Went to the cinema today, for the first time in however many years - I'm not what you'd call a regular moviegoer. And no, not to see Star Wars, despite what I was saying just yesterday; I thought I'd check out Charlie Brown and Snoopy. I was going to go and see Star Wars afterwards - the Showcase in Derby was showing it every fifteen minutes on one of its many screens, while the Peanuts gang were only on once, at 10:30 in the morning - but Charlie Brown's adventures turned out to be such a feel-good movie I decided to just be satisfied with the warm glow it gave me, and check out what Middle-Aged Luke Skywalker is up to some other time.
I had Screen 3 at the Showcase entirely to myself - everybody else clearly had better things to do on the last Saturday morning before Christmas (Star Wars, probably) - so I got to see the whole thing in glorious 3D in comfort and quiet. I should go to the cinema more often! And what a great movie it is, too! The animation is wonderful - as per the current fashion they clearly spent ridiculous amounts of time and money on making Snoopy's fur look realistic, but the whole thing is brilliantly designed to reflect its roots as line drawings in the newspaper funnies; it goes with the 'drawings come to life' kind of approach rather than the 'look what we can do with computer animation nowadays', and it looks just perfect.
And the writing is spot on, too - perhaps a little more inspired by the cartoons than the comics, but nicely hitting the feel of them both, not really trying to be deliberately old-fashioned but coming across as perfectly timeless. Charlie Brown is the loveable loser he's always been and all the others have their little character moments which I think work as well for first-time viewers (if there is such a thing) as for people familiar with all the old stuff. It's not trying to do anything new, but it's certainly not just re-hashing old ideas and making them look pretty. I love it!
46 years ago the first Peanuts movie, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, was in the cinemas - that one ends with Charlie Brown losing the spelling bee ("And did you notice? The world didn't come to an end!") while this new movie gives him a happy ending, but if you think about it they both convey the same general moral; life goes on, don't worry about it. Charlie Brown will never kick the football, but he'll always be a truly great human being. Fantastic movie, I recommend it to everyone!