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The Peanuts Movie, a review

by Louisa Klein

The scholar and bestselling author Umberto Eco (author of “The Name of the Rose”) once said that the Peanuts were “poems made into strips”. Personally, I believe there’s no better definition for Charles Schulz creations. I learned to read on Schulz strips. Every week, dad would come back from the bookshop with a small paperback collecting a number of Charlie Brown stories. Each book had a different theme, such as summer holidays, or Christmas, or going back to school. I learned what sarcasm was thanks to Lucy. I learned irony from Linus and started listening to Beethoven to emulate Schroder. And we’ll I owe Snoopy and his typewriter my first attempts at writing! I’m more than a hard core Peanuts’ fan, I grew up with them, I had imaginary conversations with them! I watched every single Peanuts movie that came out, didn’t miss one. They were all good, but never as good as the strips. That’s probably why I was so nervous about this reboot, fearing that the new computer technology would ruin my “poems made into strips”. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The moment the film started, I was six again, chewing my popcorn while watching wide eyed my imaginary friends come to life on the big screen. Well, I’m glad to say that, after all these years, they haven’t changed a bit: Lucy is still bossy Lucy, Charlie is the same insecure, yet deep and smart kid and Linus is always the wisest of all. Snoopy’s imagination is so powerful, that it got me envious of it! By the way, CURSE YOU, RED BARON! 😉 The story is simple, yet multi-layered, focusing on Charlie Brown and his crush on the Little Red Haired Girl, who’s just moved in the neighbourhood, becoming one of his classmates. Here, we finally get to see her, which is one of the few changes you’ll find in the movie. The biggest one is that the Peanuts are all the same age and in the same classroom. Which doesn’t make much sense, considering that Lucy is Linus’ big sister and that their entire relationship is built on her bullying him because of it. Now, many traditional fans will wrinkle their noses in disapproval, but I’m not with them on this. To keep the narration together, it’s easier to have everyone in Miss Othmar’s class; also, bear in mind that no movie can be exactly the same as the book. What’s important, is that this reboot reveres Schulz’s characters and their world, to a point that it made me go back to my childhood and I’m sure will gather Charlie and his gang a plethora of new, young fans who, hopefully, will learn to read on his strips.
 
The Peanuts movie,
directed by Steve Martino

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