By James Shaw (The Wind up Geek) and Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
J: In this world, there are many dangers geeks (like me) must defend themselves against. There are certain words that will set a nerd’s heart racing and cause uncontrollable giddiness. For some, that’s Star Trek. For me, it’s Peanuts.
The thought of Charles M. Schulz’s creation sends me back to a time when a CBS television special was the event of the holidays. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) are considered some of the all time best television specials. Not satisfied with TV, Schulz brought his creation to the big screen; Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977) is on my list of the top 100 animated films of all time. It is lucky that Blue Sky Studios, the animators of the Ice Age film franchise, won the rights to produce and release a Peanuts movie.
This old nerd just became a kid again.
E: So James proves he’s older than me in terms of taste. It’s a good one to suck up; I adore the team of Snoopy and Woodstock. They are the comedic duo that introduced me to this world and I love their antics.
First impressions are very important with any teaser trailer. If anything, the most impressionable part of the Peanuts movie trailer(due for a Christmas 2015 release) is in what a wonderful job Blue Sky Studios has done in transitioning Charles M. Schulz’s creations from hand drawn animation to computer graphics. The fact that I can see the fur on Snoopy’s paws when he forms them around his eyes to represent binoculars is representative of the painstaking work this animation studio took to bring each Peanut character to life.
With that praise aside, I’m bewildered as to why this film shows a lack of what makes the Peanuts so timeless.
The trailer opens to find Woodstock and friends decorating Snoopy’s doghouse with Christmas lighting while he sleeps. Vince Guaraldi’s beautiful composition is playing in the background. Suddenly, Snoopy wakes up to the shadow of a bi-plane flying over head. Our dog leaps into action with not only a change into a flying helmet and scarf but into a change of accompanying music with a wholly out-of-place pop song.