RUNNING TIME: 1 hr. 33 mins
LEAD CAST: Noah Schnapp, Francesca Capaldi, Bill Melendez
DIRECTOR: Steve Martino
SCREENWRITER: Bryan Schulz, Cornelius Uliano, Charles M. Schulz
PRODUCER: Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz , Cornelius Uliano
EDITOR: Randy Trager
MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Christophe Beck
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Renato Falcão
DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox
Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 4
Cinema Rating: VA
Charlie Brown (Noah Schnapp) gets infatuated with a new kid in the class, the Little Red-Haired girl. Since then, he exerts every effort to be noticed by her: he tries to top a standardized test, win in a talent show, join a school dance and lead a book report. As Charlie Brown goes through all these, he gets help from his faithful pet dog Snoopy (Bill Melendez) and the rest of the “Peanuts” gang. Will Charlie ever get the notice he so longs for? How far would he go in his infatuation?
The movie is a charming adaptation of the popular comic strip. It is able to transform the original Peanuts appeal into moving images, animation and 3D effects while staying faithful to the original core and feel of the comic classic. This is one animation for children that does not resort to too much spectacle—just plain and simple classic comic strip turned into film: the characters, the artwork and the entire look is very much consistent with the original source. And at a time when movies and animations are expected to be grand, this is quite a gamble. But the result is a breath of fresh air; the audience does not always see an animation in its utter simplicity. The story is pretty cohesive and does not distract itself from the central characters Snoopy and Charlie. Overall, Snoopy and Charlie Brown: the Peanuts movie is a delightful experience that followers of the popular comic strip will get nostalgic in seeing their favorite comic characters come to life.
The heart and soul of Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie lies in the wholesomeness of its central message—that goodness and kindness is of ultimate importance in one’s character. Fame, intelligence, good looks are but fleeting and superficial traits and are nothing if those are not coupled with goodness. Charlie is one pure character that children should emulate. His honesty, kind-heartedness, and benevolence are commendable. Despite his weakness, he finds strength in meaning well in everything he does. He does not lose heart nor is tempted to cling on to something not truthful even if it would mean his humiliation and a possibility of rejection by other people, and much worse from the object of his infatuation. Now that is ultimate self-denial in the name of pure goodness. The film tells the audience clearly what really matters in life and in one’s character. In a world that puts too much premium on popularity and self-preservation, here is a movie that shows how it is to care for the other—to be courageous to take the ultimate sacrifice for the beloved, and to do what is right even if it is not necessarily popular, to be kind even at a time when it is very hard to be one.