Charles Schultz, the cartoonist who created “Peanuts,” wrote and drew nearly 18,000 comic strips over half a century.
And he didn’t want anyone to create new “Peanuts” comic strips after he passed away in the year 2000.
But now his son and his grandson have teamed up to write a movie based on his beloved characters.
Unfortunately, the movie’s not very good.
Charlie Brown (looking at the night sky): One of those stars is my star, and I know that my star will always be there for me. Like a comforting voice saying, “don’t give up kid.”
(His star falls out of the sky.)
All the characters Peanuts fans remember are in THE PEANUTS MOVIE, and the voice talents who play them are excellent.
The problem is a weak script that’s a mishmash of situations that are all too familiar from the comic strip. There’s no real storyline here, just a collection of old bits—some are funny but most feel flat and uninspired like Snoopy’s fantasy that he’s an ace World War I pilot in pursuit of the Red Baron.
The closest thing to a storyline is the lovable loser Charlie Brown’s earnest efforts to overcome his natural shyness and get to know the little red headed girl.
Charlie Brown (on the red headed girl’s doorstep): I can’t believe I’m about to talk to the new girl.
(He hesitates, afraid to ring her doorbell, but Snoopy goes ahead and presses it.)
(When she answers the door, nobody’s there.)
New girl: Hello….
(She goes back inside and we see Charlie Brown hiding in the bushes.)
The best audience for this movie would be grade school age children who can relate to Charlie Brown’s insecurities. He’s such a sweet kid.
Kids yelling: There’s a new kid moving in!
Charlie Brown: I just hope this new kid has ever heard of me. It’s not often you get the chance to start over with a clean slate. This time things will be different.
(The fence he’s leaning on falls over)
Other kids yelling: He did it!
But adults feeling nostalgic for their own childhood pleasures should content themselves with finding the Peanuts comic strips online and watching the TV specials on You Tube.
Because although Charles Schultz’s son and grandson surely love his work, neither of them had written a feature film before and their inexperience is all too apparent.
Terry Hunter at Hawaii News Now. firstname.lastname@example.org