The Peanuts Movie
The spirit of Charles M. Schulz is ever present in this sweet, fun update of the popular comic strip that birthed some pretty cool TV specials when I was a pup. The look of the film, especially in its 3-D format, reminds me of the View-Master toy I had when I was a kid. The plot is a simple one, with Charlie Brown trying to get the attention of the Little Red-Haired Girl while his dog Snoopy fantasizes about battling his enemy, the Red Baron. Director Steve Martino captures the adorable essence of Peanuts, remaining faithful to its origins and ignoring temptations to modernize it. He's also done a nice job of assembling the voice cast, with all of the characters sounding much like they did decades ago. (One exception: Peppermint Patty sounds way different.) The soundtrack often pays tribute to the iconic piano sounds of Vince Guaraldi, and they even get the classic Peanuts dance moves down. I watched this with a sea of kids, and they ate it up, so I imagine more will be on the way. Good to see Chuck and Snoopy getting the big screen adaptation worthy of them.