Is there a more lovable cartoon character than Snoopy? In fact, the entire Peanuts gang is so adorable that they’ve been a mainstay in popular culture for over 60 years. What originally began as a comic strip by Charles Schulz has blossomed over the years into a group of characters that have been passed down from generation to generation. I’ve loved growing up with these characters and with the release of The Peanuts Movie, Charlie Brown and the gang will become a part of an entirely new generation’s childhood. Director Steve Martino could have screwed up big time and ruined these characters that we’ve all come to love, but luckily the film ended up being pretty great. It’s a funny, heartfelt and loving tribute to Schulz and the wonderful group of characters that he created.

There’s not much of a plot to the film, but that’s actually a good thing. The adventures of Charlie Brown and the gang have always been simple, so it’s a relief that the film doesn’t try to complicate things. The main thrust of the film is Charlie Brown trying to find the courage to talk to the Little Red-Haired Girl in his class. In order to impress her he tries to learn magic for the school talent show, tries to bust a move at the school dance and tries to write the greatest book report of all-time. But things don’t always work out for Charlie Brown and he always seems worse off than he was before. In a subplot to the film, Snoopy works on his novel where the Flying Ace tries to take down the infamous Red Baron.

The Peanuts Movie is easily the cutest film to come out this year and it might very well be one of the most adorable films ever made. If you’ve fallen in love with these characters over the years like I have, you’ll find a lot to enjoy here. Every character is given at least one great moment to shine, but Charlie Brown and Snoopy are the main focus here. Charlie Brown’s quest to talk to the Little Red-Haired Girl is simple enough to maintain the classic Peanuts aesthetic, but it’s also an interesting enough to story to maintain a feature runtime. Snoopy’s adventures with the Red Baron might not be quite as engaging by comparison, but they’re still fun to watch and kids are sure to enjoy the exciting flight sequences.

But it isn’t until the very end that the film really hits its emotional peak. The final minutes are fantastic and they make all of the events that precede it even more profound. With a 3d animation style that still feels like it fits into the Peanuts world, this is a sweet and heartwarming tribute to one of the most iconic comic strips of all time. Even if the use of a few modern pop songs feel jarringly out of place, it’s clear that the filmmakers gave this film all their love and care, making this a great addition to the Peanuts cannon. It’s guaranteed to make you smile.

The Peanuts Movie receives 3.5/4

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