The Peanuts Movie - It's a Swing and a Miss, Charlie Brown

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How come being just Peanuts is good enough for Peanuts, but movies like Transformers being just Transformers is some sort of unforgivable sin?

It hurts my heart to hear that people keep saying they remained faithful to the original. I mean am I the only person who actually watches movies anymore? It seems to me that the word 'watch' has boiled down to staring at the screen and not understanding or realizing what is going on. This movie has literally zero identity. Race for your life and Bonvoyage had their own identity and made some attempt at plot. This was a cut and paste job at best with basically zero attempt to carve out an identity for the film while doing a gruesome hatchet job on the characters. I agree fully about what he said.

These weren't characters, they were character traits on the screen that barely conversed with or acknowledged each other. Do you any of you realize that most of the Peanuts barely talked or had a conversation with each other. Where was the witty banter or the insightful ideas or quotes? For god sake Linus is Lucy's sister and I don't even think he said a word to her. Schroeder said the word Beethoven once throughout the entire film and Lucy barely acknowledged him or even did her usual annoyance of leaning on the piano and talking about marriage. The thing that made me especially upset is Peppermint Pattie's relationship with Marcie boiling down to basically abusing her and ignoring her. I mean stepping on her head and ignoring everything she says without even the slightest annoying or witty retort? They didn't even converse with the teachers, one of the funniest parts of Peanuts.They were there just to make the funny sounds with no attempt to humanize them in the least.

All semblance of the once clever and complex dialogue reduced to simple, predictable childish drivel. Linus didn't even say a single quote when by now he would have talked about the folly of love or compared Charlie Brown's love to a story or person from the past. And Sally crying on stage when we all know she would have yelled about the fickle nature of the audience or the harshness of the theater. You know what this was?The people who made this knew very well they might lose the audience if they went with the complexity and deeper nature of Peanuts so they opted rather then take chances they just made it into a predictable, generic family movie with sappy and predictable plot to go with it. I predicted they would do exactly this and lo and behold people fell for it.Heck they should have just made a movie about Snoopy since he was the one saving grace about it.

I mean like it if you want but stop saying the hatchet job they did to the characters captured the spirit of the original. It didn't and they should be ashamed at what they did. They took deep meaningful characters reduced them to the most simplistic sum of their parts. And for the people who keeps saying it was always like that obviously never watched a Peanuts cartoon or movie in their life.

Coruptin:
How come being just Peanuts is good enough for Peanuts, but movies like Transformers being just Transformers is some sort of unforgivable sin?

Literally who has ever said that the Transformers movies is bad for being Transformers? That's the exact opposite problem of the Transformers movies!

Besides, this is basically just one big reminder that Peanuts exists, that's all. By contrast, the Muppets movies revived the characters and pointed out how they were still relevant in modern times while still having an actual story to tell.

Fox12:

RJ 17:
Wait...they made a Peanuts movie recently? *sigh*...well it's official: there truly is nothing sacred anymore.

Or as Charlie Brown would say: "UUUUUUGH!"

Isn't Charlie Brown the one that always complains about soulless capitalism? The circle is complete.

Only when he wasn't shilling for a massive soulless insurance corporation.

Fully approved by Sainted Sparky, BTW. In addition to piles and piles of merchandise.

I just saw the movie last night. It's good, but not great. It is pretty funny, though. The animation worked well and I loved how much effort they put into capturing the feel of the hand-animated cartoons. I also really enjoyed the fact that it wasn't afraid to be like a cartoon instead of trying to be more realistic.

The issue I've found with the movie is that it was afraid to be its own thing and stand on its own two feet. Instead the film settled on reminding us of all of the things we liked in past Peanuts enterprises: there are scenes in the movie that were straight up copied from the classic christmas special. The few times where it really does tell its own story it's great: Charlie Brown's 'failures' at the talent show and school dance are pretty charming and epic in a peanuts kind of way. The supportive and loving relationship Snoopy and his owner have is charming and is portrayed in ways that the comics and cartoons have never managed. But those moments are constantly interrupted by nostalgia-bait repeats of scenes we've seen before.

