Good grief! Charles M. Schulz’s enduring and beloved comic strip, Peanuts, is making its way back to the big screen next year and 20th Century Fox doesn’t want us to forget it; following yesterday’s image barrage, the studio has released a brand new teaser, though apparently ahead of schedule. (According to Fox’s Twitter feed, the studio had intended on premiering the clip on Thanksgiving day, but Snoopy leaked it by accident. Cute.)
This isn’t the first time Fox has shown off its 3D visual treatment of Schulz’s creation – they put a one minute clip for the film online last March – but eight months of toil and labor under the direction of Steve Martino (Horton Hears a Who!) have given Fox and Blue Sky Studios more to show off this time around.
Maybe you’re a Peanuts fan, maybe the comic strip (and its subsequent TV specials/animated movie adaptations) is too far before your time, or maybe you just aren’t moved by Schulz’s unassuming human insights; no matter your feeling on the source, it’s easy to get swept up in how great this new footage looks.
Take, for example, the dearth of motion blur in the animation; every action that Snoopy, Woodstock, and Charlie Brown take here is crisp, coherent, and easily read against a bright, vibrant color palette. Even though we know we’re watching 3D animated pictures, there’s a snappiness to the character movements that almost feels like something out of a traditional cel-shaded cartoon. It’s an unexpectedly nice touch.
And yes, sure, the entire bit is pure Peanuts from start to finish. The Christmas setting is pretty significant (and should call to mind A Charlie Brown Christmas, which for better or worse wound up being almost as culturally significant as Peanuts itself), and of course there’s Snoopy on a literal flight of fancy over the streets of Paris. Most of all, there’s Charlie Brown being Charlie Brown in front of the rest of the Peanuts gang, capping off the teaser with his signature catchphrase.
That’s probably a big reassurance to Peanuts diehards, though with Schulz’s son Craig on board as a writer and producer (with Paul Feig also producing), there’s little to no chance that the film will be anything less than respectful of Schulz Sr.’s work.
Peanuts arrives in theaters on November 6th, 2015.