If you're like me, you've always enjoyed reading Peanuts in the newspapers and catching the holiday specials on TV.
As a matter of fact, it's a family tradition of mine to sit and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas every year and I will continue to do so 'til the day I die. Peanuts was actually such a memorable part of my childhood that despite my age, I proudly sat in the theater with all the families full of kids.
I'm happy to see Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and Snoopy reaching a new generation of Americans with their timeless experiences. I'm also thrilled to say The Peanuts Movie stays true to the character of Charles Schultz's original comic strip and Hollywood didn't butcher it, thank goodness.
Here's why I loved the movie:
1. The Charlie Brown plot is a good one to show today's youth.
2. The Snoopy timeline is classic and fun.
3. Even adults can be reminded there's still some good, clean fun in this world.
Basically, the plot of the movie is the pursuit of love. Charlie Brown discovers a new girl has moved into his neighborhood and he's instantly smitten. Numerous times he'll begin to pursue her, but will back down out of fear and lack of self-confidence. Nevertheless, he pushes forward noticing little details about her and the things they have in common and he keeps finding new ways to get her to notice him.
I appreciated how the movie chose to present his pursuit of the Little Red-Haired Girl. Charlie Brown didn't try to be the bad boy, class clown, or sports jock. Instead, he practiced magic tricks for the talent show, learned to dance for the Winter Dance competition, and read War and Peace for a book report, all in order to impress the girl.
Charlie Brown shows boys how to pursue the girl with wit and genuine personality as opposed to setting his sights on something lower like being the "cool kid" in order to get her attention.
As far as the Snoopy timeline is concerned, I loved it!
Snoopy is such an interesting character and his vivid imagination is always great fun! In the movie, he fights his nemesis, the Red Baron, in his attempt to rescue the girl. All along, he's got his buddy and pal, Woodstock, there beside him for his adventures and it was a great separation of entertainment to switch back and forth between the Charlie Brown timeline and the Snoopy timeline.
Finally, I would argue even adults would enjoy this movie. Why?
Because it's a reminder there's still good in this world, and our perception of reality can make or break our day. We all know the world can be a dark place, and we all have our own battles to fight. It's very easy to get discouraged or get caught up in the daily grind. However, Peanuts reminds us that life can be simple, life can be hopeful and fun if we look for it.
The Peanuts Movie takes such a simple concept (boy pursues girl), and makes it engaging and fun. We should all take note and follow in Charlie Brown's footsteps of pursuit: never, ever give up and things always turn out alright.
Here's the trailer to help convince yourself to go see it this weekend...