Also, the film is basically charlie brown's self-sabotaged quest to win the little redheaded girl, and well, it's kind of creepy. He sort of stalks her and tries to win her over in some amazingly unrealistic and passive ways. And while it's kind of sweet and generally how I remember it being as a little shy kid, I think showing a little more of the redheaded girl as a character as opposed to an object might have been that little kick the film needed to edge into something great.

Overall, it's good, but just not good enough to really cement a place in history next to even the b-list peanuts specials.

I completely disagree. The film stays very much in the spirit of the Schulz cartoons, and avoided all the pitfalls that modern reboots/remakes tend to make: they didn't modernize the setting or characters (they still use landline telephones and typewriters), they didn't make timely jokes, they didn't add in any new characters to try and act as a guide for the audience, they didn't pull some gimmick in the plot like time travel or the comics coming to life. They did modernize the pacing, and they did have some timely music, but it was well placed and appropriate for the situations.

Plus the animation was gorgeous. I had the opportunity to look at some of the animation frame by frame, and if you look at it that way, they animated it in the same way cell animation works. For example, as opposed to completely relying on CG motion blur, they "blurred" things the way they are blurred in cell animation. If it's a person waving their arm, the arm temporary splits into duplicates to illustrate the blur, and speed lines appear. The style had to have been painstaking to pull off, as it goes against basically every function which CG typically relies upon.

My only complaint about the film was actually the flying ace scenes. Though it never really pulled me out of the film, in hindsight I felt they ran a bit long at times, and we didn't get to know Fifi well enough for me to get as invested in her as I was invested in Charlie Brown and the Little Red-Haired Girl. They were clearly drawing parallel between the flying ace story and Charlie Brown's story, but I think for it to feel complete they needed to have a real-life counterpart for Fifi as well.

As for the LRHG being a Maguffin, well of course she is. That's always been her role in the history of Peanuts films. As others have said, it sounds like the reviewer more has a problem with the general concept of the Peanuts than the film itself. If you don't like the Peanuts then that's fine, but at least own up to it in the review. The characters have always been one-note, the animated cartoons have always been talky, and many characters have existed purely as plot devices.

Caramel Frappe:
I knew this movie would suck, mainly because the trailer was very vague. The movie was made in hopes people would see it for the nostalgia feeling, and nothing more. News flash people behind the Peanuts movie- you need a good plot and likable cast of characters to make the movie good. Don't try to fool us with familiar faces and think little to no effort around the important bits is ganna get you money. Still, wasn't expecting to see this movie get 1 1/2 stars Marter, ouch lol.

Also yeah the moment I saw that female red head character, I knew she'd be a plot device. Which could be seen as sexist, but overall I just see it as lazy story telling with the "save the princess" cliche' vibe.

You do know that the little red hair girl has been part of the peanuts for awhile right?

Caramel Frappe:

lord canti:

Caramel Frappe:
I knew this movie would suck, mainly because the trailer was very vague. The movie was made in hopes people would see it for the nostalgia feeling, and nothing more. News flash people behind the Peanuts movie- you need a good plot and likable cast of characters to make the movie good. Don't try to fool us with familiar faces and think little to no effort around the important bits is ganna get you money. Still, wasn't expecting to see this movie get 1 1/2 stars Marter, ouch lol.

Also yeah the moment I saw that female red head character, I knew she'd be a plot device. Which could be seen as sexist, but overall I just see it as lazy story telling with the "save the princess" cliche' vibe.

You do know that the little red hair girl has been part of the peanuts for awhile right?

Indeed, which makes this all the sadder. She's so forgetful in this movie, yet has been a major role in the series altogether. I even know the reason why she exists (Charles M. Schulz, the creator of The Peanuts had a crush with this red hair while growing up. Some drama occurred and this character is a projection of Charles never getting the girl, but luckily he did get married so not a bad ending after all).

Yet why did the creators make the character in this movie so lifeless?

I don't recall her being that full of life in the original series either. She was always the character you only saw the back of the head of or her profile and that was about it. Granted it's been a long time since I've seen any of the original peanuts specials so I may be wrong. Edit: Don't know why I thought you never saw her, so apologies. Still, I don't recall her ever being anything more than a random plot device.

