‘The Peanuts Movie’ reminds us to always dream big!
Let’s face it: Growing up is never easy. From the endless responsibilities to the consistent dosage of a harsh reality, becoming an adult can be a big shock to many. Needless to say, it’s films like The Peanuts Movie that remind audiences that, despite how big the world might seem on the outside, it’s okay to dream even bigger. Hence, this film is the perfect serving of innocence, sprinkled in with a hint of sentiment, and an overall brilliant tribute to one of the biggest names in animation history: Charles M. Schulz.
In the span of 93 minutes, director Steve Martino brings his audience head-on into the world of Charlie Brown and Co., which feels like home within the first few bars of Vince Guaraldi’s notable piano lick. This story follows Charlie Brown and his determination to become “a winner”, especially in the eyes of the Little Red-Haired Girl that moves in across the street. Thus, Chuck spends the whole school year taking on new adventures, from learning new dance moves to even doing a whole book report on War and Peace in one weekend. Even though he claims to be attempting to win over the “new girl”, Charlie Brown is really trying to find his niche amongst the other Peanuts, from the piano-shredding Shroeder to the know-it-all Lucy and even the rightly-named Pigpen.
The interesting thing about the Peanuts universe is that like its vibrant cast of adolescent misfits, even with this year being the comic strip’s 65th anniversary, it never seems to get old. And what makes me think that this theatrical comeback is profound and well-deserved is how it really does everything in its power to keep that sense of childlike wonderment amid its maturely offbeat humor. This is in large part due to a script, penned by creator Charles M. Schulz’s son and grandson, full of memorable riffs and gags that cover several generation’s worth of laughter and love.
This film brings back everything from Joe Cool to Lucy’s psychiatric street stand to the Red Baron to even the pleasantly-mundane “wah-wahs” that come out of every adult off-screen. And it’s a true treat, especially on my end, to see both young and old audiences enjoying such engraved traditions in such a new way. Just ask Nancy Churnin, film critic for the Dallas Morning News and Rotten Tomatoes, who says that the film is a “terrific big-screen version that should satisfy Peanuts fans and generate new ones”.
Altogether, The Peanuts Movie is a wonderful break from today’s terribly-repetitive use of fart jokes and uneducated vulgarity. Rather, it uses a mature sense of humor to create such a wholesome and rewarding depiction of some of the most versatile characters in the world of animation. It’s a film that Mr. Schulz would have been extremely proud of, and I truly hope that Hollywood sees this as an excuse to bring blockbusters back to such a level of passionate simplicity. In other words, this film will leave you with nothing but good grief.
The Peanuts Movie is playing locally in and around Montclair! Some theaters include AMC Clifton Commons, AMC Essex Green in West Orange, and even Bow Tie Bellevue Cinema in Montclair. For a list of other theaters and show times, visit fandango.com today!