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Check out teaser for Peanuts 3D movie

I’ve been dreading this moment since it was announced a Peanuts movie was in the works. I have a complex view of “legacy” strips or related projects. In an ideal world, the creator’s work should end with the death or retirement of the original creator. But we don’t live in that world, so I give wide allowance for reality – syndicates, heirs have every right to carry on the original creator’s work just as business partners or family members can take over the family business in any other industry.

But Peanuts is a bit different. Sparky reportedly said he didn’t want anyone taking over the strip when he passed and I stretched that directive to other Peanuts endeavors (comic books and movies) which may be a more limited view than Sparky’s actual feelings as far as non-strip projects go.

So all that said, I’m cautious but feeling slightly better about this endeavor after watching the teaser. The animation looks high quality and Charlie Brown sounds like Charlie Brown. He’s not a glossy perfect animation – you can see hints they’ve tried to maintain Sparky’s squiggly pen style (example: Charlie Brown’s hair). So we’ll see.

Community Comments

#1 david essman
March/18/2014
@ 11:08 am

“But Peanuts is a bit different. Sparky reportedly said he didn?t want anyone taking over the strip when he passed”

He might have well given it to another artist, it’s not like when he ended his strip, syndicates stopped selling it to newspapers.

Reruns (yes this again) have been in newspapers for 14 years occupying a space that could go to a new artist, but doesn’t because those reruns still make money for the syndicate.

His strip is still in newspapers as any legacy comic (that changes artists) is still in newspapers.

#2 Jeff P.
March/18/2014
@ 1:02 pm

The only thing that’s different about this is that Schulz isn’t around to produce it. I doubt he’d have a problem with it as long as the character portrayals are accurate, but I could be wrong.

I think the clip is promising in terms of the look of the characters, the animation, the backgrounds. However, if the story isn’t good, the best animation in the world won’t save it. Here’s hoping that the plot is derived from actual Schulz scripts and isn’t updated to be “hip”. (The fact I used “hip” shows I am definitely not.)

#3 Rick Kirkman
March/18/2014
@ 1:47 pm

I was horrified by the thought of this in 3D, but I have to admit, this trailer brought a smile to my face. I think it’s a great balance between CG and the original. More importantly, to me, it captured the essence of the characters?the expressions, action, voices? and ultimately improved on the pacing of the original Peanuts animation without entering into that frenetic area where most current animated movies go.

I agree with Jeff: I hate the hippifying of animated movies. I think, ultimately, it will date them and severely shorten their longevity in the culture. I hope they stay away from that in this one. If they do, they may have another multi-generation hit.

Now I’m cautiously optimistic about the movie.

#4 Frank M Hansen
March/18/2014
@ 2:33 pm

The original thought is horrifying, but as other have mentioned, the teaser does look promising. They seem to have captured the simple beauty of the TV specials but 90 min of this?, we’ll see.

#5 Joe Engesser
March/19/2014
@ 2:46 am

‘Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown’ nailed it a few years ago! The voices and storyline really make or break it and “Smurfifying” may introduce Sparky’s Lil’ Folks to a whole new audience. Ultimately it’s about his masterful strips.

#6 Jim Lavery
March/19/2014
@ 10:14 am

To show how far it’s drifting from Schulz’ wishes, it should be noted that the film exclaims it’s a “PEANUTS” movie. Schulz hated that title as it was forced on him by the syndicates and he never used it himself and all his animated productions–TV and movies–never utilized that name in their titles. So that’s another strike against this project.

#7 Alan Gardner
March/19/2014
@ 10:25 am

Jim – you make a good point about the title. I wonder if it’s an oversight, or a conscience decision to maintain/expand the Peanuts brand. Either way, I agree – it goes against Sparky’s approach.

#8 Joe Engesser
March/19/2014
@ 12:24 pm

Would be nice to honor him by getting ‘Lil Folks’ in the title somehow.

#9 Garey Mckee
March/20/2014
@ 7:34 pm

The fact that Schulz disliked the title forced upon his strip is well documented but it is now a matter of brand recognition. The decision to title the film after the strip rather than the main character is probably an effort to bolster the Peanuts brand rather than promote individual characters.

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