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The Peanuts movie reviewSweetest movie of the year (period). It was both a relief and a thrill to see the tenderness, reverence and whimsy with which filmmakers brought the beloved Peanuts gang to the big screen. It took me right back to the days of having a dancing Snoopy Feelin’ Groovy poster on my wall, and dressing up as the WWI Flying Ace for Halloween. Far from feeling dated, however, The Peanuts Movie opens up a whole new generation to the simple and innocent joys of childhood as seen through the eyes Charles Schultz’s iconic characters.

Thank heavens director Steve Martino (Horton Hears a Who, Ice Age: Continental Drift) didn’t tart them up with modern day fart jokes, potty mouths or flashy-hip hop music (despite what the trailers might lead you to believe). In fact, all your favorite non-seasonal Peanuts music, including Schroeder’s Theme and a dash of Beethoven, are present, augmented with bouncy, feel-good pop tunes from Meghan Trainor, who is no longer All About the Bass.

Adults still sound like trombones, Snoopy and Woodstock still express like squeaky toys, and Lucy and the kite-eating tree are still the nemeses of Charlie Brown, who finally, after much humiliation, catches a break…sort of.  What’s new and fresh about the film, and keeps it from feeling like the same thing you’ve been watching at home on TV for the past 50 years, is the addition of 3D animation. Believe it or not, this is a fun update. So often 3D is distracting, and deters from a film’s warmth and intimacy, but not so here. You feel as if you could reach out and hug every one of the Peanuts gang, and you actually want to. Except maybe for Lucy, who is as abrasive as ever.

This is a true holiday treat for all ages, from the three-year-old preschooler to the 85-year-old granny. Grab a kid and go — not because you’ll feel strange in the theater as an adult without a kid, but because you won’t want any child in your life to miss the same sweet, simple and satisfying amusement you loved growing up.

Rated G

1 Hour 32 Minutes

Get tickets and times at


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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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