Tuesday, June 16, 2015

'The Peanuts' Trailers Shows How to do a Nostalgic Remake

It is a tricky situation taking a beloved children's work from the past and trying to transform it into a relevant and popular piece of modern entertainment. You want to warm the souls of those nostalgic for what they remembered and cherish, but you also need to make it contemporary and entertaining for the children and youth that aren't being fuelled by fond memories.

Like any form of pop culture, it is an artifact of its time and it resonated with it audience because it spoke into the zeitgeist of its period. To bring it to a contemporary audience and targeting a demographic that didn't exist during a piece's height while also trying to please those who did grow up with it takes some experts maneuverings to justify why it has been resurrected.

It need to elicit the warm glow of nostalgia while also feeling fresh and entertaining to an audience that sees it as something entirely new. Or you can just go all Jem and Holograms and make something that vaguely resembles the original work.

Luckily, The Peanuts Movie looks to have been made by people that actually read the Charles M. Schulz comic strip and watched the TV specials.



The feature has updated computer animation while maintaining much of the aesthetic and look of the original characters making it have a classic feel but still delivering what children would expect today. More importantly, the trailer plays out exactly how you expect a Peanuts story to go with poor Charlie Brown fumbling through life, Snoopy up to imaginative hijinks, Lucy making Charlie's life rough, and stuffing it full of all the classic characters.

It is also a story that is classic Peanuts without feeling like it has been recycled. Charlie vows to be a winner in his quest to win the heart of the pretty red headed new girl. There is a sweetness throughout the trailer and looks to have a focus on the Brown and Snoopy friendship. It will also provide us with classic moments like Brown finding a way to fail at pitching even when matched up against an inanimate object. The "Dream Big" tagline promises pure Schulz storytelling where it can be self-deprecating and the humour comes from Brown getting beatdown but at its core it is an uplifting and feel-good story.

Of all the reboots, remakes, and reimaginings of the last decade this one feels to have been the most effective in capturing the essence and spirit of its source material. If you loved the Peanuts, this seems to be promising everything you could desire.

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