The Peanuts Movie review: ‘As boring and unfunny as ever’

13:00 11 December 2015

The Peanuts Movie. Picture: 20th Century Fox

The Peanuts Movie. Picture: 20th Century Fox

Archant

It may use CGI, but by maintaining the air of its ‘50s bubble, the Peanuts movie is a faithful resizing of the TV show, says Michael Joyce.

Snoopy and Charlie Brown: I thought those two had packed it in years ago, had gracefully retired when The Simpsons got big. But now they’re back in a full length animated film from the makers of The Ice Age films. It’s all CGI and 3D of course but rest assured this is the same, beloved Peanuts that have charmed readers and viewers for 65 years: it’s just as boring and unfunny as it ever was.

I have always hated Peanuts. When I was kid you couldn’t move for Snoopy memorabilia (either that or “Love Is...” tat), while the children’s TV schedule was bunged up with those half hour cartoons with titles like “You’re A Loser, Charlie Brown,” “You’re A HUAC snitch, Charlie Brown,” or “It’s a Charlie Brown Martin Luther King Day.” I really don’t see what people love about that bulbous headed wimp with the Homer Simpson hair do; his smarmy, turncoat dog and all the other wailing kids.

This is a remarkably faithful update. Snoopy is still fighting the Red Barron and Charlie is still failing to fly kites and getting shy and tongue tied around girls. No big narrative has been imposed upon them, the plot is just as episodic and aimless as the half hour episodes. It is computer animated but only just enough to make it a viable modern day proposition. The kids now look very much like characters in the original Magic Roundabout TV series, while most of the time Snoopy and Woodstock look hand drawn. This modern day Peanuts isn’t going to trample all over anyone’s treasured memories but I can’t see it really engaging with a new generation.

Like Bart, Lisa, Kyle and Cartman, the Peanut kids are stuck in an eternal childhood from which they can never escape. The difference is that while The Simpsons and South Park are allowed to drift through the years, the Peanut childhood is always the ‘50s, and so the film is mercifully free of contemporary references – Snoopy doesn’t do any Djing and nobody says “My Bad.” The downside is that it is vacuum sealed; nothing new has been allowed to infect it, fearing perhaps that the slightest breath of fresh air could cause it to disintegrate.

Rating: 2/5 stars

For more reviews go to halfmanhalfcritic.weebly.com

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

09:00
Alan Titchmarsh, who is spearheading the Butterfly Conservation's Plant Pots for Pollinators campaign. PA Photo/Butterfly Conservation

In his Hampshire garden, green-fingered guru Alan Titchmarsh has swathes of butterfly and bee-friendly plants – from buddleia and verbena to catmint, cosmos and coneflower.

Yesterday, 20:11
Middlesex's Dawid Malan

Dawid Malan celebrated his first game as Middlesex’s T20 skipper with a classy knock of 93 as his side hammered Hampshire by 69 runs.

Yesterday, 17:00
Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in THE NICE GUYS. Picture: Daniel McFadden

Shane Black has had his ups and downs in Hollywood – going from a million dollar screenwriter (Lethal Weapon) in the ‘80s to being largely ignored in the ‘90s.

Yesterday, 12:58
Nurul Islam celebrates at his Belsize Park kiosk with customers and Ham&High reporter Emily Banks, right.       Picture: Polly Hancock

The vendor who runs the Belsize Park newspaper kiosk today thanked his customers for pressuring Camden Council into doing a u-turn over the rent hike which threatened his business.

Yesterday, 12:00
Ava Potter as Lilly in Michael Morpurgo's Running Wild. Picture: Johan Persson

Reuniting a Michael Morpurgo story with ex-War Horse puppeteers– in the glade-like Regent’s Park theatre - sounded an enticing prospect for a children’s show.

Yesterday, 11:17
Gabriella with mum Nazanin on her first birthday

A distraught father whose daughter faces her second birthday detained in Iran without her parents has urged children around the world to send her a birthday card.

Yesterday, 10:56
Victor in Delhi

A ‘smart and popular’ 22-year-old who died in a motorbike crash has been remembered at his former school.

Yesterday, 09:00
Interiors themed wedding gifts any couple would love

Looking to buy a wedding gift that’s not on the list? Here are 17 chic buys that are guaranteed to make any couple supremely happy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe