Monday, November 30, 2015

New release roundup for November '15

- The Peanuts Movie. Fun, true to the mythology almost to the point of bending over backwards for it, but in the end, it left me feeling a little unsatisfied, which is an odd thing perhaps, to say about a movie that tries so damn hard to live up to its legacy. The problem is simple: Charlie Brown is not supposed to win in the end. Schulz knew that, and you'd think his heirs would, too, but the round-headed kid gets a happy ending, and not the "Pyrrhic victory" kind, either. For any other character, you say fine, but CB is different. An ending like this, for him, is the wrong fit. It's too saccharine. Then again, maybe a melancholy ending for a children's movie in 2015 is too much to ask for.

That said, this movie isn't a complete slave to canon. Consider the little red-haired girl. She's given a face and a voice, which is more than Schulz ever (willingly) gave her, yet they stop short of giving her a name, which Schulz, of course, never did. Why not go the distance if you're willing to go that far, though? This is one area in which Schulz was wrong, but the filmmakers didn't correct it even after already deviating from the established mythos. (And yes, I'm fully aware of how I sound using words like "mythos" and "canon" when talking about Peanuts.)

This movie doesn't suck, and it's certainly good for the kids, and maybe that's all that matters in the end. But I had hoped for a little more.

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