Good Grief
November 18, 2014 10:01 AM   Subscribe

For better or for worse, audiences will get the opportunity to see an all CGI Peanuts movie in 2015. The first trailer was released today and it looks... not bad. Producer Paul Feig has promised a minimum of modern touches. We'll all find out one year from now.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (125 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Do not want.
posted by starbreaker at 10:02 AM on November 18, 2014 [19 favorites]


If you watch the old animated specials, it's clear that Schultz's brilliant minimalist character designs were not meant to move, much less move in 3D.

That said, I still love the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. And the Snoopy dance.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:06 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


*holds football in front of optimistic audience*
posted by Behemoth at 10:06 AM on November 18, 2014 [103 favorites]


The animation looks surprisingly good but oh my various gods why did they pick that song
posted by Greg Nog at 10:07 AM on November 18, 2014 [19 favorites]


I mean, the trailer doesn't actively beat the source material to death with a rusty hoe, so it has that going for it, which is nice.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:08 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Peanuts bleeds so much existential despair I don't think modern audiences can handle it. So they'll probably just steal the characters and have them play out a script based on Campbell's The Hero's Journey ideas, just like they did Alice in Wonderland.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:08 AM on November 18, 2014 [27 favorites]


I got a good price on pitchforks and torches in bulk if everyone wants to meet me in the village square. Maybe we can stop this thing.
posted by COBRA! at 10:09 AM on November 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


It's amazing how twee and awful everything about Peanuts is ... except for the actual strip. That's all despair, unrequited love, wacky theology, failure, remorse, and some funny jokes.

I'm going to clutch my Fantagraphics complete strips books to my manly bosom and pretend this abomination doesn't exist.
posted by sobarel at 10:10 AM on November 18, 2014 [22 favorites]


The auto-tuned crapola that kicks in about half-way through was a particularly respectful nod to the musical tradition of the original, I thought.
posted by pascal at 10:11 AM on November 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


Here's a less than postitive take:
The imagery for the upcoming 3-D film is relentlessly, vapidly upbeat. The trailer is all goofy hijinks, with Charlie Brown as the straight-man to Snoopy's manic-pixie-dream-puppy—there's no hint of the weird beagle so committed to his schizophrenic dream world he can't even remember his owner's name and simply views him as a "round-headed kid" who fills his supper bowl. The stills are equally alien to the spirit of Schulz's strip. Charlie Brown stands in a movie theater dispensing popcorn happily to the delighted laughter of his peers; Charlie Brown and his trusty dog are lifted heroically on the shoulders of their friends; Charlie Brown casts a knowing, happy, confident glance over his shoulder as he carries a flower through the snow. It's like Peanuts got turned into a series of poorly designed Hallmark cards.
Paul Feig's involvement is what has given me some hope that this might be OK - Freaks & Geeks showed us that the man knows from bittersweet.
posted by oakroom at 10:12 AM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


The trailer has a number of warning signs. The music is the top one, but others also leap out. Snoopy's eyes, the slapstickery, for instance.
posted by DU at 10:12 AM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


I feel like when our brief civilization is a footnote in an alien's hyper-galactopedia, the entry will read, "HUMANS: Because money."
posted by selfnoise at 10:14 AM on November 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


This is so wrong.
posted by Catblack at 10:15 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


They should have made it just 90 minutes of Spike alone in the desert, talking to saguaro and slowly going mad.
posted by sobarel at 10:15 AM on November 18, 2014 [51 favorites]


It's like Peanuts got turned into a series of poorly designed Hallmark cards.

As opposed to actual Hallmark cards, which the Peanuts gang have graced since 1960.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 10:16 AM on November 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


This year will be the 42nd year in a row that I will get to watch the original Charlie Brown Christmas special, on the night it is broadcast, with my stuffed Snoopy at my side and with a cup of cocoa. I own the DVD, but I still make a point of watching when it is aired because for me you do not fuck around with Snoopy.

This movie has me very scared.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:16 AM on November 18, 2014 [19 favorites]


wuah wuah wuah... wuah wuah wuah wuah wuah
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:16 AM on November 18, 2014 [22 favorites]


I'm going to clutch my Fantagraphics complete strips books to my manly bosom and pretend this abomination doesn't exist.

Me too, except for the ones after 1972. And my womanly bosom.

I guess the heirs like having all that money?
posted by Melismata at 10:16 AM on November 18, 2014


Anyone who is actively wondering why this exists, it's the same reason the Smurfs movies exist, to appeal to an audience of people that did not grow up with the original source material.

The fact they're sticking close to the original art style (and why they chose the song they did) was to appeal to the parents of the aforementioned people, who DID grow up with the original source material.

The only artistically interesting peanuts movie would be one that captures the original bitter dark tone of the comic before it was reformed into the vanilla most people remember. This will probably not happen, because focus groups and scripts written by committee.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:16 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


If you watch the old animated specials, it's clear that Schultz's brilliant minimalist character designs were not meant to move

A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Race for Your Life, and Bon Voyage are terrific films that do the strips justice. This new mess will most certainly not.
posted by item at 10:18 AM on November 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


The trailer has a number of warning signs. The music is the top one, but others also leap out. Snoopy's eyes, the slapstickery, for instance.

