I was curious about the new animated Peanuts movie: Snoopy and Charlie Brown because it was getting good reviews. I grew up reading compilations of Peanuts comic strips in book form and thought it would be fun to see how Hollywood rendered the characters using computer generated imagery. Being the film buff that I am, I went to see it on its first weekend.
Initially I had low expectations thinking that I probably have since outgrown the storyline and wouldn’t be able to relate to it anymore. It turns out the movie was just what I needed after the frantic Christmas festivities were over – light and humorous. Even Snoopy’s antics made me laugh out loud. I actually wish I had the dog’s wild imagination or, to be precise, the scriptwriter’s imagination. What seemed to be a simple plot had turned into a goldmine and made for feel-good entertainment for the young and old.
Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang came alive in CGI and it was good to see them behaving the way they did in Charles Schulz’s comic strips. Charlie was still his insecure self and Lucy was there to make sure Charlie remained that way, tormenting him with put downs every chance she got. Schroeder still played Beethoven on piano perfectly.
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The movie reminded me how Schulz was so good at portraying life’s ironies along with its ups and downs through his simple drawings and storyline. I recall it was in the Peanuts world that I first came across the concept of post-Christmas let-down. Something a lot of people feel after the Christmas season is over.
Schulz also highlighted the reality that most people are obsessed with winners or even just the perception of being a winner. But being treated like a celebrity after a mix-up that made him receive a perfect score in a school exam didn’t change good ol’ Charlie Brown’s character. He remained humble and conscientious. This was what got him the girl in the end. I liked how the movie showed that persistence paid off for Charlie. He never gave up even when it looked like all the odds were against him.
The Peanuts movie may have been subtly sending a message to bring back the old ways. While the movie was made with the latest technology, the characters were still stuck with 1960’s technology. It was a time when children went outside the house to play with their friends and did not have mobile devices to distract them.
What made an impression on me was how a boy like Charlie Brown had to work hard to think of a way to impress the little red-haired girl he had a crush on. Back in those days, it took a lot to impress a girl. Compare that to today’s world where sending a simple emoticon to a girl from a mobile device is enough to get her attention. In other words, the courting process is shorter nowadays. It is not necessarily a good thing. Technology may have helped evolve courtship into something detrimental to developing relationships with substance.
Indeed, the thrill of the chase makes a boy realize how much he likes the girl and vice versa. If the girl sees that the boy will go the extra mile to impress her, then he might be worth the trouble. You definitely know a boy is into you when he does a lot more than send you a character from his electronic gadget. It should actually serve as a warning to girls – that boys who take the easy option could be up to no good.
Who would have thought I’d pick that up from a Peanuts movie? 😉
In life, things are not always what they seem.