Peanuts, The Movie
Published by citadel on Sun, 10/04/2015 - 21:02
Peanuts The Movie | Exclusive and original film review/editorial video music presentation with West Coast Midnight Run publication, starring Aura Dione, The Bucketheads, Noah Schnapp as Charlie Brown, Hadley Belle Miller as Lucy, Alexander Garfin as Linus, Noah Johnston as Schroeder, Rebecca Bloom as Marcy, Venus Schultheis as Peppermint Patty, Bill Mendelez as Woodstock and Snoopy.
A complete editorial presentation package is forthcoming inclusive of a music video editorial along with a movie review of Peanuts, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Marcy, Snoopy and Woodstock. Hold on tight for a few more days.
PEANUTS MOVIE REVIEW
"Did you miss me?" It's Charlie Brown talking to Lucy about his eventual comeback to the big screen and him and Snoopy hitting the Big Time Chime. He is really anxious whether North American audiences will remember all the fun and humor his small town friends engendered into the public consciousness and whether audiences abroad will connect with a patently American type of social issues that are remnants of the 1950s and 1960s Midwest culture.
Peanuts the Movie is also wonderful family fare, harmless and wholesome, on strong footing with some of the best digital animation flicks from the other powerhouse, The House of Mouse. But that's pushing the fantasy a little. The trouble with this analogy is that many of the characters created by the Disney Club for family fare are completely original creations dreamt up solely for family movies and television; from Aladin and The Little Mermaid to Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. These characters were designed for both domestic and international audiences and helped keep Disney afloat during rough times and ahead of the competition.
The new movie from director Steve Martino gleans most of the iconic characters' quirks and maintains the visual stamp of its creator, Charles Schulz, who has been over the decades credited with a creating a classic depiction of America's innocent psyche as perceived by adults and inscripted in the frames of little children, their anxieties and foibles at play, at school learning and growing up - ostensibly a metaphor for any and all generations, from cradle to grave. Launched in October of 1950, many in our time may forget that Schulz used the Peanuts strip to address adults.
Our movie follows the central character, Charlie, who is riddled with self doubt and prone to sabotage himself, despite his best efforts not to. Flanked by his classmates, Charlie attempts to distinguish himself, setting up the audience for a ride-along. In the newest chronicle of the Peanuts gang, a newcomer to town and his school catches Charlie Brown's love interest. Smitten, he embarks on a series of activities designed to bring him closer to his would be school crush.
Those already familiar with the mythos will ponder and wonder whether Charlie, this time around, will be met with success or be vanquished by the odds stacked against him. Schulz delighted in using the underdog posture to gain the moral high ground and address his audience. As many observers of Peanuts have noted over the years, it's the adventures of an "underdog and his dog".
All of the regular Peanuts members are back, including Lucy, Linus, Marcie, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty, Pig-Pen, Shermy, Sally, Franklin, Violet Gray, Little Kid and of course Snoopy.
On a separate track Peanuts also closely follows Snoopy's fantastic adventures. Schulz's creation of the beagle character could be viewed as the personality of a real child in the midst of adults (the children) as shown in the manner the four legged canine is drawn into flights of fancy, in its abandon to wild dreams, in its ebullience, irresponsibility and spontaneity.
This Peanuts' creation brings a juxtaposition of asynchronous landscapes, for instance the use of visual cues such as rotary dial phones and typewriters along with music from the newest artists Meghan Trainor and Flo Rida. You won't see any smartphones, tablets, laptops or wi-fi depicted in Charlie's world. On the minus side the scriptwriting team - of Bryan Schulz, Craig Schulz and Cornelius Uliano - does not attempt to bring in any new characters nor new original situations for these characters that may be further explored in sequels, making this reviewer wonder if this is actually a one-off effort from 20th Century Fox.
The trouble with classic and long lived comic strips is while they are considered by their proponents to be bullet proof, they are indeed endowed with an expiry date and the longer their existence extends beyond the bubble of events at the time of their publication, the closer they approach obsolescence and irrelevancy.
While the new Peanuts exudes the newest layer of gloss from digital animation and gives us a glimpse of Snoopy's fantasy adventures in 3D format, the movie in reality is a shallow 2D reflection of the former genius of its creator - a compilation of signature "caricature" moments devoid of the context that shaped their reason for being intrinsically witty, charming, humorous or acrimoniously critical.
The very cultural and social events, the social fabric that served as tapestry for the commentaries made by Schulz, the small details, the little daily twists and turns of the regional and national headlines, personas and celebrities that allowed Peanuts to rise to fame as critic, champion and naysayer via the characters; as the events that Schulz lived through fade into history along with bygone generations - so also fades the impact of the humor and humanity of its content.
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