I will say this for it: In a far lesser trailer, Snoopy's eyes would have been splashed with bird shit, not oil from the biplane.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 10:18 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


(Gets popcorn, sits down to enjoy another episode of The Everything New Is Bad Show. I hope they use the "get off my lawn" catchphrase. Oooh, ooh and lots of sweeping statements about how soulless and awful Hollywood is from a bunch of people who watch twenty hours a week of film and tv.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:18 AM on November 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


. I own the DVD, but I still make a point of watching when it is aired because for me you do not fuck around with Snoopy

Except, presumably, shaving a few minutes from the original longer 1960s running time in order to cram in some more commercials.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:19 AM on November 18, 2014


All this effort and they still can't make a real version of "KISS Saves Santa." Humans: dumber than library paste.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:19 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


True story: in high school, my nerd/geek/stoner friends (for some reason, the soft-druggies and the D&D kids all hung out) and I couldn't dance, but we would go to dances anyway, and we would inevitably wind up blocking off about 20% of the gym for about a half-hour to Peanuts Dance, which generally involves choosing one body part that moves and everything else is completely static. Almost as inevitably, non-cool-kids who were not in our usual social orbit but also not Cool Kids would get pulled into the Peanuts Dance vortex, and soon there'd be a sizeable contingent of the gym Peanuts Dancing.*

It's not even something that needed to be explained; anyone who was born in the '70s and watched television specials could recognized, understand, and participate in the Peanuts Dance. And when you looked up and saw not one or two but several dozen kids doing the Nod, the Shrug, the Just The Feet Without Moving Your Legs Is Harder Than You'd Imagine, the Head-Back-And-Forth, the Just The Knees Is Almost As Hard as Just the Feet... it was a thing of beauty. There was a DJ who would do the dances pretty routinely and after a while he'd just decided, fuck it, and he actually brought Vincent Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy", probably just to get it out of the way.

So. Paul Feig. Cautious optimism. But there's something to be said for the rigidity of the original specials; the limitations were part of the magic.

*this would eventually turn into Cosby Dancing, where everyone picks their Cosby Show character and does that dance from the intro. I specialized in the Cliff; the Rudy was the most popular, but the Theo actually made it look like you could dance.
posted by Shepherd at 10:23 AM on November 18, 2014 [31 favorites]


> They should have made it just 90 minutes of Spike alone in the desert, talking to saguaro and slowly going mad.

Wim Wender's Peanuts, starring Klaus Kinski as Charlie Brown, Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Linus, and Catherine Keener as Lucy. Harry Dean Stanton plays Spike, of course, and I welcome your suggestions for other roles. I'm leaning towards Ellen DeGeneres as Peppermint Patty, but maybe it's just because of the lesbian thing.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:24 AM on November 18, 2014 [21 favorites]


Metafilter: another episode of The Everything New Is Bad Show.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:25 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh hey Dissolve: neither A Charlie Brown Christmas or It's the Great Pumpkin are feature length.
posted by item at 10:26 AM on November 18, 2014


> you do not fuck around with Snoopy

Except, presumably, shaving a few minutes from the original longer 1960s running time in order to cram in some more commercials.


Ah! This year, they are showing it twice - once in the abridged version you describe, and once UNABRIDGED as God intended.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:26 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I"m sure it will be as artistically and financially successful as the Magic Roundabout movie and the Thunderbirds movie. We can probably add the Paddington movie to that list, but it wouldn't be fair really as it's not been released yet, and I didn't think the trailer was as bad as all that.
posted by Grangousier at 10:27 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'll just re-watch Bad Santa instead.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:28 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I like the animation style, specifically the flat scenes. Everything presented in side-on. Once Snoopy goes airborne and flies in three dimensions I completely lose interest.

It's Blue Sky Studios, the Fox in-house animatos that did the Ice Age and Rio movies. That animation looks terrible to me, the Hanna-Barbera to Pixar's Warner Bros. But maybe they're learning.

I really want to see a feature length film done by Next Media Animation.
posted by Nelson at 10:28 AM on November 18, 2014


They should have made it just 90 minutes of Spike alone in the desert, talking to saguaro and slowly going mad.

Peanuts: Bat Country
posted by ennui.bz at 10:29 AM on November 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


The Red Baron bit has been totally bowdlerized. Needs machine guns.

I mean, I sang Snoopy vs. The Red Baron in Mr. Rigler's music class in elementary school. The song had charm. This CGI version does not.
posted by Nevin at 10:29 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Listen, I love Peanuts, and have since I was a child. I have a Charlie Brown tattoo. This looks like it'll suck, and I'm not going to watch it. But the legacy of Peanuts has already been soiled by 50 years' worth of crappy merchandise, Met Life commercials and lousy TV specials like You're In The Super Bowl, Charlie Brown. It's not like this is a proposal for a Calvin and Hobbes movie starring the voices of Adam Sandler and Seth Rogan.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:32 AM on November 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


It's not like this is a proposal for a Calvin and Hobbes movie starring the voices of Adam Sandler and Seth Rogan.

