Maybe I’m a little late coming into this topic, but since it’s close to my heart, I’m writing about it anyways. About a week ago we received a trailer for the new Peanuts movie that will be arriving next Christmas. I remember reading an article about it maybe last year and then news about it seemed to vanish shortly after. I didn’t keep up to date so I figured it was a fresh idea that got tossed aside somewhere in the early stages of production, but it seems that it made it out with an official release date no less.
My feelings are…conflicted. I love Charlie Brown, I grew up with the comics and episodes. I still watch the holiday specials every year, I still own the merchandise, and I still think the stories are classics. Peanuts is witty, has that dry humor I love, and takes the audience seriously despite it being geared toward a younger audience. The series has range and that’s why it’s stood the test of time. People still quote it, they know who Snoopy is, they know the famous theme, and if they see a yellow shirt with a black zigzag on it, they’ll immediately relate it to Charlie Brown. The series is well known and I’m not sure how aware younger kids are of it, but it is nice to know there’s a new film underway for a new generation.
That being said, I’m growing weary of reboots and sequels. I can’t help but wonder if Hollywood is running out of ideas and has to heavily rely on the nostalgia factor this year. Nostalgia can be a lot of fun, but the film industry also needs balance. With every reboot or sequel there needs to be something original. Marvel recently announced their next phase which is weighted down with more sequels, but they’re also giving us new heroes that haven’t been granted much if any screen time in the past decade. We’re getting Captain Marvel and Black Panther who some haven’t yet heard of. That’s fun, it’s new, it’s fresh faces and it will be a nice break from the sequels and final trilogy installments.
Only this is Charlie Brown and I have to ask – “Do we need another Charlie Brown movie?”
I’m also iffy on the artwork. Partly because I’m one of those people who tends to bash on computer animation even though I don’t find it all that bad. My problem is that hand drawn art is dying quickly and shouldn’t be. I always found that part of the Peanuts charm was the artwork. It’s iconic and it almost feels wrong that it’s computerized for this next movie. Yet, it’s clear the animators are paying homage to the old look. The art has hand drawn qualities and it makes the trailer look unique – almost original. I have to admit, the film looks nice. The colors are soft and it’s, at lack for a better word, pretty. It’s a pretty trailer and I wouldn’t mind sitting through an entire film with that art style.
I’m torn between wanting to cling onto the old and embracing the new. I like the style, the nods to the classic episodes, and even the voice acting. I like that Charlie Brown is still relevant and that this film might introduce younger kids to the iconic characters if they haven’t been already, but I also wish the older material could speak for itself. I wish the classics would remain classics and continue being broadcasted around holidays and released on DVD. I wish the old art style would remain the only art style for the series and that audiences of all generations could continue knowing what Peanuts is without a reboot.
In all honesty I will see this film. Maybe it will impress me, who knows? It doesn’t have a bad trailer, it just feels unnecessary. I don’t know if I’ll pay theater price for it, but when it comes to DVD I’ll rent it.
While I’m on the fence, I am still holding onto the hope of a Fox Trot film. Maybe one day…