Logience:

Literally who has ever said that the Transformers movies is bad for being Transformers? That's the exact opposite problem of the Transformers movies!

Transformers has always been about dumb alien robots doing stupid fun things in order to make kids want more merchandise.
Magical artifact is in the Hoover Dam and the Decepticons want it! Decepticons are using the Pyramids to spawn evil robots! Decepticons want to use humans as slaves! These could've been plot points taken straight out of the original cartoon.
I personally think Transformers could do better, but it's hypocritical that Peanuts gets a pass and when critics lambasted Transformers over the same thing.

Coruptin:

Logience:

Literally who has ever said that the Transformers movies is bad for being Transformers? That's the exact opposite problem of the Transformers movies!

Transformers has always been about dumb alien robots doing stupid fun things in order to make kids want more merchandise.
Magical artifact is in the Hoover Dam and the Decepticons want it! Decepticons are using the Pyramids to spawn evil robots! Decepticons want to use humans as slaves! These could've been plot points taken straight out of the original cartoon.
I personally think Transformers could do better, but it's hypocritical that Peanuts gets a pass and when critics lambasted Transformers over the same thing.

I think the most apt thing to say here is that you're missing the forest for the trees.

Caramel Frappe:

lord canti:

Caramel Frappe:
I knew this movie would suck, mainly because the trailer was very vague. The movie was made in hopes people would see it for the nostalgia feeling, and nothing more. News flash people behind the Peanuts movie- you need a good plot and likable cast of characters to make the movie good. Don't try to fool us with familiar faces and think little to no effort around the important bits is ganna get you money. Still, wasn't expecting to see this movie get 1 1/2 stars Marter, ouch lol.

Also yeah the moment I saw that female red head character, I knew she'd be a plot device. Which could be seen as sexist, but overall I just see it as lazy story telling with the "save the princess" cliche' vibe.

You do know that the little red hair girl has been part of the peanuts for awhile right?

Indeed, which makes this all the sadder. She's so forgetful in this movie, yet has been a major role in the series altogether. I even know the reason why she exists (Charles M. Schulz, the creator of The Peanuts had a crush with this red hair while growing up. Some drama occurred and this character is a projection of Charles never getting the girl, but luckily he did get married so not a bad ending after all).

Yet why did the creators make the character in this movie so lifeless?

Exactly. Why is it only some people can see this? The characters are so lifeless. They barely even interact with each other. I understand Pig Pen and Rita taking the background and barely interacting but Lucy not talking to or tormenting Linus? Lucy not annoying Schroeder? Lucy not smacking Charlie Brown for splashing paint on her? No witty retorts from Marcie aimed at PP? No famous quotes or comparing situations with historical figures? No complex thoughts or conversations?

Cheering Charlie Brown on for getting in good with the Red Haired girl with no snide remarks or back handed comments or sarcasm from Lucy or even from Peppermint Patty who we know has a crush on Charlie Brown? Charlie Brown rushing to help Sally out of her predicament instead of just leaving her to learn from it like he normally does? I mean seriously what is with this BS about 'capturing the original characters' when only slivers of what they were and represented were in this movie? I mean the main point of the Little Red Haired girl was that it was unsure what he and her had between them and she remained a constant seemingly unreachable goal through out Charlie Brown's childhood but that ending she practically confessed that she loved him. I am surprised she didn't kiss him too with that long, sappy confession.

I mean is this some sort of mass denial and delusion like Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was where people insist that it was better or the same as the original when they were barely ghosts of the original? Seriously who really believes that Bayformers is the same as the original series except those in denial.I definitely don't remember falling watching a Transformers cartoon or movie or keep checking the time to see when it was over with Race for your Life Charlie Brown or Bonvoyage

So: I'm not the most objective person when it comes to Schulz' work. I have a shelf full of old Charlie Brown and Snoopy books; they were a significant part of my childhood.

All that said, I did not just see a dull or shallow movie; I saw a sweet movie that entertained me (and my twelve year old daughter) all the way through, one that didn't insult its creator's legacy, and a CG movie aimed at children that did not contain one fart joke.

I hope it does well, I think it deserves it.

