It was on an October day of 1950 that the first Peanuts strip appeared in an American newspaper. For almost fifty years, Charles M. Schulz had drawn his poetic world populated by many immortal characters such as Snoopy, Linus, Peppermint Patty and, last but not least, Charlie Brown. Director Steve Martino has transposed this incredible world into the first 3D animated movie based on the work by Charles Schulz.
The movie follows the everyday life of Charlie Brown and his friends during the year and tells a story slightly different from the strip, but faithful to the personality of all the characters.
Charlie is the child who is never able to fly a kite, although he tries and tries again, the eternal loser. Linus is the brilliant but insecure child, always attached to his blanket. Lucy, his sister, is perpetually crabby and in love with Schroeder, who does not love her back and dedicates his life instead to Beethoven and playing his little piano. When “the Little Red-Haired Girl” arrives at school as a new student, Charlie Brown immediately falls in love with her but he never has the courage to speak to her. He wants to be noticed by her, so he tries to become a winner in every way, even reading the whole War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy in two days for a school contest. Meanwhile, Snoopy fights his flying battles against the terrible Red Baron.
Steve Martino took the responsibility of creating an original plot and he reached his goal whilst keeping unchanged the soul of Schulz’s famous work of art. Martino was also able to reach the newer generations, especially today’s children, by maybe renouncing the irony that characterized the Peanuts strips and giving it more lightness in his movie.
With his staff of animators, the director visited the Charles M. Schulz Museum, carefully studying all the sketches and the drawings and tried to preserve their style in a 3D animated movie. It is also interesting to denote that the voice of Snoopy is the one of Bill Melendez, who directed A Boy Named Charlie Brown in 1969, the first movie based on the Peanuts strips.
To sum up, The Peanuts Movie shows a perfect balance between a respectful homage to tradition and the new possibilities represented by computer graphics, and it can touch and entertain both the ones who have always loved the Peanuts and the children who have never heard of them before. They will all be happy to meet Charlie Brown and his friends.
Writers: Brian Schulz, Craig Schulz, Cornelius Uliano (based on the comic strip by Charles M. Schulz)
Cast: Noah Schnapp (Charlie Brown), Alexander Garfin (Linus), Hadley Belle Miller (Lucy), Mariel Sheets (Sally), Bill Melendez (Snoopy and Woodstock), Noah Johnston (Schroeder), Venus Schultheis (Peppermint Patty)