Jesus Christ put a warning before saying something like that please
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:33 AM on November 18, 2014 [51 favorites]


The art style is about as good as you're going to get for Peanuts with CGI, it's the tone that is worrying. The stills show the other kids raising up Charlie and Snoopy, and all of the kids smiling at Charlie as he carries two tubs of popcorn are not the Charlie Brown I know. That the trailer version of the popcorn scene has all the kids calling him a blockhead and spilling popcorn everywhere gives me back just enough hope for squashing at a later date.
posted by ckape at 10:34 AM on November 18, 2014


' ''' ' ' '' ' ' ''''' ' '' '' '' '!
posted by Namlit at 10:34 AM on November 18, 2014 [21 favorites]


There are close to four dozen Peanuts TV specials and all but maybe six or eight of them suck. All of this lionizing of the old stuff makes me pretty goddamned positive how few of you have ever tried to watch It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:36 AM on November 18, 2014 [17 favorites]


This is really beautifully flat and stylized. It feels really true to the original strip. How it'll work in 3d I don't know, but it LOOKS like Peanuts to me. Except Mary Blair has come and painted every frame. It's a nice evolution of the very painterly look Blue Sky has always had.

(I was born in the seventies, saw all the much-loved TV specials, and really have no sentimental attachment to much of anything about Peanuts.)
posted by egypturnash at 10:37 AM on November 18, 2014


Woodstock as Minions? I don't know if this is a hacky or clever change to the source material.
posted by quin at 10:37 AM on November 18, 2014


Well if I'm being fair, six or eight of the original specials are good, a couple dozen are completely meh and the rest suck.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:37 AM on November 18, 2014


This is like Compassionate Conservatism. Don't fall for it people. Curl the blanket tight and whip this until it goes away.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:40 AM on November 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


All of this lionizing of the old stuff makes me pretty goddamned positive how few of you have ever tried to watch It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown.

Oh, I did. I would watch each and every one of them as it was released unto the public, all through the 70's and through most of the 80's. I was a PEANUTS fan unhinged, so much so that my classmates in grade school would all come immediately to me if there was an announcement of a new PEANUTS special to ask if I'd heard about it yet.

I think part of my growing-up was finally admitting that several of the newer ones did indeed pale in comparison to the top three.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:41 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


What the hell is wrong with Flashbeagle?
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:42 AM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Will there be fart jokes in this one? The next one?

Vince Guaraldi is dead, kids, and they need to go back and re-render the backgrounds with proper washes. PROPER WASHES!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:44 AM on November 18, 2014


clip chara from bg
apply bevel and emboss
?
posted by rahnefan at 10:45 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Red Baron bit has been totally bowdlerized.

There's a strip where Snoopy gets so into his WWI fantasy that he develops Shell Shock and ends up in Charlie Brown's bed emitting howls of anguish. I mean, I guess I know why that's not in the family friendly movie (or when Marcie has a breakdown or when Linus thinks snow is nuclear fallout or Peppermint Patty's dead mother or...) but still. It's all bowdlerised.
posted by sobarel at 10:46 AM on November 18, 2014


What the hell is wrong with Flashbeagle?

YOU MADE ME DO THIS.

And then there's Why, Charlie Brown, Why? which was titled that because It's Fucking Leukemia, Charlie Brown would have been too on the nose.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:48 AM on November 18, 2014 [22 favorites]


I just had a flashback to staying up all night long and reading a beatup old collected Peanuts. It was the first book I ever read. It's possibly still the best. No thank you CGI Peanuts.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:49 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


As others are saying, it's not about the art; it's about the writing. The only writer worth considering for this screenplay was at his peak roughly 50-60 years ago and passed away 14 years ago. NEXT!
posted by delfin at 10:50 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Geez, y'all make Peanuts sound like it's No Exit. When I was a kid it was heartwarming and fun and felt right. If the new movie captures that for a new generation raised on Despicable Me, great. It's not for me.
posted by naju at 10:52 AM on November 18, 2014


It's interesting to see how for so many people "the original Peanuts" equates to the TV specials. I don't think they had any cultural impact over here in the UK at all. I remember being confused by the Snoopy Dance thing that Xander does in that Buffy episode, despite being raised on dog-eared Peanuts paperbacks.

So, I guess that's what this movie is a version of, and I shouldn't expect it to have much relation to the strip since it's now at least two steps removed...
posted by sobarel at 10:55 AM on November 18, 2014


The animation looks good, IMHO. It's just enough three dimensional space but still keeping true to the original 2D of the strip and original animations. I just hope it balances the slapstick with the genuine oddness of the Peanuts characters.

And none of that Top 40 music, FFS. Peanuts animation == JAZZ

All that said, this movie isn't really for me. Will my 5-year-old like it? Oh yes he will.
posted by zardoz at 10:55 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Geez, y'all make Peanuts sound like it's No Exit. When I was a kid it was heartwarming and fun and felt right.

Most individual Peanuts strips were not full of existential despair. But taken as a body of work, it's one of the bleakest things ever. And, IMO, rightly so. That's its genius.
posted by hippybear at 10:56 AM on November 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


Peanuts: Bat Country

We can't stop here. This is Red Baron country.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:01 AM on November 18, 2014


All of this lionizing of the old stuff makes me pretty goddamned positive how few of you have ever tried to watch It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown.

But the Saturday morning "The Charlie Brown And Snoopy Show" is great, and pretty much all taken from the comic strip.

I will remain optimistic about this, the trailer could have been much worse. I notice that while the shapes are CG, the face lines, the eyes and the mouths, are all specifically made to look hand drawn. <genewilder>IT... COULD... WORK!
posted by JHarris at 11:06 AM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oh, and instead of Joe Cool, Snoopy's anti-establishment persona is now a hacktivist with a Guy Fawkes mask. J0K00L71 4$LIFE
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:07 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


> Geez, y'all make Peanuts sound like it's No Exit. When I was a kid it was heartwarming and fun and felt right.

