'The Peanuts Movie': What does the new trailer tell us?

A new clip for the 'Peanuts' film shows the adventures of such classic characters as Charlie Brown, Linus, and Lucy. Will the new movie stay true to the spirit of the original comic strip?

A new trailer has been released for the upcoming film “The Peanuts Movie.”

The movie centers on the characters created for the comic strip of the same name by Charles M. Schulz. In the trailer, such familiar characters as Charlie Brown, Sally, Linus, Schroeder, Lucy, and Peppermint Patty pop up, as well as Charlie Brown’s dog Snoopy.

The film is being released by Blue Sky Studios, best known for the “Ice Age” films as well as the recent “Rio” films and the critically-well-received Dr. Seuss film "Horton Hears A Who!" The Peanuts themselves are best known for the TV specials in which they starred since the 1960s, including the 1965 TV program “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” often hailed as one of the best holiday films of all time (and which came in at number two on the list of Monitor readers’ favorite holiday programming).

“The Peanuts Movie” is being released this November. 

How will the Peanuts do at a modern multiplex? Other beloved cartoon properties before them have fallen into the trap of trying too hard to be relevant (the “Alvin and the Chipmunks” films have been box office hits but were reviled by critics, with Entertainment Weekly critic Adam Markovitz writing that 2011’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” mainly “reverts to nothing more than a cynical stab at grabbing kids’ attention – and, more importantly, their parents’ cash”). 

But “A Charlie Brown Christmas” could be this movie’s key to box office and critical success. “The Peanuts Movie” won’t need to prove itself to kids because children most likely already know the characters – last year, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” came in second behind CBS’s powerhouse “NCIS” but beat Fox and NBC programming, according to the website the Futon Critic, and that was the second time “Charlie” aired. “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” the Peanuts Halloween special, also usually does well in the ratings.

Many writers seem to feel that the trailer is embracing a timeless feel. Washington Post writer Michael Cavna wrote of the clip, “You’re in good hands, Charlie Brown… as if serving like a fan’s security blanket, this footage reassures that all is right with Charles Schulz’s 65-year-old world.” Meanwhile, USA Today writer Maeve McDermott wrote that “if the movie’s trailers are any indication, [the characters are] just as quirky and spirited as the originals” and Variety writer Peter Debruge wrote that the movie’s trailers “[won] over skeptics who’d wondered whether Blue Sky… was worthy of bringing Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of cartoonist Charles M. Schulz’s beloved characters to the big screen.”

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