|Review by Benn Robbins|
And there they were all lined up and ready to watch The Peanuts Movie.
And lo, the projector did start and the 20th Century Fox fanfare did start, and the glory of a 3-Dimensional world of Charles M. Schulz shone around them.
And they were so afraid.
Afraid it will be bad.
And the movie did say to them, “Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people. For unto you this day in the city of Boston, a boy, Charlie Brown. And this shall be a loving tribute and introduction to the world of Charlie Brown. Ye shall watch a good man struggle with being the Charlie Browniest in the world.”
And suddenly there was with the audience a multitude of laughter and cheers praising, the film makers, and saying, “Glory to Schulz in the highest,” and in the theater was happiness, and good will toward men.
That’s what The Peanuts Movie is all about, Charlie Brown.
When I first heard they were doing a 3D animated Peanuts movie, I was both excited and upset.
Were they going to “modernize” it? Make it “fancy”? Try and “fix” something that will never be broken?
Well, tonight I had my answer.
No, No and No.
What they did was believed in the source material and created a wonderful and loving tribute and “jumping on” point for an entirely new generation of children.
What they did do is present Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy, Schroeder and the gang in a way that a new generation of, soon to be, new fans can find accessible and fun. They didn’t have to “update” the stories because the originals are so dang good.
There is a reason people still look forward to watching, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Come Home! and Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back!) decades after they were originally released. It is the same reason that a 9 year old Korean boy used to ride his bike to the center of town to the book store every week and bought an old beat up Peanuts paperback from an old used bookstore in 1982 and to this day reads them as an adult: the stories persevere through time, because in the end they are the story about being a good person no matter what life throws at you.
It is hard to improve on perfection and thankfully the filmmakers didn’t try. In this age of remakes and reboots and “different takes” on familiar stories, it is nice to see just a nice homage to something the world loves and holds dear.
The Peanuts Movie is nothing new to longtime fans and older people. It is something familiar and beloved. It is the warm, loving hug of a friend that you never get tired of. It is the comfy blanket you watch movies under in the winter. It is the road trip with friends in the warm summer breeze. I don’t have to tell you the plot because you already know the plot.
As for the younger audience seeing the film, I know that they will love it. I know this because I love it. We all love it. Charles Schulz created something special in Charlie Brown. He is the every man… well, boy.
We all have a little Charlie Brown in us all.
And I am not talking about the lovable loser who lacks self-confidence.
I mean the other part. The part of “Chuck” that never gives up and remains optimistic even in the face of great failures and pessimism.
“You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.” And don’t you forget it.
Do yourself a solid. If you are a fan of The Peanuts gang, go see this movie. It will make you feel like a kid again.