The Peanuts Movie

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The Peanuts Movie
Peanuts 2015.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteve Martino
Produced by
  • Craig Schulz
  • Bryan Schulz
  • Cornelius Uliano
  • Paul Feig
  • Michael J. Travers[1]
Screenplay by
  • Craig Schulz
  • Bryan Schulz
  • Cornelius Uliano
Based onPeanuts
by Charles M. Schulz
Starring
Music byChristophe Beck
CinematographyRenato Falcão[2]
Edited byRandy Trager[1]
Production
companies
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • November 1, 2015 (2015-11-01) (New York City premiere)
  • November 6, 2015 (2015-11-06) (United States)
Running time
88 minutes[5]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$99 million[6]
Box office$246.2 million[6]

The Peanuts Movie (known in some countries as Snoopy and Charlie Brown: A Peanuts Movie[7]) is a 2015 American computer-animated comedy film based on Charles M. Schulz's comic strip Peanuts, produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the fifth full-length Peanuts film, and the first in 35 years.[1] The film is directed by Steve Martino from a screenplay by Craig and Bryan Schulz (Schulz's son and grandson, respectively), and Cornelius Uliano, and stars the voices of Noah Schnapp as Charlie Brown and, via archival recordings, Bill Melendez as Snoopy and Woodstock. The film sees Charlie Brown trying to improve his odds with the Little Red-Haired Girl, while Snoopy writes a book about the World War I Flying Ace as he imagines himself as a legend trying to save his love interest and fellow pilot Fifi from the Red Baron and his army.

Development of the film began in 2006, six years after the death of Charles Schulz and the final release of the last Peanuts comic strip. Craig Schulz, the son of Charles, pitched a film idea to his son, Bryan Schulz. While presenting the film idea, Bryan stated that he had full creative control on the film, so that the quality would remain under Charles' legacy. 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios announced development of a computer-animated film in October 2012, with Steve Martino directing, due to his faithfulness in the film, Horton Hears a Who!, also produced by Blue Sky.[2][8] Numerous elements from the comic strip were featured in the film, such as Charlie Brown's skating pond, his house, "the wall" and Lucy's psychiatrist booth, as well as the Snoopy and Woodstock voice tracks from Bill Melendez.[9] The soundtrack was composed by Christophe Beck, with contributions by Meghan Trainor and David Benoit, including original tracks from Vince Guaraldi.[10][11]

The Peanuts Movie premiered in New York City on November 1, 2015,[12] and was released in the United States five days later. It grossed $246 million worldwide against a $99 million budget to become the 7th highest-grossing animated film of 2015. The film was met with generally positive reviews, with praise for the animation, voice acting, and faithfulness towards the source material. It received nominations for the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature, the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Animated Feature, and was the first Blue Sky Studios film to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film.

Plot[edit]

When the Little Red-Haired Girl moves into the neighborhood, Charlie Brown becomes infatuated with her, though worries his long-running streak of failures will prevent her from noticing him. After Lucy tells him he should try being more confident, Charlie Brown decides to embark upon a series of new activities in hope of finding one that will get the Little Red-Haired Girl to notice him.

He participates in the school's talent show, helped by Snoopy and Woodstock, however he drops his act in order to help his sister Sally. Attempting to impress the Little Red-Haired Girl with his dance skills, Charlie Brown signs up for the school dance and gets Snoopy to teach him all his best moves. At the dance, Charlie Brown attracts praise for his skills, but slips and sets one of his shoes to set off the sprinkler system, causing the dance to be cut short and all the other students to look down upon him once more.

Charlie Brown is partnered with the Little Red-Haired Girl to write a book report. When she is called away for a week to deal with a family illness, Charlie Brown decides to write the report alone, on the collegiate-level novel War and Peace. At the same time, Charlie Brown finds he is the only student to get a perfect score on a standardized test. His friends and the other students congratulate him, and his popularity begins to climb.

However, when he goes to accept a medal at a school assembly, he learns the test papers are accidentally mixed up and it actually belongs to Peppermint Patty; Charlie Brown reveals the mistake and declines the medal, losing all his newfound popularity. To make matters worse, his book report is destroyed by a Red Baron model plane, and he admits to the Little Red-Haired Girl he has caused them to both fail the assignment.

