The Peanuts Movie is cute. I wish I could offer a more eloquent review than that, but it’s not exactly the kind of movie that inspires lengthy critiques. It was good. It didn’t offend. The animation was excellent. The story was engaging enough.
I took the twins, who are almost 4. They loved the Snoopy parts. I took the eight year old boy, and though I thought he’d be too old to appreciate it, he liked the Charlie Brown parts, because he likes puns no matter how many times I try to beat it out of him. He was a little disappointed that there was a positive flip-side to Charlie Brown’s failures, because my son likes consistency, and if someone fails repeatedly, he should be labeled a blockhead and not be redeemed by the goodness of his intentions. I think he said something along the lines of, “Fuck your intentions, Charlie Brown. I wanna see results, motherfucker.” (Not an exact quote)
As an adult, I liked it, too. There were plenty of nods to Peanuts lore, there were a few amusing sight gags, and while the pratfalls were plentiful, they didn’t feel cheap. The Snoopy sideplot was snoresville, but I appreciate that it existed for the little ones who unthinkably managed to sit (mostly) still for a full hour and a half.
The plot, such as it is, sees Charlie Brown trying to win the attention of the Little Red Headed Girl who moves in across the street. He reads a book on how to be a more confident person, tries to remake himself as a better person, and in spite of all his well-intentioned efforts, he continues to fail in spectacular fashion, until the Little Red Headed Girl rewards his efforts with acknowledgement. Meanwhile, Snoopy and dreamed up a story about fighting off the Red Baron and saving his own canine love interest. That’s about it.
It’s a modest movie, designed to appeal to all demographics without overwhelming any specific one, and in that respect it succeeds, though — as my son said — “it’s no LEGO Movie.”
It’s not, but it is cute.