A boy and his dog share similar adventures in The Peanuts Movie

A boy and his dog share similar adventures in The Peanuts Movie

Reel Reviews: It’s a good film, Charlie Brown

Taylor and Howe say, "Charles Schulz would approve of The Peanuts Movie."

  • Nov. 15, 2015 7:00 p.m.

Luckless Charlie Brown has never won a baseball game, never gotten his kite in the air, never kicked a field goal, yet he never gives up, remaining honest and humble.

When it is discovered that he scored 100 per cent on the standardized test at school, Charlie Brown becomes a bit of a celebrity. He uses the opportunity to get the attention of the new girl in class.

In the fertile imagination of Charlie’s dog Snoopy, he and his bird friend Woodstock chase down the Red Baron, the First World One flying ace who has kidnapped Fifi, the new dog in the neighbourhood.

We say, “Charles Schulz would approve.”

TAYLOR: I was worried about this one. Schulz himself was one to keep the Peanuts gang true to form, his form. I’m pleased that The Peanuts Movie honours what Schulz gave us, to every detail.

It looks different because it’s animated using modern technology and technique, but everything else felt very familiar to me. The character’s personalities haven’t changed: Lucy is self-absorbed, Patty is a tomboy, Sally is smitten with Linus, Pigpen is filthy, their teacher has a muted trumpet for a voice.

The story also hasn’t changed, except that they’ve thrown two monkey wrenches into the universe to stretch the story out. One is Charlie’s test results making him popular and the other is the new little girl with red hair. The B-story of Snoopy trying to save Fifi is there to provide some slapstick and action.

As importantly I think, at least in terms of any would-be Schulz approval, the wholesome nature of this universe remains intact.

HOWE: I can’t deny that I wasn’t looking forward to this. Growing up in England, Charlie Brown and the gang just weren’t that big or interesting, especially when you had either the Thundercats or He-Man Master of the Universe up against it.

During the first five minutes of The Peanuts Movie I began to wonder “how long ‘till this is over?” Then something just clicked; it started to suck me in. There were some subtle moments dotted throughout that made me smile and laugh on more than one occasion. It also made me feel for Charlie, something that doesn’t even happen in a regular movie, so I congratulate the writers/artists for being able to pull that off.

TAYLOR: Nobody saw much of Charlie over the years, just the seasonal TV specials, but it has always been for young kids.

I saw a checklist of things I associate with Peanuts: jazz music, crazy dancing, playing outside, school, unfulfilled desires, strange adult-like tendencies to analyze these unfulfilled desires. Just how old are these kids who all have crushes on each other? Linus still sucks his thumb and carries around a blanket.

At any rate, thematically The Peanuts Movie covers all the bases and teaches us that doing well means being a good person, despite any perceived successes or failures. Charlie Brown is a bald loser in elementary school who won’t give up trying to do the right thing. How can I?

HOWE: None of us should.

– Howe gives The Peanuts Movie 4 dogfights out of 5.

– Taylor gives it 5 childhood nicknames out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe review the latest films for The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File)
Overwhelming support for Vernon businesses this holiday season: Chamber

Vernon chamber urges shoppers to keep dollars local amid pandemic with #voteVernon campaign

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to reports of a structure fire on Valleyview Place Jan. 26, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)
Fire snuffed in Vernon home

No visible smoke, flames from area of reported structure fire

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Another death linked to COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon care home

It’s the sixth death at Noric House related to the virus to date

Design rendering for the proposed Coldstream Community Centre. An advisory committee will make a decision on the latest site plan Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (Sahuri & Associates rendering)
Coldstream committee to review latest designs for new community centre

Design renderings have been released for the centre that would add 84 local child care spaces

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Kevin Lee Barrett pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault of his mother Eleanor Holmes on Tuesday, Jan. 26. (File)
West Kelowna man who beat his mom could be sentenced up to 9 years

Kevin Barrett entered a surprise guilty plea to the lesser charge of aggravated assault on Tuesday morning

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

11 more cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a cluster on Big White Mountain. Pictured above is TELUS park at Big White Ski Resort, Jan. 26. (Big White Ski Resort)
11 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

This brings the total case count to 225, according to health authorities in a Tuesday update

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

Oliver Elementary School
Former Oliver PAC treasurer charged with fraud returns to court

Belinda Yorke will be in court to fix a date for trial in February

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Most Read