Sometimes. But often not.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:09 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Geez, y'all make Peanuts sound like it's No Exit. When I was a kid it was heartwarming and fun and felt right.

Which probably tells us something about your age. The first 25 years of the strip is amazingly resistant to the kind of Hallmark-friendly "heartwarming" vibe to which it eventually succumbed. It can be truly bleak. It can also be wonderfully surreal, too, which is an aspect of the strip that the specials had no interest in whatsoever.

I remember being confused by the Snoopy Dance thing that Xander does in that Buffy episode,


I grew up in a place where the TV specials had no profile either, but Snoopy's dancing is a big, big part of the strip (at least for a certain period). It hadn't actually occurred to me that Xander's Snoopy dance was specifically mimicking the animated version--it stands a pretty good attempt to capture the dance as Schulz draws it in the strip. I remember, actually, that in those ubiquitous poster shops that seemed to be a much bigger thing in my teen years than they are now (oh God, the "Hang in There" kitten, the girl scratching her bum in the white tennis dress, Farrah Fawcett etc. etc.) there were always several versions of Snoopy dancing.
posted by yoink at 11:10 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


If you watch the old animated specials, it's clear that Schultz's brilliant minimalist character designs were not meant to move, much less move in 3D.

There's a panel in the Schulz museum, about Bill Melendez, that speaks to this: in designing A Charlie Brown Christmas he struggled with how to animate the characters and found that Snoopy was really the only form that allowed much movement.

(And I would have to say, having griped about Not Getting Peanuts in the previous thread, the Schulz museum warmed me to it a lot: I found the strips had a lot more impact at their original size (maybe 18" wide?) than I ever found in the tiny photoreduced versions.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:12 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


> Most individual Peanuts strips were not full of existential despair. But taken as a body of work, it's one of the bleakest things ever. And, IMO, rightly so. That's its genius.

When I fell in love with the '50s and '60s strips when I was a kid, it was partly because Peanuts was one of the only things I read at that age that featured children and dared to admit that childhood could be fucking dark and scary and depressing.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:13 AM on November 18, 2014 [12 favorites]


On the one hand, it has a sort of Wallace and Gromit feel to it so makes me feel optimistic.

On the other hand, I feel like the CGI loses some of the soul of the cartoon.
posted by like_neon at 11:16 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Look, if Charles Schulz had wanted there to be a big-screen Peanuts film, he would have greenlit one while he was still... um... er...

More to the point, there is a big difference between Schulz selling a saccharized version to the masses and SOMEONE ELSE digging up the corpse and selling it. This has Schulz's son and grandson as writers and producers, so perhaps...

Charlie Brown's love interest, the Little Red-Haired Girl will also appear, and will truly step out in the film. "She looks wonderful, but people will have to wait a year and a half to see her," said Craig.

...

I CALL FOR THE JUDGMENT IN THE SACRED FIRE IN THIS HOUR
posted by delfin at 11:17 AM on November 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


Which probably tells us something about your age.

I don't know, I'm in my 30's so... maybe? But I'm talking about the animated stuff. I think it's fair to say that animated Peanuts was going for something different, and this new movie is continuing in that tradition. Get Hertzfeldt to do a new Peanuts if you want one for the strip-purist adults in the audience!
posted by naju at 11:17 AM on November 18, 2014


Can we get a Fanfare subsite where we talk about movie trailers? Because if there's one thing the Internet has taught me it's that people don't need to wait to see a film before they can tell you how badly it's gonna suck.
posted by bondcliff at 11:17 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: another episode of The Everything New Is Bad Show.

There is not a thing new about this - it's another reboot.
posted by thelonius at 11:29 AM on November 18, 2014


Wow that FlashBeagle is something else. I mean, of course the only kid in town who can dance is Franklin.
posted by Nelson at 11:31 AM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Woodstock as Minions? I don't know if this is a hacky or clever change to the source material.

There have always been multiple little birds who hang around Snoopy (he takes them on Beagle Scout expeditions in later strips, etc). Woodstock was simply the first to get a name.
posted by Spatch at 11:31 AM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


The way I'll feel about this has a lot to do with whether Charlie Brown "wins" in the end or not. He should not win 100%. Its all right if he wins a little and gets celebrated as long as he goes home at the end of the day feeling like the goat or at realizing that his win bites back at him. It can end with Linus saying some "tomorrow's another day" thing (ideally in the form of a scripture) but Charlie Brown must descend back into quiet despair, albeit with just enough hope for tomorrow that he is going to struggle on.

They can do what they want with Snoopy. They always have.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:31 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Charlie Brown and his trusty dog are lifted heroically on the shoulders of their friends

The only way this is OK is if it's what Charlie Brown is daydreaming about shortly before he strikes out, losing the game.
posted by straight at 11:32 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


I don't understand the wailing and gnashing of teeth about this movie (not so much in this thread, but just in general). If this movie is successful, it will introduce a whole new generation to the source material we all so love. If unsuccessful, it's not going to in any way efface the impact of the originals, so who cares?

I wonder how many of the self-designated Protectors of the Peanuts Legacy from the Scourge of These Kids Today are also loud and proud defenders of the rights of adult fans of My Little Pony to stake their claim to a piece of that pop culture pie, even though it also was intended for kids.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:34 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Woodstock [h]as Minions? I don't know if this is a hacky or clever change to the source material.