In a subplot, using a typewriter, Snoopy writes a novel about the World War I Flying Ace, trying to save Fifi from the Red Baron with Woodstock and his friends' help, using the key events and situations surrounding Charlie Brown as inspiration to develop his story. He acts out his adventure physically, coming across Charlie Brown and the gang several times along the way. Snoopy defeats the Red Baron and rescues Fifi from an airplane. When Lucy finishes reading, she calls it dumb, so Snoopy retaliates by licking her.

Before leaving school for summer, Charlie Brown is surprised when the Little Red-Haired Girl chooses him for a pen pal. Linus convinces Charlie Brown he needs to tell the Little Red-Haired Girl how he feels about her before she leaves for the summer. Racing to her house, he discovers she is about to leave on a bus for summer camp. He tries to chase the bus but is prevented from reaching it. Just as he is about to give up, Charlie Brown sees a kite fall from the Kite-Eating Tree. The string becomes entangled around his waist and sails away with him. Amazed to see Charlie Brown flying a kite, his friends follow. Upon reaching the bus, Charlie Brown finally asks the Little Red-Haired Girl why she has chosen him in spite of his failures. The Little Red-Haired Girl explains she admires his selflessness and his determination, calling him honest, caring, and compassionate. The other children congratulate him as a true friend and lifts him up in the air.

Cast[edit]

The main Peanuts characters as seen in the closing shot of the film (L to R): Franklin, Marcie, Peppermint Patty, Linus, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Woodstock, Sally, Schroeder, and Pig-Pen.

Snoopy's siblings also appear during the end credits.[15]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Director Steve Martino presented the film in the work-in-progress session at the 2015 Annecy International Animated Film Festival.[21]

In 2006, six years after the release of the last original Peanuts strip, as well as the death of creator Charles M. Schulz, his son Craig Schulz came up with an idea for a new Peanuts film, which he showed to his screenwriter son Bryan Schulz. "I was happy to show my son," Craig said. "He showed me how to make it bigger—how to blow it up more—and he helped me put in structure."[2] When presenting their film to studios, Craig stipulated that the film remain under Schulz control, saying, "We need[ed] to have absolute quality control and keep it under Dad's legacy... You can't bring people in from the outside and expect them to understand Peanuts."[2] On October 9, 2012, it was announced that 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios were developing a 3D computer-animated feature film based on the strip, with Steve Martino directing from the screenplay by Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz, and Cornelius Uliano. Craig, Bryan, and Uliano also produced.[8] Craig, stating there is no one "more protective of the comic strip than myself," chose Martino as director because he showed faithfulness to literature in his adaptation of Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!.[2]

On the film's plot, Martino said: "Here's where I lean thematically. I want to go through this journey... Charlie Brown is that guy who, in the face of repeated failure, picks himself back up and tries again. That's no small task. I have kids who aspire to be something big and great... a star football player or on Broadway. I think what Charlie Brown is—what I hope to show in this film—is the everyday qualities of perseverance... to pick yourself back up with a positive attitude—that's every bit as heroic... as having a star on the Walk of Fame or being a star on Broadway. That's the [story's] core. This is a feature film story that has a strong dramatic drive, and takes its core ideas from the strip."[2] Martino and his animators spent over a year looking at Charles M. Schulz's original drawing style to help translate the "hand-drawn warmth... into the cool pixel-precision of CGI" without the fear of something getting lost in translation, such as "how the dot of an eye [conveyed] joy or sorrow so efficiently".[2] In addition to receiving the rights to use Bill Melendez's voice for Snoopy and Woodstock, Martino was also able to get the rights to archive music from previous Peanuts specials.[2] Classic locations are featured, such as Charlie Brown's skating pond, his house, "the wall" and Lucy's psychiatrist booth, each retaining their "eternal look of the strip."[9] Additionally, despite being outdated technology, rotary phones and typewriters are seen, as well as Lucy's psychiatrist booth still costing a nickel. Adult characters "wah-wah" voices are represented by a trombone with a plunger mute, as in previous Peanuts media,[22] courtesy of New Orleans jazz musician Trombone Shorty.[17] Because of the robust number of existing Peanuts characters, the film does not introduce any new characters.[15]

On January 8, 2013, Leigh Anne Brodsky became the managing director of Peanuts Worldwide, and was set to control all the global deals for the film.[23] In April 2013, Fox announced that the film would be released in 3D.[24] In October 2013, it was announced that Paul Feig would also produce.[25] By April 2015, 75% of the animation was complete, with some footage scheduled to debut at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.[22]

Music[edit]

David Benoit, the jazz musician who is best known for his own rendition of Vince Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy", contributed to the score by Christophe Beck.[26]

