In October 1950, Charles M. Schulz created a comic strip featuring a small round-headed kid. Though the strip ended in 2000 after Schulz’s death, Charlie Brown and his gang of friends are still reaching new audiences after sixty-five years. I watch the Christmas special religiously (and one time even played Snoopy/the narrator in a FRENCH version), and I've always loved the comic.
As you may (or may not) know, the Peanuts movie came out a couple of weeks ago and it’s adorable!!
The movie is everything a fan could want. There are tons of throwbacks to the original strip and classic TV specials: the kite-eating tree, the Red Baron, the mini troop of Woodstock-like birds, and, of course, all our favourite characters, from the obvious (Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Woodstock, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty, etc), to the not-as-popular (Violet, Franklin, Pig-Pen), and even the mythical Little Red-Haired Girl (who I just learned is named Heather. I DIDN’T KNOW SHE HAD A NAME).
One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about the Peanuts movie is the animation. A lot of people were upset to hear that the movie would be computer-animated instead of the same hand-drawn techniques used in the TV specials. I personally loved the animation style. It’s vivid and eye-catching and the characters still look the same as they do in the strips except less 2D (and I didn’t even see it in 3D!) and more life-like. I felt like the movie kept the same spirit and the same heart as the strip, even if the animation was a little more modern.
I think we can all learn something from Charlie Brown. He’s easy to relate to on many levels: when you break it down, he’s just this insecure kid who tries his hardest and sometimes fails. But that never stops him from getting back up and trying to kick the football again, no matter how many times he knows he’ll end up flat on his back. And, in the movie at least, his Charlie Brown-ness is what helps him to finally talk to the Little Red-Haired Girl who likes him for who he is and doesn’t judge him.
If that doesn’t tug at your heartstrings, then I bet you don’t believe in the Great Pumpkin either.