Bill, Harriet, Olivier, Raymond, Fred, Roy and Conrad were added sometime in the 1970s. Don't you remember the scouting strips?

As to the film, the presence of Feig is a strong indicator this won't entirely suck, although the possibility of partial suckage must be acknowledged. Clearly, in any case, this owes its inspiration to the animated Peanuts more than to the strips themselves.

It's interesting that the Red Baron fantasy world appeared in 1965, more than 30 years since Baron von Richthofen had been depicted in the movies (Howard Hughes's Hell's Angels), and seemingly inspiring a revival of the popularity of the cultural idea (1966's The Blue Max, etc.)

how few of you have ever tried to watch It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown.

Honestly, I did download it once, but it demanded to be upgraded immediately and I never got out of the approval loop.
posted by dhartung at 11:34 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have come to the realization that anyone that tries to remake something from my childhood is doomed to failure. The Grinch, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Peabody, Yogi Bear and Sherman and now this. It proves 2 things to me: CGI is no replacement actual animation and voice talent was much more varied and interesting back in the day.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:38 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Shhh. No-one tell them about Weapon Brown.
posted by zamboni at 11:41 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't understand the wailing and gnashing of teeth about this movie (not so much in this thread, but just in general). If this movie is successful, it will introduce a whole new generation to the source material we all so love. If unsuccessful, it's not going to in any way efface the impact of the originals, so who cares?

People want movies they would personally enjoy, rather than movies that some other people would enjoy. That's the short of it; it isn't complicated.

When there's a new movie related to material one has previously enjoyed, there's a heightened expectation that one might enjoy the new movie, a greater awareness of its existence, as well as a feeling of opportunities missed: see the recent post about the upcoming Fantastic Four movie -- copyrights and corporations being what they are, that a given tie-in movie is made means that another hypothetical tie-in movie isn't made. This is rather explicitly so with the FF, where Fox is obligated to produce new movies lest they lose the right to do so.

If Peanuts was public domain (or licensed more liberally) and we could get this movie and also more thoughtful true-to-the-originals adaption, I think there would be less grar.
posted by cjelli at 11:48 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


All of this lionizing of the old stuff makes me pretty goddamned positive how few of you have ever tried to watch It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown.

I started to look this up, thinking, no, it's just a silly joke. There's no way they would create something with that title. I grew up with Peanuts in the '70s and never heard of it. But I had to confirm...

I... I didn't know. How...? I just... I never knew it existed.

(Still love the classic Peanuts specials. Think I'll skip the upcoming movie.)
posted by krinklyfig at 11:50 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


This unasked-for movie will be much redeemed if the theatrical version is interrupted every six minutes with an ad for Dolly Madison Zingers [SLYT].
posted by wenestvedt at 11:52 AM on November 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


The first image that flashed to mind is the old 3D Viewmaster reels ... I had "Snoopy and the Red Baron" when I was little. Here's an example someone put on flickr. It seems to be the only one done in that "island" style. "Peanuts Viewmaster reels" is a good thing to do an image search on.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:52 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Let's see: Underdog movie: Butt-sniffing joke in the trailer. Hong Kong Phooey test reel: butt-sniffing and toilet drinking jokes. So let's just see if they manage to make this film without putting a Snoopy buttsniff in there.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:59 AM on November 18, 2014


If unsuccessful, it's not going to in any way efface the impact of the originals, so who cares?

It's just disappointing. I loved Peanuts as a kid and still appreciate it today. The original strip was really more adult humor in many ways, though it became more kid oriented as time went on, but not completely. If the movie were going to be more faithful to the spirit of Schultz' creation, I'd look forward to it. I don't see the need to turn it into something it never was, except to cash in on the name recognition. If it's not anything like the original, then people who see the movie first will surely be disappointed by how bleak and angst-ridden the source material is.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:02 PM on November 18, 2014


Yoink: The first 25 years of the strip is amazingly resistant to the kind of Hallmark-friendly "heartwarming" vibe to which it eventually succumbed. It can be truly bleak. It can also be wonderfully surreal, too, which is an aspect of the strip that the specials had no interest in whatsoever.

Yeah, the older strips in particular really do hold up.

My 10-year old -- and, to a lesser extent, his older brother -- really, really love the hardcover collections of early Peanuts strips that Fantagraphics published as The Complete Peanuts, with one volume for every couple of calendar years. He will re-read and re-re-read and re-re-re-read those books as often as he can slip into the Children's Room of the local library and grab a few. And he keeps going back to the ones from the 1950s and 60s.

Yay, Charles Schulz: a Minnesota homegrown hero!
posted by wenestvedt at 12:03 PM on November 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


The first image that flashed to mind is the old 3D Viewmaster reels ... I had "Snoopy and the Red Baron" when I was little.

I still have several of these. I thought they were good. A view inside Schroeder's closet full of Beethoven busts is one of the more fascinating images from the collection I have.
posted by hippybear at 12:04 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I feel like once you accept the givens that are necessary to make this film happen, the trailer looks OK.

But those givens are pretty hard to swallow - it's GONNA be CGI, period. It's GONNA be sort of 3D because they need to sell tickets to it in 3D. It will not have the sadness of the strips or (less so, but still palpably) the first few TV specials . It's GONNA be heartwarming.

