Several beloved characters will be returning to the big screen in 2015, among them being Peter Pan (in Joe Wright’s Pan origins film), Luke Skywalker (in Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and the original blockhead himself, Charlie Brown. Peanuts is the computer-animated feature that will bring good ol’ Chuck, his friends, and his pet Snoopy to life in 3D for a 21st-century audiences.
At the same time, Peanuts will remain true to the timeless spirit of the late Charles M. Schulz’ original creations; meaning, there will be no attempts to make the property “hip” with trendy pop culture humor/references. The movie is being produced by Paul Feig – director of Bridesmaids and The Heat – and its script was co-written by Charles Schulz’ son (Craig Schulz) and grandson (Bryan Schulz), so there’s reason to believe that the movie will be something both worthwhile and respectful.
The animation style of Peanuts is likewise clearly modeled off that from Charlie Brown cartoons and comic strips of the 20th century (see the film’s teaser trailer for more proof of that), with the intention being to create a 3D animated world that’s more immersive than pop-out in design. As Peanuts director Steve Martino (Horton Hears a Who!) told USA Today, when explaining the beauty in the minimalistic design of the Peanuts characters, “A little tilt of that eye shape can give you worry. A little stretch and raise of that little dot can give you surprise.”
Some longtime Peanuts fans may need some time before they get used to seeing characters such as Linus and Peppermint Pattie in three dimensions, though the 2015 movie will carry over certain technical elements that ought to help with the transition. Archival recordings of the late Bill Melendez are being (re)used in order to give Snoopy and Woodstock “voices” in the film. It also wouldn’t come as a surprise if the Peanuts score pays homage to Vince Guaraldi’s classic Peanuts music and/or just features parts of it in combination with fresh musical compositions done in a similar style.
Check out the Peanuts images below, for your first look at classic Peanuts characters other than Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Woodstock.
The Peanuts story follows Charlie Brown as he goes on a quest “to get something he’s sure he needs“, though he soon realizes that he may’ve been incorrect in his original assumption. Elements such as the simple morality of the Peanuts universe make it good family-friendly material, but as Martino noted to USA Today, Schulz’ stories also offer philosophical lessons that, in many ways, become more meaningful to people as they get older.
“I wake up every day and it’s like, ‘Today’s the day we’re going to win that game! I’m going to kick that football!’ As you have more life experience, those things have more meaning.”
Other elements of Peanuts also have different meanings for adults than for kids, such as the continuation of Snoopy’s fantasies about fighting his sworn enemy the Red Baron during aerial dogfights (pun!) in WWI. Martino even went flying in a biplane with Craig Schulz, as inspiration for his direction on those imagination-based sequences in the film; as the filmmaker put it, the plan is to “give the audience a little bit of that feeling when were taking flight with Snoopy” – something that the 3D aspect ought to benefit.
Peanuts opens in U.S. theaters on November 6th, 2015.
Source: USA Today