In October 2014, it was announced that Christophe Beck would score the film.[11] Beck stated, "With the Peanuts movies, I grew up on those specials from the '60s and '70s, that, of course, rerun to this day. I'm very fond of all that Vince Guaraldi music, so what we did was try to find spots in the film where we could sort of touch down and remind people who were watching the film that it's still a Peanuts movie, and there's still a place for that music in the film. There's a bunch of spots where we quote the Guaraldi music, or we actually re-record his pieces quite faithfully." He also added that the score would be more orchestral than Guaraldi's previous scores, which were mainly a small jazz combo.[27] Jazz pianist David Benoit contributed to Beck's score.[26]

On July 28, 2015, it was announced that Meghan Trainor would write and perform a song for the film, entitled "Better When I'm Dancin'".[28] Epic Records released the soundtrack album on October 23, 2015.[10] The 20-track album features Trainor's "Better When I'm Dancin", Flo Rida's "That's What I Like" featuring Fitz, "Linus and Lucy", "Skating" and "Christmas Time Is Here" by Vince Guaraldi, from the A Charlie Brown Christmas album, and 15 tracks of Beck's original score for the film. An exclusive edition of the soundtrack released at Target features a second Trainor track, "Good to Be Alive".[29] The Japanese edition of the soundtrack includes "Good to Be Alive" and three more tracks from Beck's score.[30] The Japan version of the movie also uses Japanese singer-songwriter Ayaka's "A Song For You" for the trailer and the ending instead of Trainor's, but it was released as a single and did not appear on the Japanese edition of soundtrack album.[31][32]

Release[edit]

The Peanuts Movie held its premiere in New York City on November 1, 2015,[12] and was released on November 6, 2015 in the United States on 3,897 screens.[33][34] The release commemorates the 65th anniversary of the comic strip and the 50th anniversary of the TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas. The film was originally scheduled for November 25, 2015,[8] and in November 2012 was rescheduled to November 6, 2015.[33] The film was released as Snoopy and Charlie Brown: A Peanuts Movie in the United Kingdom and Australia in late December 2015.[7][35] The Australian release date was postponed to January 1, 2016.[36]

Home media[edit]

The Peanuts Movie was released on digital platforms on February 12, 2016 before being released on DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, and 4K Ultra HD a month later on March 8, 2016.[37] The film debuted at the top of the home media sales chart for the week ending on March 13, 2016.[38]

The film became available for streaming on Disney+ beginning August 7, 2020,[39] following The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of both 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios in 2019.[40]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The Peanuts Movie grossed $130.2 million in North America and $116 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $246.2 million.[6]

In the United States and Canada, the film grossed $12.1 million on its opening day, earning a total of $44 million for the weekend (with 27% of the gross coming from 3D screenings), finishing second at the box office behind Spectre ($70.4 million).[34] Outside North America, the film opened in the same week as the US and grossed $4.56 million from 12 markets. China ($2.76 million) and Italy ($1.16 million) delivered the biggest openings.[41] After three weekends, it opened to a total of 49 markets where it had the second biggest opening of 2015 in Mexico ($3.1 million) and debuted in the U.K., Ireland and Malta at No. 2 with $5.5 million (including previews) behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens.[42] One of the final markets was Australia where the film opened on New Year's Day 2016, earning $2.6 million in its first week.[43]

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 87% approval rating and an average rating of 7.1/10 based on 197 reviews, making it the highest-rated film produced by Blue Sky Studios. The site's consensus states: "The Peanuts Movie offers a colorful gateway into the world of its classic characters and a sweetly nostalgic – if relatively unambitious – treat for the adults who grew up with them".[44] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 67 out of 100 based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[45] On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[34]