It's GONNA replace the anguish of Charlie Brown actually failing (again and again) at things he cares about and yearns for and being laughed at for it with the easy ersatz slapstick of Charlie Brown getting his popcorn bucket caught on his head and being laughed at for it. It's absolutely NOT going to have a theme of existentialist WWI post-traumatic stress disorder. It'll have pop songs.

This movie looks bad, but not awful, and I think we should consider ourselves lucky.

Cause think about how horrific this COULD be. This is at least partly reverent to the flatness of the drawings, and the jerky motions of the old films. Can you imagine a fully 3D, cheap updated character model, swirly camera nightmare version of this, like that Legends of Oz move that came out? I mean, damn.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:11 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


This movie looks bad, but not awful, and I think we should consider ourselves lucky.

One of the joys of being an adult is the freedom to pick and choose according to what we like. I don't consider myself lucky that someone is making an adaption of Peanuts that will only be mostly or even halfway terrible. I'm perfectly happy going on with my life without seeing it at all. I feel lucky to have grown up while Schultz was still alive and the strip was a central feature of the comics in the newspaper, and the paperbacks from every era were plentiful. And I love the classic tv specials (though obviously not every special was good, but I never saw most of the lesser examples like Flashbeagle). That's enough.

If I had kids it might be something I end up seeing anyway, because kids.

But I don't, and if it's really not that great, I'll take a pass. If it turns out a lot of people love it, maybe I'd reconsider, but that remains to be seen, and I don't have a lot of hope riding on it. I love being able to make those choices, and doing so without any guilt or feeling of obligation.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:29 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Can you imagine a fully 3D, cheap updated character model, swirly camera nightmare version of this, like that Legends of Oz move that came out? I mean, damn.

This is among the reasons I had no interest in the Peabody and Sherman film. How antithetical to the Jay Ward aesthetic can you possibly get?
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:30 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


This movie will make a profit via grandparents feeling it's safe - none of that existential Calvin and Hobbes stuff - for grandparents to take grandkids to the cineplex.

Charles M. Schulz evolved from his early strips. He ended up being forward thinking, especially for the time and he slyly snuck in characters, or their traits, that that kids understood, right under the nose of their oblivious parents.

He holds up well, over his 18,000 strips, I think.
posted by vapidave at 12:37 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've been a big fan of Peanuts ever since seven-year-old me inspired the school librarian to make a new rule that only one of the books we checked out each week could be a Peanuts book.

Watching the trailer, I see no indication that this will or must be terrible. Looking forward to it!
posted by BurntHombre at 12:40 PM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


A few years got a hold of all three of the Peanuts original holiday moves, without all the cutting the reruns have done - Great Pumpkin, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and plunked my family down to watch them. Neither my wife (who hails from an old Sovet Bloc country) and my daughter (15 at the time) had ever seen them, but they knew about them from me recalling them fondly over previous holidays and promising that we would sit down, make popcorn, and watch them one night.

The results were... less than heartwarming. It may be that distance gives you some perspective, and almost fifty years is a long time, but I wonder what I would have thought if I was the adult watching these for the first time "back in the day" - would I have been as upset with the way Sally ripped Linus apart and demanded that she get reimbursed for candy she didn't get, or the way Patty looked ready to beat the hell out of Charlie Brown for not providing her with turkey when she invited herself and everyone to his house? (never mind the subtle racism of Franklin's seat in Thanksgiving). And let's not go into the forced sugary-coating sprinkled throughout Christmas, which is actually more about how horrible we can make Charlie Brown feel.

Fortunately, my family didn't call me blockhead and berate me for my choice of TV viewing, for which I am grateful. I'm still trying to teach my dog how to serve toast and popcorn without eating it himself, however.

Music is still awesome, however, and the Christmas soundtrack will remain in our playlist.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 12:48 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


This unasked-for movie will be much redeemed if the theatrical version is interrupted every six minutes with an ad for Dolly Madison Zingers [SLYT]

And if it begins with this
posted by Lucinda at 12:50 PM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Lucinda, I think that may be my new ring tone!!!
posted by wenestvedt at 12:53 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


For me, the weirdest thing about that Flashbeagle clip was seeing grownups (maybe teens?). They aren't seen in a proper Peanuts universe.

Lucinda -- that CBS Special fanfare was written by Morton Stevens, and actually comes from a bit of the Hawaii 5-0 soundtrack.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 1:11 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


oakroom: "It's like Peanuts got turned into a series of poorly designed Hallmark cards."

I got news for that reviewer
posted by symbioid at 1:22 PM on November 18, 2014


Considering that many movie trailers tend to give you the highlights, bondcliff, it's often perfectly feasible to judge a movie by its trailer. I even have a scale:
  1. Opening night!
  2. Matinee
  3. Rental
  4. Maybe if I find it on Netflix.
  5. If they pay me.
  6. Only under duress.
  7. Absofuckinlutely not.
Most movies are lucky to score a 4, IMO, but I posted "do not want" earlier simply because I was never a huge Peanuts fan to begin with. I was born in 1978, and I remember It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, but that's about it.
posted by starbreaker at 1:25 PM on November 18, 2014


It could be worse.

