Peanuts has appeared before in Lost in Translation. The comic strip first debuted October 2, 1950 and ended February 13, 2000 after the retirement and passing away of creator Charles M. Schulz. It was his and his family’s wishes that the strip end with his retirement, but the strip is still going with repeats, with older strips gaining new readers who weren’t born when first published. Peanuts grew beyond the newspaper comics page, leading to a series of televised specials starting in December of 1965 and leading to the 2015’s The Peanuts Movie.
Released sixty-five years after the strip’s debut, The Peanuts Movie was the first to present the classic characters using computer animation. Schulz’s son, Craig, and grandson, Bryan, were involved in the writing and production of the movie. The movie follows the full cast, headed by Charlie Brown and Snoopy, over the course of winter and spring, as a new family movies into the neighbourhood. The new family includes a new classmate, the Little Red-haired Girl. Charlie Brown is smitten by the newcomer. He spends the rest of the movie trying to work up the courage to talk to her, stepping up to write a book report when she has to leave town and isn’t able to co-write the assignment, and learning to dance to impress her.
Snoopy and Woodstock work together to write about the World War I Flying Ace and his fight against his nemesis, the Red Baron. The Ace meets a French beagle who gets taken prisoner by the Red Baron, necessitating a raid deep behind German lines to find her. The Ace’s efforts mirror Charlie Brown’s; both struggle in their quests, but both persevere, overcoming obstacles.
The story is familiar, coming from Schulz’s works, including the comic strip and the TV specials. The take on the story line is fresh, not just through the animation but the writing. Every character who appeared in Peanuts gets a chance to shine, even briefly, on screen. Classic bits appear, including Snoopy as Joe Cool, Charlie Brown versus the kite-eating tree, and even, as an Easter Egg during the end credits, Charlie Brown trying to kick a football held by Lucy. The movie also re-animates some classic scenes from the specials, including skating on the pond and dancing from A Charlie Brown Christmas and the dogfight between Snoopy and the Red Baron from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. The musical score is a mix of old and new, bringing in Vince Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy” alongside Meaghan Trainor’s “Better When I’m Dancin’“. The movie even uses recordings of Bill Meléndez, who passed away in 2008, of Snoopy and Woodstock to keep the feel. The one adult, teach Ms Othmar, is played by a trombone. The CG animation doesn’t detract from the characters. The facial expressions are straight from the strip, and the characters themselves are accurate in appearance. There is a visible effort to keep the movie true to the comic, to keep the simplicity of Schulz’s work.
The Peanuts Movie is very much a Peanuts movie. Schulz’s son and grandson took great pains to make sure that the film followed naturally from the decades of work already beloved by millions. It would have been easy to create a movie that paid just lip-service, but they went above and beyond, recreating the feel of Peanuts with a newer animation style without losing what made the comic popular.
CG Peanuts movie to use classic comics for thought bubbles.
The CGI animated Peanuts feature will pay homage to the original comic strip through the use of the classic comics in thought bubbles.
Dan Aykroyd excited as Ghostbusters reboot starts filming.
Aykroyd, who was the co-creator of the original movie and is the executive producer of the remake, is happy with how the new movie is turning out. While that may not be persuasive, the photos of the costume and the new Ecto are promising.
The Rock’s going to be busy.
Not only is he working on a remake of Big Trouble in Little China, as reported last month, he’s also looking at an adaptation of the classic arcade video game, Rampage. The video game allowed players to take the role of kaiju and destroy a city while fending off the puny defenders.
New Spider-Man film, new Spider-Man actor.
Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios have announced the casting of Tom Holland in the title role. Holland will play Peter Parker in the new movie.
The Rocky franchise continues with Creed.
Rocky Balboa turns coach this November. Michael B. Jordan plays Adonis Creed, son of Apollo Creed, played by Carl Weathers, from the first four Rocky films.
Classic Canadian animated series, The Raccoons, may be returning.
Kevin Gillis, the creator of the original cartoon, is working out how to bring back the the show, featuring raccoons Bert, Melissa, and Ralph. The Raccoons aired on the CBC with TV movies in the early 80s and a regular series starting in 1985. The series also aired on the Disney Channel.
Farscape movie has been confirmed.
Rockne S. O’Bannon has confirmed that a Farscape movie is in the works. The film doesn’t have a script yet, but one is being drafted by Justin Monjo, who wrote for the series.
Dynamite Entertainment to bring Atari classics to comics.
Dynamite will produce comics based on classic Atari video games, including Asteroids, Centipede, and Missile Command. The same company will also be producing James Bond comics helmed by Warren Ellis.
Lost in Translation to take a hiatus.
There’s a shake up coming here at MuseHack. Steve will have the full details, but Lost in Translation will be on hiatus during this time. The reviews will return, as will the history of adaptations.