The Hollywood Reporter's Michael Rechtshaffen found the film to be especially praiseworthy, feeling that Charles Schulz would have been proud of the film, though he criticized the use of Trainor's song in an otherwise good use of Guaraldi's themes with Beck's score.[1] Peter Debruge of Variety gave similar sentiments, especially praising the animation of the film.[3] Alonso Duralde of TheWrap felt the film made a nice transition to 3D, saying, while the film might not reach "the melancholy of earlier films... it nonetheless respects the importance of failure and disappointment that Schulz always included in his storytelling". He did, however, feel that Peanuts purists would take issue with a few things in the film, such as seeing and hearing so much of the Little Red-Haired Girl, who was always off panel in the comic strips, and Peppermint Patty acknowledging that Snoopy is a dog and not a child with a big nose (even though, unbeknownst to him, Marcie told her that Snoopy was a beagle in the latter years of the strip).[46] Pete Hammond from Deadline Hollywood admitted his trepidation about translating the characters from 2D to 3D, but enjoyed the film overall, only criticizing the amount of fantasy sequences involving Snoopy.[47] Brian Truitt of USA Today gave the film three out of four stars, proclaiming the film "is all about simplicity, and what the plot lacks in nuance and complexity is made up for with relatable characters whom people have spent a lifetime watching. The movie is a testament to Charlie Brown's place in pop culture and a showcase for a new generation bound to fall in love with its perennially insecure star".[48] Neil Genzlinger from The New York Times named the film an NYT Critics' Pick, calling it "the most charming and the most daring experiment in human genetics ever conducted". However, he also showed concern for the modern children's audiences who may or may not only know the Peanuts gang from the holiday specials.[49]

Scott Mendelson from Forbes was more critical of the film, saying there was "nothing objectively wrong with The Peanuts Movie", but as he personally was not a fan of the Peanuts comic strip, that made him "anti-Charlie Brown", loathing each time Charlie Brown failed in the film.[50] Joe McGovern from Entertainment Weekly was also not as receptive, giving the film a grade of C+, and criticizing the animation, stating, "Even if you assume that Schulz always wanted his frozen pond reflecting lustrous light and Snoopy frolicking in a lavish Hayao Miyazaki world, the animation steroids injected into the aesthetic here nonetheless shrivel the great melancholy that's so key to the comic's endurance".[51]

Awards[edit]

Award Date of Ceremony Category Recipient Result Ref(s)
African-American Film Critics Association December 7, 2015 Best Animated Film Steve Martino Won [52]
Annie Awards February 6, 2016 Best Animated Feature Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz, Cornelius Uliano, Paul Feig and Michael J. Travers Nominated [53]
Outstanding Achievement in Character Animation in a Feature Production BJ Crawford
Outstanding Achievement in Directing in an Animated Feature Production Steve Martino
Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production Alex Garfin
Hadley Belle Miller
Austin Film Critics Association Awards December 29, 2015 Best Animated Film The Peanuts Movie [54]
Black Reel Awards February 18, 2016 Outstanding Voice Performance Marleik "Mar Mar" Walker [55]
Critics' Choice Awards January 17, 2016 Best Animated Feature Steve Martino [56]
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards December 16, 2015 Best Animated Film The Peanuts Movie [57][58]
Golden Globe Awards January 10, 2016 Best Animated Feature Film Steve Martino [59]
Houston Film Critics Society Awards January 9, 2016 Best Animated Feature The Peanuts Movie [60]
Hollywood Music in Media Awards November 12, 2015 Original Score - Animated Film Christophe Beck Won [61]
Original Song - Animated Film Better When I'm Dancin' Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Awards December 14, 2015 Best Animated Film Steve Martino, Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz, Cornelius Uliano, Paul Feig and Michael J. Travers [62]
Golden Reel Awards February 27, 2016 Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue & ADR in an Animation Feature Film Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, MPSE, Randy Thom [63]
Movieguide Awards February 2016 Best Movie for Families The Peanuts Movie [64]
Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards March 12, 2016 Favorite Animated Movie [65]
Producers Guild of America Awards January 23, 2016 Best Animated Motion Picture Craig Schulz and Michael J. Travers [66]
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards December 14, 2015 Best Animated Film The Peanuts Movie [67][68]
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards December 12, 2015 Best Animated Feature [69]
Satellite Awards February 21, 2016 Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media [70]
Saturn Awards June 22, 2016 Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture [71]
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards December 20, 2015 Best Animated Film Steve Martino [72]
Village Voice Film Poll January 7, 2016 Best Animated Film The Peanuts Movie 11th Place [73]
Best Film Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association December 7, 2015 Best Animated Feature Steve Martino [74]

Video game[edit]

A video game based on the film, titled Snoopy's Grand Adventure, was released on November 3, 2015 for Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, and published by Activision.[75]

Future[edit]

Although The Peanuts Movie has been described as a success and Fox was reportedly interested in making a sequel and turning The Peanuts Movie into a franchise, Fox only had the rights to make one Peanuts film. Schulz's widow, Jean, has indicated that a sequel is not imminent, stating, "This one took eight years, so maybe we'll talk again then."[76]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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