Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie
***1/2 (out of five)
Extremely respectful to the vision of Charles M. Schulz, The Peanuts Movie will probably seem like some ancient text to modern kids. But their parents can wallow in nostalgic metaphysical ennui (as the strip always seemed to encourage); even the music of the fifty-year-old television specials is used. There’s a plot – The Little Red-Haired Girl arrives in town and Charlie Brown tries to impress her – but the whole thing is way more existential than that. Just like the strip. The film is the first, and supposedly only to be ever, endorsed by Schulz’s son Craig who administers the intellectual property empire: there will be, according to Craig, no sequel (and Craig and his son Bryan wrote the screenplay here). There doesn’t need to be. Schulz’s genius will live in B&W 2D forever, and this charming film will simply stand as the very worthy homage to it, without being particularly brilliant in its own right. That said, there’s no way I won’t be buying it for my own kid. What other films for children teach in an hour – about life, the universe and everything – Schulz could teach in a line, and this film reflects that. It’s undeniably about decency, goodness, and love. And Snoopy.