"The Peanuts Movie" is a lovely bit of nostalgia for those who have loved these characters for so long, and also a great introduction to a younger generation.
There were many reasons to be worried about this resurrection of Charles M. Schulz's comic strip characters. What if they tried to modernize it to appeal to the attention-challenged, iPhone-staring, hyperactive kids of today with Charlie Brown and his friends on Snapchat, taking selfies, and playing video games?
Thankfully, the filmmakers have stayed true to the original vision and the result is about as perfect as one could imagine. Even the animation style is a great choice - done with computers, but it still feels like it was touched with human hands with the way the faces are drawn. It's simple, not overly slick.
The story is like a series of "Peanuts" greatest hits with familiar scenes like Snoopy battling the Red Barron, and of course, Charlie Brown trying to impress the little red-haired girl in school. The writers, which include Schulz's son and grandson, found a way to use those recognizable scenes as a way to say something fresh about Charlie Brown: His awkwardness, isolation and timidness are in the end revealed to be admirable strengths for an honest and selfless kid.
What a wonderful message that is!
"The Peanuts Movie" may not have the deep, thought-provoking writing of say, Pixar's "Inside Out," but that's OK. It's a warm, wholesome movie with appeal for just about all ages. It's a small treasure.