HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Peanuts Movie
HTS Overall Score:90
If you’re older than 20 years of age then you’ve at least HEARD of “Peanuts”. The cartoon has been around since my parent’s time and has captured the hearts of millions in only the way that classic comics such as “Garfield”, “The Family Circus” and more modern ones like “Get Fuzzy” can do. There is something sweet and heartwarming about the loveable Peanuts characters that translates to any generation. While there are a ton of great characters, the main and most visible one is Charlie Brown. A young boy tends to get picked on and maligned my many characters, but whose heart of gold and simple loving character is the shining jewel of the whole comic. I was rather worried when I heard “The Peanuts Movie” was coming to the big screen, as many adaptations of old comics and cartoons have REALLY dive bombed in the past. I had nightmares of another “Alvin and the Chipmunks” or “The Smurfs”, but was pleasantly surprised by how well the show captured the essence and spirit of the original comic strips.
Comic strips may be considered a dead art form in today’s world, but they still are just as much fun to this old mooweeer as they were 30 years ago when I was a wide eyed child waiting for the morning paper to come and see what funny strips were in store for me today. This reimagining of Charles Schulz’s famous comic actually really keeps in line with how the original strips ran. Instead of keeping fairly straight forward three act film, “The Peanut Movie” is really just a bunch of vignettes cobbled together with an overarching storyline. We have Snoopy and Woodstock vs. The Red Baron in Snoopy’s little novels that he’s working on. There’s Peppermint Patty trying to schmooze Charlie Brown. Lucy and her annoyingly bossy nature that just can’t help but push Charlie around, and then there’s the crème de la crème. The little red haired girl.
Much of the plot is these little vignettes and side stories, but they all wrap up around Charlie Brown and his instant infatuation with the little red haired girl upon her arriving at school after a famous snow day. The whole movie is really Charlie trying to come up with ways to impress her and somehow get into her good graces. We have a talent show where Charlie does his best to win her admiration, and then there is the school dance where Snoopy teaches Charlie how to do the waltz so that he and she can dance together than night. All of this seems to be in vain as Charlie is proven to be less than “average” in everything he does. This is all moot for those of you who have read the comics, as it’s already foretold just how this relationship will end.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=67193[/img]What makes “The Peanut Movie” works so well is the trotting out of all the Peanuts clichés and tropes and standard skits. Normally this would be seen as rehashing for many a movie, but it just WORKS for this one. The heart and soul of the comics was simple little vignettes that showed Charlie overcoming some obstacle, or the rest of the class engaging in some sort of fun. Thankfully the script was penned by the son and grandson of Charles Schulz himself, so there was definitely a lot of care and respect put into the movies writing. Something that really works in the film’s favor. The slightly abstract way of storytelling with us jumping from scenario to scenario is just like the comics and the disjointed mass of shorts that come together into one overarching plot about the little red haired girl is sweet and heart felt.
Something that has always been the center of the comics has been Charlie Brown’s attitude about life. There’s something about the little boy, as no matter what happens to him, his outlook always ends up being a positive one. In many ways he’s the quintessential character as he ends up teaching the rest of the characters what it is to be human and kind. He’s picked on by Lucy, thought of as a dolt by most of the other class at school, and he only has a few friends (and an annoying sister), but somehow he manages to keep a very humble and bright outlook on life. No matter how many times he trips, he’s up on his feet the next moment. No matter how many times he can’t fly his kite, he’s out the next day trying once more. It’s those simple bits of sweetness that makes the whole story taste good.
Rated G for General Audiences
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=67201[/img]Oh wow. Like WOW! “The Peanuts Movie” really knocks the video section out of the park. Digitally animated in 3D to give off a sort of 2D effect in the animation style, the film is just awash with all sorts of colors and sparkling detail to delight the home theater nut in all of us. Primaries bathe the screen at every corner, whether it be the bright red color of Snoopy’s dog house, or the brilliant yellow and black on Charlie Brown’s trade mark zig zag shirt. The greens of the field contrast nicely with the whites of the snow that cover it for a majority of the film, and the animation is nothing short of flawless. The show is purposefully animated with a less realistic style of animation to fit the comics, but the detail on the characters and surroundings are superb. You can see the individual tiny hairs on the head of Snoopy, as well as the wispy curl on Charlie’s head. Snow shows curves and details that astound the visual sense and simply put, the movie is perfect. Blacks are as black as could be and I saw NO signs of any digital artifacting. Simply superb.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=67209[/img]I wasn’t expecting much from the audio portion of the disc, but was pleasantly surprised to be subject to a dazzling 7.1 track that really revels in nuance more than being overly aggressive. Sure there’s several moments where the bass and surrounds really kick into high gear (such as the Red Baron battles between Snoopy and his arch nemesis), but they are most relegated to occasional experiences. The rest of the time we are privy to a wonderfully rich and detailed track that hits all the right notes. Dialog is crisp and clean, blending seamlessly with the tinkling of the piano keys for the opening credits, and spot on perfect with the rest of the action. The surrounds are constantly active with the sounds of kids playing in the snow, a sled chase downhill, the afore mentioned Red Baron battles, as well as musical numbers that light up all 8 channels with ease.
• Snoopy Snippets
• You Never Grow Up, Charlie Brown
• Snoopy's Sibling Salute
• Learn to Draw Snoopy
• Learn to Draw Woodstock
• Learn to Draw Charlie Brown
• Get Down with Snoopy and Woodstock Music Video
• "Better When I'm Dancin'" Meghan Trainor Lyric Video
• "Better When I'm Dancin'" Meghan Trainor Music Video
• Behind the Scenes of "Better When I'm Dancin"
• Snoopy's Playlist
“The Peanuts Movie” doesn’t forge any new roads, or do anything new with the source material, but instead is content to use the same great vignettes that made the comic great to begin with. There are so many familiar little scenes that will tickle a lifelong fan of Peanuts at first sight, as well as plenty of childlike humor that is sure to attract a newer audience in a heartbeat. The Blu-ray itself is exquisitely done with amazing audio and STUNNING video specs. The fact that Fox put on a whole boat load of extras in a day where extras are a race commodity makes this special edition actually special. Definitely recommended for a family watch.
Starring: Noah Schnapp, Bill Melendez, Hadley Belle Miller
Directed by: Steve Martino
Written by: Bryan and Craig Schuz
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1, Spanish, French, Portuguese DD 5.1
Runtime: 88 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: March 8th 2016
Buy The Peanuts Movie On Blu-ray at Amazon
Buy The Peanuts Movie 3D On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Check it Out
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