About This Item

Preview Image for Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie
Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie (Blu-ray Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000174904
Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 16/7/2016 17:37
View Changes

Other Reviews, etc
  • Log in to Add Reviews, Videos, Etc
  • Places to Buy

    Searching for products...

    Other Images

    Review for Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie

    8 / 10


    I’ve always been a fan. Right now, it’s anime that most appeals to me, but over the years I’ve been obsessed with all manner of sci-fi, Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Highlander, Quantum Leap, Battlestar Galactica. I’ve been obsessive about Laurel & Hardy, addicted to Dallas and Neighbours, hooked on computer games, religiously followed bands and pop stars, read Asimov, Pratchett, Banks, spent more money and time on chasing entertainment than some would consider wise. And I can trace it all back to the one day, as a three or four year old, that my dad took me to work with him, to the primary school where he taught, and left me to explore the school library. I picked the biggest picture book I could find and settled down at a table. It was a Peanuts album, and while I could read (one of the perils of having teachers for parents), I didn’t exactly comprehend all that the characters were talking about. But I was enchanted with the adventures of a beagle named Snoopy and his best friend Woodstock. That’s when I first became a fan, and I started pestering my parents for more Peanuts (and Asterix, Tintin and Lucky Luke; it was a long afternoon in that library!), and you can imagine my delight when I learned that they made Peanuts cartoons as well, and while the TV broadcasts were rare, and confined to the holidays, I could always get a clip or two on Screen Test each week.

    Inline Image

    That was the start of my first fandom, and I followed Peanuts through the years, buying the books, watching the cartoons, reading the weekly strip in the Sunday newspaper, and like so many other fans, I was heartbroken when creator Charles M. Schulz died in 2000. I thought that my fandom for Peanuts would be frozen in time at that point. Schulz had creative control over his characters, and he mandated that no new strips be made following his death. He also had input in the television specials and the feature films, and while some TV specials have been made since 2000, they’ve all been based on existing strips. I certainly wasn’t expecting anything new from the world of Snoopy and Charlie Brown, certainly not a new feature film. The first indications were worrying, when I learned that following the current Hollywood fashion, it would be a 3D CG animation. But then I saw the trailer, and it felt like classic Peanuts, even through the CGI. No wonder, as in the extras on this disc, I learned that the film had been authorised by the estate of Charles M Schulz, with the expectation that if they didn’t make a film, someone else would, while it’s co-written by his son Craig and grandson Bryan Schulz.

    Inline Image

    Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, he is the Charlie Browniest. He’s the eternal optimist, waking up each day ready to face the world and take on all challenges, only to be beaten down by constant failure and his own personality each time. He’ll never pitch anyone out at baseball, he’ll never get that kite to fly, and he’ll never kick that football. He’ll certainly never impress a girl, or as Lucy van Pelt succinctly puts it, Charlie Brown is a ‘weak, wishy-washy blockhead’. But Charlie Brown has never had as much incentive to change as when a new kid moves into their neighbourhood. It’s the Little Red Haired Girl, and Charlie Brown is determined to make the right first impression, or second impression, or third... Can he change? Can he be the confident, likeable chap that he wants to be? Fortunately he has the sage advice of his best friend Linus, and when it comes to matters of the heart, his trusty beagle Snoopy is ready to take him in hand... or paw.

    Inline Image


    The Peanuts Movie gets a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer on this disc, and as you might expect from a major studio release, it is difficult to fault, with no signs of compression or banding at all. It’s just a faithful representation of the original source material. The Peanuts characters make the transition to CGI remarkably well. You learn why if you watch the extras. They opted to use the same animation techniques from the original TV specials and cel animated movies, noting that the character models change depending on their pose, that successive frames, say from three-quarter face to profile are jump cuts, not smooth transitions, and characters don’t exactly obey CGI physics. In essence they kept the Peanuts style for the feature film, which is why it feels so right, even in the digital medium.

    Inline Image


    You have the choice between DTS-HD MA 7.1 Surround English with DD 5.1 Surround English audio descriptive, Spanish, French and Portuguese, with subtitles in these languages. It’s a nice surround track, really coming to life for the World War I Flying Ace sequences, but otherwise presenting the dialogue clearly, the film’s action sequences well, and impressing with the music. Christophe Beck provides a score that suits the Peanuts world well, but the film also makes uses of some classic Vince Guaraldi jazz that Peanuts fans will be well acquainted with. The Peanuts Movie follows the tradition of casting children in the roles, while archive recordings of Bill Melendez, who voiced them in the original animations, were used for Snoopy and Woodstock.

    Inline Image


    The disc comes in an Amaray case, with an o-card slip cover that replicates the sleeve art. You also get a code for Ultraviolet and Digital HD copy. The disc autoplays with trailers for Ice Age: Collision Course (the Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe short that was released with this film in cinemas), Kung Fu Panda 3, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip. These are followed by an Anti-piracy thank you.

    The disc then boots to an animated menu, with that classic Vince Guaraldi theme playing over it. This is one of those discs that hold their place in memory after ejecting, and pop-ups will appear when you pause, fast forward or change audio options during playback.

    Inline Image

    In the extras menu you will find...

    Snoopy Snippets; there are six in total running to 2:45, offering little sketches of classic humour.

    You Never Grow Up Charlie Brown comprises 3 featurettes, running to 30:17 in total, looking at the Peanuts universe as it was in comic strip and 2D animation form, and the transition to and creation of this CG feature film.

    Snoopy’s Sibling Salute looks at that mid-end-credits bonus which features Snoopy in a Paris road side cafe alongside his brothers and sister. This lasts 1:55.

    Inline Image

    Learn to Draw Snoopy (4:13), and Learn to Draw Woodstock (3:04) has director Steve Martino giving a quick art lesson.

