The Peanuts Movie

I woke up and watched a bit of television. John Besh made an appearance on the chef segment of CBS This Morning. The dish menu included Crabmeat Ravigote, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, New Orleans Shrimp Etouffee, Rustic Fig Tart, Go-To Pie Dough, Go-To Chicken Stock, Creole Spice Mix, and Oysters with cocktail and mignonette sauces. I checked the playlist for the American Top 40 radio program for the weekend. The Top 10 songs on November 6, 1976 were “Just to Be Close to You,” “Magic Man,” “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright),” “She’s Gone,” “Muskrat Love,” “Love So Right,” “If You Leave Me Now,” “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” “Disco Duck (Part 1),” and “Rock ‘n Me.” I went out to Emeryville to visit Target and buy a couple of Star Wars items. Over at Best Buy nearby, I bought a pair of ear buds and the Blu-ray disc of “Mad Max: Fury Road.” I took the bus to the Grand Lake Theatre to see the 2:30 showing of “The Peanuts Movie.” It didn’t attract a huge crowd. I wondered how the children of today related to the Peanuts characters. I suppose it is from watching the television specials which are still shown. This movie made me think back to “Snoopy Come Home.” This is the age of computer animation and 3D viewing, and so that is the kind of Peanuts movie we get in 2015. We see the red-haired girl move into the neighborhood and Charlie Brown fall in love with her. In this world, there is a lot of attraction between the boys and girls. They’re acting like older children in that way. I thought that the child actors did a good job and were better than most of the ones from the old days. The focus is on two things, Charlie Brown’s shyness and lovesick emotions involving the little red-haired girl, and Snoopy’s adventures with the Red Baron. The cuts in transitions to different scenes is faster than films in the past, in keeping with what today’s audiences expect. Not much really happens in the story. Snoopy is more of a friend to Charlie Brown than I recall. He really helps out Charlie Brown, and seems like his only real friend. What is funny is that the characters dressed like it was decades ago, but some details are from the present, like dance moves and some music. I can’t stand the pop music of today. It is hard to think that Lucy in this millennium would ask for only a nickel for psychiatric help. Charlie Brown seems too pathetic at times, to the point of being painful. I don’t know why he spun that propeller. These kids don’t live with technology like cell phones or computer. Schroeder practices the Moonlight Sonata on his piano, and Snoopy writes stories with a typewriter. He did find it in the garbage. How did Charlie Brown read “War and Peace” in one weekend? He must not have been as dumb as he’s been made out to be. He can’t fly a kite or throw a good fastball, but he can write a book report. Do the kids ever learn anything in school? They are always happy when they’re let out of school. Where do they live, anyway? It’s nowhere near where I live, because I never see snow in the winter. One of the great ideas of the comic strip was Snoopy battling the Red Baron, and the World War I setting that came with it. It seems that racial integration didn’t reach this part of the country yet. Franklin was one of the few who wasn’t white. The kids don’t have problems like bullying, racism, learning disabilities, or dealing with divorcing parents. They don’t experiment with drugs or get in trouble with the police. They don’t have serious illness or fractures or physical deformities. It was actually a relief, though, because I wanted to watch something entertaining while not being reminded of the real world. The look of the movie and the characters was very pleasing. I think everyone accepted the look of everyone’s heads as they turned around, which wasn’t a given when you consider the 2D look of the old cartoons. The last Peanuts movie was released in 1980, and so this was the first since Charles Schulz’s death. I think he had an optimistic view of children. Charlie Brown in the real world would have to keep his emotions about the little red-haired girl to himself, because he would have been humiliated and tortured about it. The children supposedly appreciate Charlie Brown for what he is, despite calling him a blockhead and wishy-washy. Real kids barely appreciate their own parents. How many adult characters were there in this movie? Of course, we never hear their voices. I think the major weakness of the movie is that it’s not focused. There are fun parts with Snoopy for the kids and some longing and emotion with Charlie Brown for the older crowd. There is some pleasure in watching these characters, though, and thinking about your youth in the watching, though. This movie falls short in an attempt to be a family classic, but it pleased the crowd yesterday. I’m not sure that the kids liked all of it, though. Some of them got restless at a few moments. It had many visual ideas that were impressive, even if the story could have used some work. I thought it was a good movie for the family. There was a brief, amusing bit at the end after the end credits, although it wasn’t really worth waiting around for it. It wasn’t like the Beatles songs that came at the end of the Minions movie. I left the theatre at 4:13 and took the buses back home. I stopped at Trader Joe’s and found myself in line behind an angry woman who cursed one of the cashiers. She claimed that she had been shopping at the store for ten years, which I knew was impossible because the store had been open for only five years. When I got home, I watched a bit of The Green Hornet, and I fell asleep during an episode of Wonder Woman. The story dealt with dolphins and seemed to make use of footage from “The Day of the Dolphin.” The Star Trek episode had Ted Cassidy in it, and it was called “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”. Sherry Jackson’s outfit sure showed a lot of skin. Gene Roddenberry did have to give the show some sex appeal. The movie “Tarantula” was on the Svengoolie program.  Clint Eastwood amazingly had a small role in it.  Some of the people who died on November 8 include Doc Holliday (1887), Anton Rubinstein (1894), Norman Rockwell (1978), and Bil Keane (2011). Today is a birthday for Leif Garrett (54), Bonnie Raitt (66), and Alain Delon (80). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 8, the Marlon Brando film “Mutiny on the Bounty” was released in 1962. In 1965, “Days of Our Lives” premiered on NBC. In 1968, Cynthia Lennon was granted a divorce from John Lennon. In 1990, “Cheers” reached its 200th episode.

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