To cleanse the palate, via Ace, we’re getting a “Peanuts” reboot the same year we’re getting a “Muppets” reboot, eh? There’s a hot-take thinkpiece in there somewhere about Boomers grasping at nostalgia as they fade into senescence, but alas, I’m too tired to fart one out for you. Besides, I try to reserve my thinkpiece efforts for specialty pizzas.
Something feels off here although I can’t put my finger on what. It’s not the CGI. That’s fine. It’s not the fact, as Ace laments, that Charlie’s probably going to finally win over the little red-haired girl, which would betray everything “Peanuts” stands for but which may be a fait accompli for the happy ending to a major theatrical release. The choice of music in the trailer is glaringly wrong: You go in expecting the famous plaintive Vince Guaraldi piano theme and instead get “Baba O’Riley” (pre-teenage wasteland?), but you can justify that in terms of the target audience. If we’re going to indulge Boomer nostalgia, let’s really do it, you know?
The problem, I think, is that it looks long on shtick — sight gags, slapstick, set pieces of Snoopy dancing — and short on soul, which is a smart way to hold the interest of little kids but feels so wrong to anyone who loves the old animated holiday specials. Maybe the trailer’s merely highlighting the more gimmicky parts, as trailers tend to do, but it feels like they’re caught here between trying to give the older audience what they want out of “Peanuts” while also giving the younger audience what they want, which is likely to mean no one gets what they want. Put it this way: If I had to bet, I’d bet the Great Pumpkin does show up in this one. Aaaugh.