    My least favourite part of the disc, Get Down With Snoopy and Woodstock Music Video (2:17), in which they remix Vince Guaraldi!

    “Better When I’m Dancin’” Meghan Trainor Lyric Video (3:01), and “Better When I’m Dancin’” Meghan Trainor Music Video (3:08) offer a sing along version of the song from the film, and the official music video. There’s also a Behind the Scenes of “Better When I’m Dancin’” to get a look at the making of.

    Inline Image

    Snoopy’s Playlist lets you watch all of the music interludes in the film, either edited together to a 27:52 showreel, or each track individually. As you can imagine, there’s a fair bit of disc grinding as the player jumps from point to point on disc.

    There are four Image Galleries, offering Concept Art, Color Keys, Characters, and Final Art. There are five trailers for the film, and the Sneak Peek lets you watch the Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe short again, this time with its credit sequences intact.

    Inline Image


    In some ways, the Peanuts movie might be the best adaptation of the Charles M. Schulz comic strip to the animation medium. I love the 2D animations, some of the holiday specials are still classics, while I have plenty of time for the feature films, but there was a legacy of the comic strips that played through those TV shows and films. There was an overall story certainly, but the stories were structured to let some of the strips play out in animated form. It might be a show about Woodstock’s nest being stolen, but it would find time to have a Lucy Schroeder exchange verbatim from the comic strips, there might be a bit with Linus and his blanket, Snoopy and Woodstock would stop for a flight of fancy, Charlie Brown would once again fail at kicking a football, and so on. For a Peanuts fan, this is all manna from heaven, but if you’re watching a movie, expecting the typical three act structure, a conventional narrative style, then this can come across as a little disjointed and awkward. While there is a bit of this to the new Peanuts Movie, it’s far more cohesive a piece of storytelling. It feels more like a traditional movie, and it will have more appeal outside of established fandom, while with its story of when Charlie Brown first met the Little Red Haired Girl, it is an ideal jumping on point for new fans, who might be subsequently persuaded to look up the old cartoons and comic strips.

    Inline Image

    The Peanuts Movie is faster paced, more flamboyantly animated, and a little less philosophical and a little wittier than the originals, which would certainly appeal to modern audiences, although two or three points might niggle the original fans. One thing is compression, as getting all the familiar characters on screen, and giving them their moment to shine meant changing the setting. Lucy and Linus are in the same class alongside everyone else, despite being a year apart in age, while Marcie and Peppermint Patty are there as well (they attended a different school in the comic strip). The second thing is that we get to see the Little Red Haired Girl, which never happened in the strip (it did in one of the specials), although the way she’s introduced, only gradually revealing her face certainly mirrors the way she was usually hidden. The third thing is the happy ending. We’re in a world now where underdogs in family movies are supposed to succeed in the end, and that sits at odds with Charlie Brown as the eternal loser. He certainly fails more than he succeeds in this film, but it can’t end without giving him a moment of triumph, which is about as un-Charlie Brown as you can get. Then again maybe after 65 years the boy deserves a break.

    Inline Image

    But in every other respect, this is classic Peanuts. The characters are there, and all delightfully familiar, from the moment that Schroeder plays the Fox Fanfare on his piano to the moment that Lucy pulls away that football. Lucy’s still the fussbudget running the psychiatry stall, Charlie Brown is still the loser who wants to win, Sally’s devoted to Linus, Linus to his blanket, Peppermint Patty barrels on through without listening to anyone, least of all her long suffering best friend Marcie, it all feels so right.

    Inline Image

    The story is simple but very easy to relate to, one boy’s quest to be noticed by a girl, in the right way. Charlie Brown is smitten with The Little Red Haired Girl from the moment he sees her, and despite his constant failings he tries to become the kind of person that she would like. Despite Snoopy’s help, it doesn’t always work, whether it’s dancing, or magic. But it’s all about perseverance and hard work, and about never giving up. It’s a solid message for a family audience. Running parallel to this is Snoopy’s story. It turns out that there are no dogs allowed in school (unless they wear a Joe Cool outfit), and after being thrown out, he discovers a typewriter in the trash. That allows him to start crafting his epic of the World War 1 Flying Ace and the love of his life Fifi. We regularly slip into Snoopy’s flights of fancy as he writes, meeting Fifi and battling the infamous Red Baron, again a story of perseverance against the odds.

    Inline Image

    Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie is great fun, and it captures much of what I loved about Peanuts in the first place. The CGI medium allows for the kind of fantastic and imaginative animation that you could never have accomplished traditionally. Most modern family animations have simple stories for the children, with witty winks to the camera for their parents. This film has a strong and simple story for the children. But for mum and dad, it has a wonderful sense of nostalgia as well, and that might make it a timeless movie where other modern animations will date. It’s well worth seeking out, only now I want those classic Peanuts movies and specials to get the Blu-ray treatment as well!

    Your Opinions and Comments

    I really, really wanted to like this as much as the TV specials and previous animated movies, like 'Snoopy Come Home' and 'A Boy Named Charlie Brown' - but just didn't. It was certainly fun, reasonably faithful and episodic in the way those films were but something of its original charm was gone, though I find it difficult to know quite what. For me the film was a 6/10. Enjoyed the review though ... as always! :)
    posted by Stuart McLean on 18/7/2016 15:35
    Thanks for the good review Jitendar, I must go out and buy this on DVD (do not have bluray player or any disks). For some reason this film has slipped by me, did not notice it at the cinema.

    I am a Scobby doo fan and loved the two films with live actors, and Garfield the cat was another brilliant movie, so hope this is of the same ilk, Cheers Bandicoot.
    posted by bandicoot on 19/7/2016 22:53
    Hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Bandicoot!
    posted by Jitendar Canth on 20/7/2016 11:53