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The Peanuts Movie 

Wednesday, Nov 4 2015
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Steve Martino's wonderful The Peanuts Movieis a loving tribute not only to the original comic strips and cartoons, but to the man who created the franchise, Charles "Sparky" Schulz. (Appropriately enough, the script was co-written by his son Craig and grandson Bryan.) The modern 3D animation faithfully recreates a mid-20th-century suburban milieu, too; this is a world of cathode-ray televisions and telephones with coiled cords. (Anyone compelled to complain that the presence of songs by modern pop stars Meghan Trainor and Flo Rida is somehow disrespectful to the sanctity ofPeanutsis encouraged to watch the 1984 specialFlashbeagle, written by Sparky himself. The main narrative threads involve both Charlie Brown's (Noah Schnapp) passive pursuit of the Little Red-Haired Girl (Francesca Capaldi), who remains the same nameless object of desire she ever was, while Snoopy (OG Bill Melendez) engages in some spectacular aerial battles with the Red Baron via his imagination and his mechanical typewriter. The relentlessly charmingPeanuts Movieis probably the only post-millennial G-rated film to rely so heavily on World War I imagery, let alone to drop a reference toBarney Google,devote a subplot toWar and Peace, or make escrow jokes. But it's mostly an excuse to pick and choose from 50 years of killerPeanutsmaterial, give or takeFlashbeagle.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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