Warning: This movie will make your little ones want a flying dog from Santa!
Director Steve Martino revisits the loveable characters of the late Charles M. Schulz in The Peanuts Movie bringing the charming neighbourhood gang to the big screen for the first time in 35 years in a nostalgic and warm-hearted 3D extravaganza.
Charlie Brown and his trusty dog pal Snoopy (who looks great for being 65) have come a long way since their 1950 comic strip debut in a weekly newspaper, which grew legs (and paws) and spanned into award-winning (an Emmy and Peabody for 1965's A Charlie Brown Christmas) theatrical films and TV specials.
Martino brings the classic characters - Sally Brown, Schroeder, Lucy, Linus and Pig-Pen and the adorable little yellow birdie Woodstock, back to life in a refreshingly familiar manner, and is subtly respectful to the comic strips origin which is evident in the film's episodic structure.
The sentiment of the story is refreshingly familiar and viewers are welcomed back with an enchanting tale of Charlie Brown and his quest to impress the little red-haired girl who he falls head-over-heels in love with, which effortlessly runs parallel to Snoopy's ongoing fantasy of battling the Red Baron in France.
The warm-hearted plot comes complete with several nostalgia moments and a delightful story that plays up to the characters endearing quirks- Lucy opens a psychiatric booth and charges five cents to give advice; Schroeder bangs out Beethoven on his toy piano and Charlie finds himself falling flat when he tries to play a kite or engage in any sporting activity.
The CGI honours the original, simplistic drawings, and although it feels odd at first, it doesn't offend the old fashioned sketches. Snoopy’s make-believe doghouse flying sequences makes for a visual feast, with his gravity-defying close calls, and attempts to save a female beagle named Fifi, creating a cute sub-plot.
The voice-overs using children and not adults, give the colourful animation top marks in the sound department, and the same can also be said for Christopher Beck's wonderful score which pays tribute to the great Vince Guaraldi.
The Peanuts Movie is delightful from beginning to end and doesn't rely on baddies, silly sidekicks or lame toilet gags to distract your munchkins.
With our faithful friend Snoopy up for Animated Feature at the Golden Globes 2016 it's safe to say that the beloved beagle will continue to capture the hearts of generations for years to come.
Now off I go to re-watch A Charlie Brown Christmas.