I saw it last night.

It was okay; it definitely was no 'Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown', that was for sure. Now that was a good story. That was an actual story.

The new movie was pretty much just a strung-together set of vignettes - they weren't all bad, either. But mostly, it was old scenes, songs and plot points Frankensteined together to fill 90 minutes (as other folks have said here). Yeah, if you've never seen the old movies or specials I'm sure it was okay, but I sat in the theatre, mentally listing off the original sources as I watched - and I haven't seen any of the old movies or specials in years. C'mon, this was a chance for Peanuts to really grab a new audience, and this was the best they could do? Then again, at least they didn't have the room to squeeze in anything from the one where the LRHG gets cancer (or it might have been someone else, I don't remember; still, there was an After Skool Speshul about cancer).

As for the 'nice guy' message...ugh. Less said about that the better.

Definitely one to avoid.

Politrukk:
Honestly a movie of them just doing there thing is all I ever expected and wanted from them.

I don't see why they would have to make any more of it than there is that would ruin the entire franchise and shtick that is peanuts anyway (regardless from people liking it or not in general).

Edit : the only nitpick I have about the movie is some of the music choices (and not even all, some of it actually works when we consider the more modern choices).

I think trying to go see a Peanuts movie even when you're not a fan of Peanuts is just a no-no in general, ofcourse you will have a bad time (this being different if you've never had experience with the source material, but I'd recommend taking that in before then trying to enjoy the nostalgia this film is gunning for).

2nd edit:

After fully reading your review Marter I just wish you'd remove your review, you didn't like Peanuts or at least not enough to appreciate a modern homage to them that's all this is and all it can/wants to be.

The fact that you are basically calling the characters flat for being portrayed exactly as they were in the source material baffles me, do you want them to revoke your review permit?

I have to agree. I'm sorry, but this review is really bad and some people's opinions of the place and purpose of the little red haired girl are shit. I can't believe some people think it's fucking sexist, it's just beyond me. She's MEANT to be lifeless and idealised and put on a giant pedestal. Charlie Brown fantasizes about her from afar but doesn't even know what kind of person she is. It illustrates his hopeless, desperate, naive character. Fair enough if you dislike Peanuts as a whole (it's not for everyone) but that's just bullshit.

While I really loved this movie it definitely had its issues. The ending was far too sappy for Peanuts. There was a lot of that large-scale slapstick, which I'm not a super huge fan of and which didn't have such a prominent place in the strip and shows. There wasn't a lot of quiet time, it was all action in your face the entire time, which was very unlike the source material. It was a little goofy and very un-Peanuts at times. The part where Charlie Brown is hailed as a genius and everyone started worshipping him was very off-tone. The characters tended to feel like caricatures of themselves, though I'm sure that comes from not being written directly by Schulz. They reused a lot of older material, and the ending was basically the opposite of Peanut's quietly hopeless existentialist tone.

But the art design, the animation, the voice acting, the characters and music (bar the modern pop stuff) was so fucking good. I just love watching these characters interact and live, which is what Peanuts is all about. They did tend to break character at some points to fit with a more happy ending and child-oriented feel-good classic storyline, which was a shame, but it wasn't enough to break my interest. While the ending felt like a compromise to appeal to modern children's movie ideals the best thing they did was show Lucy, after that big sappy hopeful ending, pulling the football away from Charlie Brown in the middle of the credits just like ol' times. The structure of the movie was also very unconventional and might put some people off, but I enjoyed it for its vignette style flow. And god damn was it funny. Again, not as good or intelligent as OG Peanuts, but still really enjoyable.

Overall, it was just a big dollop of well made fanservice. All the characters just did what they do, and they did it well. They were perhaps a little too 2-dimensional at times, like caricatures of themselves as I mentioned before, but I felt like it all added to the school-play style charm the film had. It was funny and full of life and colour and spirit. Snoopy and Woodstock were so excellent I had a big stupid grin plastered across my face whenever they were onscreen. It wasn't as well written or profound as Schulz's work, but it was a great, colorful and honest love letter if you're a fan. I wouldn't call it faithful to the source material, but it was still so charming and likeable in a classic Peanuts way.

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