Peanuts is not a huge brand in the UK, and while most people over a certain age are familiar with Snoopy, and most of those people know Charlie Brown, I still think it was a mistake to call this film Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie, a title that doesn’t exactly feel right to say. It also has the stink of ‘please give us your money’, as it puts the only two marketable things about the film right there in the title. Even so, with generally good reviews from America, and a cute trailer to go with it, this certainly has the potential to be a hidden gem.
Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie follows Charlie Brown, a notorious loser to the kids in his town, as he tries to turn his life around and become ‘a winner’ in an attempt to impress the new girl. The film also follows Snoopy, his dog (and apparently the most powerful being in the universe once you see what he can do), as he tries to write a great story on his typewriter.
If this plot sounds a little thin, that’s because it is. Sometimes films, especially ones made for the family market, can get by with very little in the way of story, if it has good enough characters, or if the events that take place are fun enough. Unfortunately here that just isn’t the case. Watching Charlie Brown write a book report – not hugely entertaining. Watching Charlie Brown not fly a kite – also not hugely entertaining.
As I’ve already mentioned, this film is split into two parts. The Snoopy half is by far the better ‘story’ thread. It provides most of the laughs, it’s almost constantly sweet, and I can’t help but feel like a lot of children might be picking up a Snoopy toy in the near future. However, much like the classic comic strip, the sections starring Charlie Brown just don’t quite cut it, and I feel like even little kids might find themselves getting uncomfortable in their seats. The film also gets a little bit lost in trying to promote a good message about being yourself, which in itself is a wonderful thing, but as with many elements of the film, it doesn’t quite work.
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