For those who haven’t read Peanuts comics or watched
the gang on TV or on DVD, The Peanuts
Movie is not the most interesting introduction to Charlie Brown or Snoopy.
For those who have met them before, The Peanuts Movie is a no-surprises
re-introduction. Charles Shulz’s comic creations stay true to form in a drab
sort of way.
It’s snow day for the gang which also means no school
day. Charlie Brown, the neighbourhood loser, enters perkily, his spirit
indomitable as always, trying to fly a kite in winter, and ends up in knots
Nobody’s interested in well-intentioned Charlie Brown.
Even faithful dog Snoopy falls asleep when Charlie Brown’s venting about his
failures. And his failures are in multiples.
Suffering from a hopeless case of “inadequacy”, how’s
Charlie going to catch the eye of the cute red-haired girl who’s just moved
into his class and into his heart?
Lucy dispenses wisdom for 5 cents, Linus holds his ubiquitous
blanket, Schroeder plays Beethoven on the piano and Pigpen is still a cloud of
dust. Snoopy the dog bangs out his flights of fantasy on a manual typewriter
and goes into Walter Mitty mode as he transforms into a World War hero.
Everything’s as it was in the comic books.
So what’s new?
Director Steve Martino of Ice Age: Continental Drift fame makes The Peanuts Movie without the cute madness of a good animation
film. Using strange sounds instead of
showing a teacher or an adult may be Martino’s idea of novelty but it’s really more annoying than amusing.
The best that one could say is that this is a harmless
watch for small kids who know no better. And yes, Charlie Brown does attract
the attention of the red-haired girl who counts his endearing qualities more
than his goof-ups. Also, the animation and voicing are sound even if nothing is
For a kiddie film that’s not satisfyingly entertaining,
The Peanuts Movie gets a 2.5*
Bharathi S Pradhan
Journalist & Author