Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age) has released five new screenshots from their upcoming Peanuts Movie, which is scheduled for a November 6, 2015 release.
I'm a huge fan of Peanuts - who doesn't love Charlie Brown and Snoopy? - and I'm greatly looking forward to this newest attempt to revive the classic comic strip and cartoon characters. Also, like many of you who are traditional animation fans, I feel a slight unease at the thought of Sparky Shultz' characters rendered in CGI. Just look at the train wreckage from similar attempts with Rocky & Bullwinkle, Mr. Peabody, The Chipmunks, Astro Boy...don't get me started on those damned Smurfs. Ugh, my eyes! The goggles do nothing!
That said, I am greatly impressed the work Blue Sky has shown so far. They have managed to capture the classic hand-drawn look, with the additional detail and color that only CGI provides. This feels like a very reverent interpretation of Peanuts, a respectful one. This doesn't appear at all like a cheap, cynical cash-in. For that, I am very thankful.
I do hope this movie will be a good one. Western animation, despite its tremendous commercial success, is stuck creatively in the mud. Ice Age was a good movie, owing a lot to classic cartoons without becoming crass, commercialized or cynical. Is Blue Sky the right choice to helm a new Charlie Brown cartoon? Let's cross our fingers and hope for the best.