It could be Garfield.
posted by Soliloquy at 2:13 PM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


The results were... less than heartwarming. It may be that distance gives you some perspective, and almost fifty years is a long time, but I wonder what I would have thought if I was the adult watching these for the first time "back in the day"

People's hearts are warmed by the Peanuts specials because of nostalgia. In fact, the specials do their best to rip apart major aspects of the holidays they focus on. Christmas is against commercialism, Halloween one of the kids (GUESS WHO) gets nothing but rocks, and one pair give up what joy the holiday offer due to unquestioning faith, and Thanksgiving is about subjecting people, friends, to things they don't want to, or even can't, do. That's why, "Happyness is" cards aside, Peanuts has survived all these years. It's cute, but it has teeth.

Remember: no one in Peanuts gets what they want. Charlie Brown never does kick that football, and the Little Red Haired Girl never notices him. Linus never gives up believing in the Great Pumpkin (HEY LINUS, HOW MANY TOYS DID HE BRING YOU?). Lucy will continue hating everybody and everything. Snoopy will forever be stuck in his mundane life. Any changes from this formula will be temporary, or of dubious canonicity. (Some of those are in the later specials, which Schulz didn't consider part of the continuity of the strip.)
posted by JHarris at 2:26 PM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


For me, the weirdest thing about that Flashbeagle clip was seeing grownups (maybe teens?). They aren't seen in a proper Peanuts universe.

There is a very strange exception to this, very early (like in the first couple of years) in the strip's run, a four-part Sunday strip where Lucy enters a golf tournament, where you can see adult figures from a distance. It is odd, and that's not the only reason.
posted by JHarris at 2:29 PM on November 18, 2014


(And yes, this post makes me want to update Roasted Peanuts some more. It always takes me so long to construct posts for it. Maybe tomorrow.)
posted by JHarris at 2:31 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Despite my better judgement I watched the trailer.

Now how do I unsee it please?

HOW DO I UNSEE IT?
posted by Faintdreams at 2:33 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


> For better or for worse, audiences will get the opportunity to see an all CGI Peanuts

pretty sure the dogs name is farley
posted by distressingly thick sheets at 2:39 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


it looks like that new Yoshi game
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:26 PM on November 18, 2014


I don't know if this is a hacky or clever change to the source material.
There's a fine line between clever and stupid- Nigel Tufnel
posted by MtDewd at 4:29 PM on November 18, 2014


this post makes me want to update Roasted Peanuts some more.

The correct onomatopoeia for July 26 is "YIPE!"

You're welcome.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:29 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


> For better or for worse, audiences will get the opportunity to see an all CGI Peanuts

pretty sure the dogs name is farley


Now I'm imagining a CGI For Better or For Worse cartoon movie, so the upcoming Peanuts movie is certainly winning the 'what's the least horrible thing you can imagine?' competition I'm having right now.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:38 PM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think they got the 3D about as right as it could be - it's sorta lo-fi, and that works.

As for the music etc - it's a trailer. As from the Vince Gauraldi piece, none of the other music will likely appear in the finished production.

I agree that the writing is going to be the thing that makes it or breaks it. That said, everything else is looking okay to me.
posted by doctor tough love at 4:38 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


If it's well-written, there's a chance it can work. Something about the idea just seems "get off my lawn"-ish to me.

I was the right age for Flashbeagle, and I loved it. The Documentary that aired around the same time is worth watching.
posted by luckynerd at 4:51 PM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Despite my better judgement I watched the trailer.

Now how do I unsee it please?

HOW DO I UNSEE IT?


You can drive it from your mind by watching the FUCKING GODAWFUL Hong Kong Phooey clip George_Spiggott mentioned. I am not going to dignify that thing by linking it. Maybe not effective eyebleach, but it should cauterize the wound.
DARN YOU TO HECK FOR EVER AND EVER, WARNER BROTHERS!!1!!!
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 5:28 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


My son's a huge Peanuts' fan and devours the collections voraciously. I have a feeling I'm not going to be able to squirm out of seeing this. Hopefully it won't be too big a letdown for me (his critical skills are still developing so he'll probably love it).
posted by saulgoodman at 5:53 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm just gonna wait till I see an ad on TV and see how much I can stomach.

I'm guessing none of the promotion for the original Peanuts movies made it obvious there would be bleak, melancholy content, and justfocused on the bright, whimsical stuff. So I'd expect this wouldn't be any different.

I'm really hoping it's not rated PG for the usual "rude humor," but I wouldn't be surprised. Also hoping it's devoid of the hyper, overstimulating tone that so much kiddie fare seems to have now. And no obligatory gag where an uncool character tries to sound cool ("Snoopy, you my dawg!")
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 8:47 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was hoping for a Mastaba Snoopy movie.
posted by books for weapons at 9:00 PM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Anybody see Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown? My kids took the DVD out of the library and I was surprised that it was a good Peanuts show that I had no memory of. Turns out it was made in 2011 (!). Music by Mark Mothersbaugh.

I think the Peanuts franchise is in good hands.
posted by mazola at 11:29 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, the discussion about A Charlie Brown Christmas... I was under the impression that it was usually aired as part of a one-hour block. So it's unabridged, while it's followed by the more recent Christmas special which isn't (because who'll notice). But I guess some airings are just the 30-min abridged version.

