Tuesday, December 22, 2015

‘The Peanuts Movie’ Had Me Constantly Smiling in Delight

I love Peanuts.  It’s one of my most favorite comic strips ever.  I have been collecting its compilation paperbacks since I was a kid, and enjoy reading them till this day.  Thus, The Peanuts Movie had been significantly on my radar among 2015 movies.  It was something I was anxious about, since I would hate it to be bad.  Thankfully, this movie is extremely delightful.

The Peanuts Movie follows Charlie Brown’s pursuit to win the admiration of the new kid, the Little Red-Haired Girl, whom he develops a crush on.  Meanwhile, after stumbling on a discarded typewriter, Snoopy begins writing a novel, imagining himself as a World War I pilot named “The Flying Ace”, who is locked on a feud with his mortal nemesis, the Red Baron, while also attempting to win the heart of Fifi, a pretty poodle pilot.

The Peanuts Movie is a very well-made animated movie.  The animation style is beautiful and commendably appropriate.  The gags are clever and hilarious.  And the warm and charming script really hits the spot.

Most importantly, the movie totally nailed the essence and characteristics of Peanuts.  It richly references the themes, tropes, and sketches of the comic strips and classic cartoons.  The characters are perfectly depicted.  And it is indeed as thoughtful, tender, funny, and amiable as what Peanuts has been known and beloved for.

Now, I don’t mean to imply that The Peanuts Movie is all nostalgic appeal.  What I mean in the last paragraph is that Peanuts is timeless, and the movie has successfully captured its timelessness.

In many ways, The Peanuts Movie effectively encompasses what Peanuts is all about.  I won’t say that it’s the best Peanuts film – that would probably forever be A Charlie Brown Christmas – but it’s probably the best medium in comprehensively summing Peanuts up.

I had a wonderful time with The Peanuts Movie, and it had me constantly smiling all throughout.  Next to Inside Out, this is my most favorite animated feature this year.    

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