I think it’s fair to say that what makes the movie tick like clockwork is not just the efforts of Charlie and Snoopy, but also of their friends – quite literally a bunch of hyperactive kids (Lucy, Sally, Linus, Peppermint Patty… you name it) who would give adults a significant cause for concern, but then the latter would only blabber undecipherable fuss. 

The Peanuts Movie is a delightful, spirited romp.  It’s like snacking on Hello Panda, nothing substantial to fill your tummy, though that should be the least of your worries. 

Verdict:  Silly fun for the whole family, and an unambitious if spirited romp with Snoopy and co.


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