I think they do the same with Great Pumpkin/You're Elected, although with the latter, they actually end it before we see the final joke with the locker (was that the case this year?)
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:49 AM on November 19, 2014


I'm not sure if it was mentioned here, but one of the biggest differences between the older and later Peanuts fare is the voice acting. The kids in the later ones sound too professional and mature in comparison. I'm assuming this will also be the case in the movie. "Charm" doesn't quite capture Sally not being able to say her lines smoothly in Charlie Brown Christmas.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:55 AM on November 19, 2014


I'm guessing none of the promotion for the original Peanuts movies made it obvious there would be bleak, melancholy content, and justfocused on the bright, whimsical stuff.

Wait, what?

1969 - A Boy Named Charlie Brown (TV trailer)

1972 - Snoopy, Come Home (TV promo) [promo is from 1976 TV broadcast, can't find the theatrical trailer online... but still, it's hardly a cheer-filled little promo]

1977 - Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown (TV theatrical promo)

1980 - Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) [can't find an of-the-time trailer posted online for this, but I remember it being pretty bleak]

Charlie Brown movies have, to the best of my memory, NEVER been promoted as bright and whimsical. I remember seeing Snoopy, Come Home (in a re-release); Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown; and Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown all in the theater, surely drawn there by some form of commercial promotion via pre-film trailers or television spots. I don't remember going into ANY of those movies, even as young as I might have been, thinking it was going to be a jolly ol' time. Snoopy, Come Home continues to be one of the more traumatic experiences of my early childhood, because it is JUST SO FUCKING SAD.

This will be only the 5th Peanuts-based theatrical film release. None of the other 4 were promoted in ways to make them appear to be things they are not.

By contrast, that is the way with films these days. Frozen was originally marketed as having no women in the cast, and the upcoming Into The Woods was teased as not having singing.

But you know, I guess... trick 'em into buying the tickets, you've gotten your income. Who cares beyond that?
posted by hippybear at 12:59 AM on November 19, 2014


I was ready to retract my statement, but, the mood of those three ads is rather upbeat. "Failure Face," while mean-spirited, isn't exactly somber like the title track. I was thinking "Champion Charlie Brown" would've been used instead, and maybe it was somewhere.

The "Snoopy Come Home" ad uses "Linus & Lucy," and no dialogue. It's been a while since I've seen all of either (though I had to mention them in the recent Sad Kids Movies post), but I wouldn't say these convey the lower moments of each. And while those moments are pretty low, the great thing about animated Peanuts is that it can also be very upbeat and funny (like, oh, the library scene).
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 1:59 AM on November 19, 2014


Better than Flashbeagle...
posted by GameDesignerBen at 5:21 AM on November 19, 2014


It's going to be CGI because even stop-motion pulls into a digital workflow these days. I think South Park did a total of one cut-out episode before going almost completely digital. "Cel animation" these days is more often a style rather than a production method. It's not the tools, it's the way studios using the tools seem to have converged on a limited stylistic palette.

But just in terms of appearance, it's nice to see someone using that digital workflow for more cartoonish design in a feature release rather than the uncanny and creepy facial rigging of Paddington and The Smurfs. The Smurfs remind me too much of Gremlins in how they're rigged and performed. Paddington just looks weird and bland. It's too glossy for my tastes. Sponge Bob seems to have done a reasonable job moving to 3D while keeping the characters cartoony.

Mood and tone are completely off for Peanuts though.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:17 AM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


THIS YEAR
ONE MOUSE
ONE BRICK
AND A WHOLE LOT OF LAUGHS
*tiesto/david guetta soundtrack*
*offisa pup is chasing ignatz on a segway, through the chaotic neon-lit streets of tokyo*
*krazy looks into the camera and does the pixar face*
posted by liliillliil at 7:12 AM on November 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


Mood and tone are completely off for Peanuts though

we have to conclude that the mad punter has struck again
posted by Namlit at 7:33 AM on November 19, 2014


*krazy looks into the camera and does the pixar face*

Technically, the preferred nomenclature is Dreamworks Face. And yes, CGI Snoopy appears to be displaying it.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:39 AM on November 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


Apologies to anyone who works at Pixar, for my regrettable mistake.
posted by liliillliil at 8:40 AM on November 19, 2014


I'm not sure if it was mentioned here, but one of the biggest differences between the older and later Peanuts fare is the voice acting. The kids in the later ones sound too professional and mature in comparison. I'm assuming this will also be the case in the movie. "Charm" doesn't quite capture Sally not being able to say her lines smoothly in Charlie Brown Christmas.

The 2011 Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown was a pleasant surprise.
posted by mazola at 8:55 AM on November 19, 2014


Wasn't there a piece about Peanuts linked on the blue once that explained that the weird affect the kids in the original specials had in their delivery was imitation of the peculiar cadence of the person who ended up coaching their acting?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:46 AM on November 19, 2014


The Wikipedia entry for Marcie talks a bit about that:

As with all of the Peanuts performers who were too young to read a script, director Bill Meléndez sometimes had to speak the children's lines to them. Melendez (who had a distinct Mexican accent) has noted with amusement that some of the performers for Marcie imitated his reading so closely, they repeated his accented "Charlce" instead of "Charles".
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:56 AM on November 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


Snoopy, Come Home continues to be one of the more traumatic experiences of my early childhood, because it is JUST SO FUCKING SAD.

I've loved that movie since I was a kid, and had the delightful experience of showing it to someone who'd never seen it until adulthood, and didn't have much of a Peanuts background. "It's so sad!" "Yes. Now you understand Peanuts."
posted by asperity at 3:38 PM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


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