When I started reading the collected editions of Charles M. Schulze’s Peanuts strips, it wasn’t love on first sight. I took me a few of them to really get into it and appreciate the subtle genius of what Schulze did. And the 2015 Peanut’s animated movie is a bit like that.
The beginning is a bit slow, the story meanders and doesn’t seem all that interesting, but once you get into it, once all the different aspects of movie start to work together, you realize you’ve fallen for it. Whether this was intentional or just an accident, its the best kind of tribute the movie could have been.
I think the turning point for me was when I realized that Charlie Brown, for all of his inane introspection and the way the world makes him lose his shit all the time, is a genuine good person. It’s not often that you can say that a main character in a movie would make an awesome friend, but Charlie Brown is that kind of person. The scene where he gave up his own plans to help out his little sister was really moving. And while having a main character who is a nice person isn’t always a guarantee for a good movie, in this case its both the core of what everything else is moving around and it makes for a really good movie too.
On the animation side of things, it’s amazing how well the movie transforms its 2d-origins into a 3d-cgi landscape that still feel like genuine Peanuts. It was also great that they included Snoopy’s imaginary side-story as WWI flying ace, which was funny and managed to offset all the parts with Charlie Brown, which could get you down with his continuous failure in almost everything. So, good balance, a captivating story and all the large and small details you would expect in a good Peanuts adaptation, marvelously executed.