The Peanuts Movie Blu-ray review
Charlie Brown and Snoopy and Linus and Lucy and Sally and Schroeder and Peppermint Patty and Marcie and Franklin and Shermy and Woodstock and the Little Red-Haired Girl. They gang is all here and accounted for.
As always, Charlie Brown is moping around looking for a little bit of recognition and achievement. It doesn’t come easy for Chuck, who isn’t exactly smooth when it comes to kicking a football, flying a kite or trying to get the attention of the new girl in class. As soon as she arrives to school, the Little Red-Haired Girl is the object of affection for the well-intentioned blockhead. He figures they must be a match if she, like him, also chews on her pencil.
It’s expected that this won’t exactly be an easy task for Charlie Brown. This allows for a series of events that includes awkward door knocks, unsmooth dance moves, botched book reports and more. And in between weave all of the characters and scenarios those familiar with the Peanuts crew have come to expect.
THE PEANUTS MOVIE is the fifth feature-length movie based on the Charles Schulz characters and the first released theatrically. It is filled with blatant references to canon classics like A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (celebrating its 50th anniversary) and IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN, in addition to the Kite-Eating Tree, Lucy’s unlicensed psychiatry business and the Red Baron, appearing in a wildly unnecessary subplot, there only to bulk the runtime up to a reasonable 88 minutes. Because of this, older fans will surely be amused, perhaps more so if the movie works as a means to introduce the little ones to Charlie and company.
The Peanuts gang will always be welcome because they’re so timeless. Since the comic strip first debuted in 1950, Schulz’s creations have been one of the most recognizable and marketable fictional groups to ever come along. It only made sense that it would eventually get the theatrical treatment.
Yet, one can’t help but wonder if another installation is all that necessary. Since THE PEANUTS MOVIE (released 15 years after Schulz’s death and the last new strip appeared) doesn’t really present the characters in a fresh way—aside from it being the first computer-animated Peanuts feature—it wouldn’t seem so. Indeed, when the whole show is over, one could make a strong case that it’s an easy and obvious cash-in.
The reigning champ of Peanuts pictures is still A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, which is as much of a holiday staple as leaving out cookies for Santa. But it’s hard to ignore just how lively and colorful THE PEANUTS MOVIE is, courtesy of the crew of Blue Sky Studios (the ICE AGE series, both RIO movies) and its director, Steve Martino (ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT, HORTON HEARS A WHO!). The collaboration has its faults and occasionally feels rehashed, but it is an overall enjoyable effort tailored for old and young.
Video: 1.85:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. This is a wonderful and colorful transfer that will certainly delight the younger audience members.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; English Descriptive Audio 5.1; Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1; French Dolby Digital 5.1. Subtitles in English, Spanish and French. The dialogue and score come through without flaw.
Snoopy Snippets (2:45): There are six brief and simple segments here, which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “Snoopy & Charlie Brown on Couch,” ““Snoopy & Charlie Brown Ice Skating,” “Gift,” “Charlie Brown Swing & Hit,” “Snoopy Pitch” and “Snoopy Root Beer.”
You Never Grow Up, Charlie Brown (30:17): This three-part featurette looks at adapting the classic comic, the legacy of Charles Schulz, the animators at Blue Sky Studios and more.
Snoopy’s Sibling Salute (1:55): This brief piece introduces Snoopy’s siblings, who appear at the end of the movie.
Learn to Draw Snoopy (4:13), Learn to Draw Woodstock (3:04) and Learn to Draw Charlie Brown (4:02) all feature director Steve Martino instructing viewers how to draw the respective characters.
Get Down with Snoopy and Woodstock Music Video (2:17)
“Better When I’m Dancin’” Meghan Trainor Lyric Video (3:08) and Music Video (2:53)
Behind the Scenes of “Better When I’m Dancin’” (3:08): Trainor discusses writing the song while footage shows the making of the music video.
Snoopy’s Playlist (27:52) compiles 16 songs and accompanying videos.