Although I grew up with Snoopy and Charlie Brown, the Peanuts cartoon wasn’t in my usual repertoire. I preferred Tintin or other European comics like Asterix and Obelix, Lucky Luke, or the Trigan Empire. That said, I was still quite excited to see the movie – being a boy at heart. Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie is beautifully drawn and rendered with a story that is simple enough so children would enjoy it. The storyline is very simple and relies a lot on visual narratives, so you shouldn’t expect to be blown over by something sublime or outrageously funny or witty.
The story is about Charlie Brown who is suffering from insecurity – not being able to fly a kite or doing things right. His friends – especially Lucy van Pelt – reinforce this image including Lucy’s favourite name for Charlie, “You blockhead!”. When a new girl with red hair moves into the neighbourhood, Charlie is smitten and wants to impress the girl. He feels that at least he can start with a clean slate with her, that she won’t know what others think of him. In this quest to impress her, Snoopy and Woodstock are also keen to contribute. Interwoven in the story is Snoopy’s active imagination with his rivalry with The Red Baron WWII warplane.
The movie does carry a good message that despite our insecurity, there are good qualities that other people see in us. I hope that young viewers will also get this message and that the beautiful animation is sufficient to entertain them for 93 minutes. For fans of Snoopy and the whole Peanuts’ characters, this movie will no doubt satisfy your craving – and for other viewers like me, seeing the mastery of the animators, programmers and artists, and how everything is combined together to a sweet, simple story is enough to make me a happy boy.