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Peanuts Movie, The (2D and 3D)


Stars: Voices: Noah Schnapp, Bill Melendez, Kristin Chenoweth, Hadley Belle Miller, Rebecca Bloom, Alex Garfin, Troy 'Trombone Shorty' Andrews

Director: Steve Martino

There have been four previous movies about Charlie Brown, Snoopy the dog and their friends (the creations of Charles M Schultz) but none was particularly successful. This new film does little to buck the trend: the somewhat primitive CGI animation lessens one's interest in the characters, giving Charlie (Schnapp) a big round pink blob for a head, virtually robbing him of the limited but telling expressions at which Schultz was so adept.

But the film does up the pace once the main story kicks in: Charlie, a five-year-old, falls headlong for the new kid in class, the 'little red-haired girl'. (Mistakenly) hailed as a genius after test-paper results, the fingers-and-thumbs Chuck's finer qualities are seen by all in the end, especially by the little red-haired girl.

In the meantime, Snoopy (Melendez) imagines himself on his flying kennel doing battle with the infamous World War One ace The Red Baron, all for the love of pink-and-white canine aviatrix Fifi (Chenoweth).

The Peanuts comicstrip amused adults too (although Snoopy has in truth long since been overtaken in popular appeal by Gromit), but this movie is only suitable for very small children, who will appreciate its simple fun and sentiments, and ignore the basic animation techniques, which are probably trying (unsuccessfully) to replicate the printed page.

David Quinlan

USA 2015. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour (unspecified).
88 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 15 Dec 2015