Peanuts 3D movie

Okay, if you’re a Peanuts fan, you need to drop whatever you’re doing and look at this: a teaser trailer for a 3-D, CGI Peanuts movie.

I have mixed feelings about this. I have to say that the trailer looks pretty damn good; it’s computer animation, but the characters have a hand-drawn look to them and are amazingly true to Schulz’s designs. Charlie Brown’s hair and facial features are exactly right. They don’t look like Pixar characters at all.

The backgrounds (trees, grass, clouds, etc.) are simple, but far more elaborately rendered than the comic strips ever were. Schultz gradually stopped doing detailed backgrounds in the 60s, and by the 70s it’s down to an occasional cloud or tree. The trailer tries to strike a balance between hyper-realistic CGI and Schultz’s minimalistic approach, and I think it works. Maybe.

The big unknown is the story. Many of Schultz’s best gags and storylines have already been plundered for those 30-minute animated TV specials. Will this be an entirely original story? A bad script could sink this, no matter how faithful the visuals are. IMDB lists Schulz’s son Craig and grandson Bryan in the writing credits.


I share your cautious enthusiasm. I thought they did a pretty good job of maintaining the 2D look while moving forward with the inescapable CG. Kids just go into movies now expecting it to look a certain way (for feature films, at least), so it has to be done.

And it’s a great experiment in translation. Future adaptations can now do things with a similar creative approach, to not make things look too jarring.

I was expecting an abomination and it really wasn’t that bad. Hurdle one was the look and feel. Looks like they may have passed that. Hurdle two is the script

So…that’s why Toy Story flopped, completely, and no studio would back it? :dubious:

Toy Story’s success is one big reason kids now expect animated movies to have the 3D look of computer animation. That was GuanoLad’s point, so why the sarcasm? :confused:

Since when does Snoopy love Charlie Brown? I always sensed he had the utmost contempt for him. Of course that was the strip, not bizzaro animated Snoopy.

I hate 3D animation, but at least they made an attempt to keep it simple. It sort of reminds me of the Peanuts Viewmaster slides I had as a kid.

Snoopy often referred to Charlie as “that round-headed” kid, but there have been times when he showed some affection for him.

Well, of course – the round-headed kid feeds him!

I’ve never seen Snoopy show contempt for Charlie Brown. More of a passive indifference until suppertime.

And I think it looks pretty good. The script will be key. I hope they don’t pepper it with tons of current pop culture references like Shrek did. There’s a way to make it “new” without abandoning Schulz’s voice.

I’m worried that it’ll end up looking like those dreadful CGI cartoons they pass off to kids nowadays Saturday mornings or on the Disney channel - yuck! If they do this right (keep it simple, stupid!) it might be OK. As in Toy Story, the plot is critical.

But what’s next? 3D CGI Snagglepuss? (I don’t want to give them any ideas…)

There’s no way to make a Peanuts movie without it being aimed squarely at kids. Too bad, because the strip wasn’t really a kid’s strip, was it?

Not necessarily. All of the great cartoon series were successful because they played to many different levels, from small children to adult. When I was in grade school, I loved Rocky and Bullwinkle because it was so silly. I watched it when I was older, and I laughed because understood a lot of the jokes for the first time.

The horrible cartoons on TV nowadays are strictly lowest common denominator. I’m not sure if it’s because the people who make them are just without talent, if they’re operating under some warped idea as to what kids want, if or kids really are dumber today than they were fifty years ago.

It brings back memories of the Peanuts View-Master reels.

I still have old Peanuts books with my name and the date 1963 in my mother’s handwriting inside the front cover. I was 4 at that time, already an avid reader and comics lover, and particularly loved the Peanuts strips. I still have a ton of Peanuts books from the sixties. I thought they were funny then, and as I got older, I started to “get” a lot of the jokes which made me laugh as a kid only because I thought they were silly. Peanuts is definitely aimed at adults, but written and drawn to appeal to kids.

In 1969, when Peanuts was at the height of it’s popularity (with several television specials, a Broadway show, a major motion picture, and Snoopy immortalized in a namesake lunar module and three songs by the Royal Guardsmen), a friend of mine thought it was all just a fad that would die out in a year, and that I was just caught up in the hype. Little did he know.

Agreed. This project could have looked craptacular, but the teaser was constrained and reasonably true to the Peanuts’ aesthetic. Keeping the story and humor low key will be the challenge. They need to resist fart jokes, slapstick, and other broad humor that is so prevalent in the genre.

Didja watch the trailer? I think the animation is very smartly done. Basically 3D bodies with “inked” features.

It actually looks nice? Wonder what they’ll do for a script…that worries me.

That they keep out the obligatory kidvid toilet humor is my [del]number one[/del] primary concern. (Notice how lately they’ve been putting it right in the ad campaigns? Mr Peabody: “He’s leaving his mark on history.” Rio 2: “Party pooper.”) Slapstick? Well hell, we’'ve got to have Charlie Brown doing a pratfall when Lucy pulls the football away.

Apparently Charles Shultz’s son Craig had a lot of control in the production, and was committed to maintaining the look, feel and original charm of Peanuts. No word on the script/story yet, but I am hoping for the best.

I also see a strong resemblance to the Viewmaster “look”…

As a Peanuts fan since childhood, I liked that trailer and am also cautiously optimistic. I didn’t make the connection to the Viewmaster reels (which I had as a kid!) but yeah, it’s very similar.

The one thing I wonder is why Charlie Brown is wearing pants instead of shorts. He almost never wore pants, and certainly not with his iconic outfit.