20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Animation (the studio that brought you the Ice Age films and... the Ice Age films) have been long at work on a rebooted CG animation-based Peanuts to introduce the property to a whole-new generation of fans. The first-look trailer was supposed to be released at Thanksgiving, but apparently leaked a little early giving us our first glimpse at the series in motion.
The trailer definitely gets quite a bit right: keeping the animation to the same 2D-plane that's true to the Sunday strips as well as the classic Bill Melendez fueled television specials. The little bit of cloudy marshmallow-like depth that's been added to the almost painted look really makes the animation pop while also feeling familiar, and I actually really dig it.
But, as many have pointed out, as soon as a Disney Radio sounding pop song kicks in things start to get a little hairy and the trailer ventures into Jim Carrey A Christmas Carol territory. It makes sense that Snoopy's ride is a flight of fancy (no pun intended) but as soon as it becomes a music video inspired "HEY KIDS, PUT ON YOUR 3D GLASSES!" moment, you can't help but shift in your seat a little bit and worry. But all-in-all, I'm feeling pretty positive about what we'll be seeing up on the movie screens this time next year.
Still though, die-hard fans take take comfort in knowing that Charles Schulz's son Craig, whom I actually had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing when working on the You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown DVD bonus features, is one of the co-writers of the film along with his son Bryan Schulz. That's two generations of Schulz family working together to keep the family legacy going. And no stranger to reboots that need to stay true to the source material Paul Feig is producing.
The new Peanuts film will be released November 5, 2015.