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.