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by Schultz  C.epsI giggled constantly through this odd vamp of Charles Shulz’ classic characters, but I also constantly felt I’d seen it before.

The Peanuts Movie follows the core plots points of several Charlie Brown television specials but the main stories for this full length movie is Charlie Brown embarks on a quest to better himself as a branded winner to impress the newest kid in class, the infamous Little Redhead Girl. Meanwhile, Snoopy uses his master’s efforts as inspiration to write a novel about his own flying ace persona and battles against the fiendish Red Barron.

Here’s what was good about the film for me. Once the main plot dug into Charlie Brown and the Little Red Head Girl, the film became somewhat different than most Peanuts television specials. There was also a variety of sight gags and one liners which had me cracking up fairly regularly.

The other main reason I liked this was the music. Christophe Beck composed the score which at times was worthy of a grandiose period film with an epic love story, but at other times, the score incorporated bits of the Vince Guaraldi Trio which recorded many of the infamous Peanuts themes over the decades. The music was nostalgic for me and comforting on many levels.

Also, despite being choppy following the two plotlines, the movie at least had something to say. It wasn’t anything not said before by every third episode of every family sitcom of the 70s, 80s and 90s, but at least it had a message.

My problem with this movie was the fact that many scenes and general comedy writing were moments ripped from the trail of television specials given to us over the decades. If you’ve seen the Peanuts shows dusted off for every major holiday, you’ve seen at least half of this movie. So, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve seen the movie before.

It’s good for kids of today who haven’t seen many of the specials their parents grew up on to see this. The material is innocent and they would probably find more of the redundant gags fresh and funny. However, my five year old thought it was good but said she doesn’t care to have it in our collection, so that says something. My three year old twins didn’t make it through to the end. They lost attention to it in the last 20 minutes.

Overall, this was a nice trip down memory lane with a handful of new gags to giggle at, but for the most part I’m more excited to own the soundtrack rather than the DVD.

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