Classic comic strips/cartoons being given the CG feature film treatment is nothing new, and unfortunately, neither is their ability to almost all be pretty bad. Hell, not even Bill Murray could save Garfield: The Movie, and the two Smurfs movies will leave you blue in the face as you try to figure out just how it’s possible they made so much money. So naturally it’s with a bit of caution that we approach Peanuts, the upcoming CG animated feature film based on Charles Schulz’s much beloved long running comic strip featuring everybody’s favourite bald headed kid and his dog. However, it’s cautious optimism, as what we’re seeing and hearing actually sounds pretty good.
USA Today released these first two pics from the film, showing us the rather faithful art style being employed for the film. But much more than nice pictures, what’s also giving me hope that this film might be one of the few exceptions to the norm, are the people involved. Charles Schulz may have passed away in 2000, but it’s his family that are still driving this picture. The film is being co-written by Schulz’s screenwriter grandson, Bryan, while Schulz’s own son Craig is producing it.
Craig explained how there has been talk about making this movie for years, but the family decided to take it’s time with it – delayed even further by the passing of the cartoonist – until they knew that everything was just right.
“It’s long overdue. The fans have been asking for a long time, but we held off until the time was right.”
“I’m way more protective than my father would have been. Our No. 1 goal was always to be authentic to his work and legacy.”
“With my father’s work this is three generation of Shulzes on this film.”
The film is not being directed by a Schulz though, that task falls to Steve Martino of Horton Hears a Who and Ice Age: Continental Drift fame, while Paul Feig will be executive producing. Although the plot details are being kept under wraps (“it’s about a round-headed kid and his dog,” is all Craig would say), we do know that the movie will be incorporating not only Schulz’s 50 years of work on the comic strip, but also all the additions made by Bill Melendez and his several animated TV specials, like A Charlie Brown Christmas. And we’re even going to see Snoopy’s WW2 adventures, according to Martino.
“We’re going to fly with Snoopy in his fantasy world,. We have a bigger canvas. Bill Melendez got Snoopy off the ground in the TV specials. We’re going to take it a step further.”
But that step will luckily not be too far though, as Feig assures fans that the strip’s “sweet optimism” will remain, and that “Snoopy will not be rapping, no one will be twerking, we’re in good hands.” And it’s that “optimism” that Martino, who has fond memories of reading the strip as a kid, wants to bring through the most.
“Charlie Brown is the guy who picks himself up after every fall and tries again. That’s what is powerful to me. These characters are known and loved worldwide, and now we have an opportunity to bring them to a new generation.”
Peanuts is set for release on November 6, 2015. That is unless somebody pulls the scheduling football away at the last second.
Last Updated: March 18, 2014