The Peanuts Movie
“The Peanuts Movie”-as the tagline states-is the story of an underdog and his dog. No truer tagline has been attached to a movie in a long time. My generation (and my parents’) grew up watching the misadventures of Charlie Brown just trying to get through the day. That was it. That was his challenge. Just get through the day. Go to school, do homework, spend time with friends, and feed his dog. When was the last time any one of you had their life be so cut and dry? I don’t mean to ask that question in a boring sense or predictable; merely simple.
There are a few details I want to get into regarding this movie, but I first want to mention the obvious one. One that managed to stay relevant with me throughout the entire (and very short) 89 minute running time.
Peanuts began as a comic strip by Charles Schulz on October 2, 1950. The movie could have very well been set in that time period. There was no mention of the Internet. No mention of smart phones-much less cordless phones. If it did, I probably would’ve hated it. Charlie Brown, Linus, and all the other kids still talked into corded receivers. They talked to each other face to face and not through social media. Lucy still requested 5¢ for her tin can at her cardboard Psychiatrist booth. There was even a typewriter! The only thing mentioned in the movie that arguably could be current is the kids complaining about taking a standardized test at school.
The premise is as it always was. The Peanuts universe is centered around Charlie Brown. A boy who tries so hard to be respected and appreciated. He doesn’t care about being popular, or a sports star, or even the smartest. He just wants to be respected and appreciated. When a new girl moves into the neighborhood, he wants nothing more than to get her to notice him. Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s loyal and expressive dog, does what he can to help Charlie Brown achieve just that with enthusiastic support and… dancing lessons. As always adults are never seen, only heard as muted trombone sounds.
Even though it had a very short running time, about 1/3 of the film was a side story of Snoopy’s imaginary adventures as the WWI Flying Ace and his ongoing battles with The Red Baron that I honestly could’ve had less of, The Peanuts Movie is a universe that is rich with such beautiful characters that have endured the calamities of time. References to past Peanuts holiday specials and TV shows like The Great Pumpkin were a nice and subtle touch for the older viewers.
“The Peanuts Movie” is an adorable little movie that children of all ages should see. It’s squeaky clean humor and adorable characters deliver a message home that should encourage and inspire us all about being persistent, treating everyone with respect, and the values of family and friendship.
On a side note, my heart goes out to all those in Paris right now. I pray that everyone there stays safe and those responsible are brought to justice. As I had mentioned, this movie transported me back to a simpler time before I was old enough to understand the problems of the real world.
Consacré aux habitants de Paris.