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Peanuts

 

The Peanuts Movie is the best-animated movie in 2015. Though the comic strips were written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz  from 1950-2000 and the America that is portrayed in the context no longer exist, the timelessness of children at play and of coming of age never become irrelevant. The animation rending using 3D texture, brought Peanuts into the Twenty-First Century, the aspiration, feelings and hopes of Charlie Brown and his bunch of friends not to mention his dog, Snoopy never feel dated.

This movie has enough for everyone. For a new generation who have never read the Peanuts comic strip as it was published daily and the larger Sunday strip, it is an entertaining introduction to Charlie Brown and his friends. For the older folks who grew up with Charlie Brown, this movie is a trip down memory lane. Each scene reminds one of a particular comic strip, storyline or background. The Great Pumpkin, the dark and stormy night beginning of Snoopy’s novel, the eternal air battle between a First World War flying ace (Snoopy) and his nemesis the Red Baron, and Charlie Brown’s Kite Eating Tree are all there as fertile fodder for our minds to remember our younger and more carefree days when the antics of wishy-washy Charlie Brown, the blanket carrying smart Linus, the pushy Lucy, the pragmatic Sally, the athletic Pettermint Patty, the intellectual Marcie, the Beethoven fanboy Schroeder, and Charlie Brown’s  infatuation the Red-Haired Girl, together with Snoopy and Woodstock are enough to keep us entertained.

Numerous books have been written about the religious/philosophical basis of Peanuts. Notable is The Gospel According to Peanuts (1965) and its sequel, The Parables according to Peanuts (1968) by Robert L. Short and recently, A Charlie Brown Religion (2015) by Stephen J. Lind which tried to examine what makes this comic strip so endearing. Personally, I feel these authors are overanalyzing the comic strip. This strip is about human nature and good character. The Peanut Movie has summarized admirably what Schulz tried to show us through his comic strip – the virtue of honesty, courage, integrity, having fun, friendship, and imagination. It has enabled us to see through the eyes of a child, the mess adults have made of the world and what a child sees as important. It reminds me of another comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes which is of another boy with his toy tiger.

I will highly recommend this as a movie that a family should see and enjoy together. There is no violence, gory scenes, and foul language. Unlike other children animated movies, there is no idealized version of a princess being frozen somewhere. This movie is based solidly in the environment of the child – home, school, and playground.

I will give this five stars (out of five).

 

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