Posts tagged #peanuts

Blue Sky's Peanuts Trailer: Lucy's Setup the Football - Now What?

While it looks true to the source material, it's probably a safe bet that Snoopy won't be fighting a lawn chair any time soon...

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.

Nothing Funny About Print's Demise

The Lone Beagle flies his dog house like any good dog should in a classic Peanuts strip. (Courtesy King Features)

Egon Spengler proclaimed print dead in the 1980s, but for the longest time the newspaper has barely hung on by a thread. Alas, my beloved Rocky Mountain News in Denver went the way of the do-do bird several years ago, unable to keep up with the instant demand for news through other outlets and the dwindling attention spans of its readership who would much rather consume news online or through 140 characters on Twitter.

It's been sad to see newspapers slowly entering retirement and watching them struggle to adapt to an online format in some shape or form to survive. Which is why it's also especially sad to hear news that the NY Post has dropped its funny pages from the publication. While there hasn't been an official confirmation, and many of the cartoonists that provide strips to the newspaper have received cryptic replies and answers according to the linked blog, it seems like the comics page was kicked to the curb rather unceremoniously.

While I'm sure that it's a dated nostalgia that kids don't really relate to much anymore, getting the newspaper out of mom and dad's hands meant being able to go straight to the funny pages for a laugh or two (many of them over our young six-year old heads but at least they looked funny). The funny pages introduced us to the Peanuts characters and Garfield in our youth, were most likely to blame for the massive amount of paperback Garfield collections that we forced our parents to purchase at every book fair, and when our tastes got a little more sophisticated took us to the Far Side.

What will the future hold for newspaper strip comics (and the creative teams behind them)? Will the format strictly become the webcomic strip? Or will the format be able to adapt and evolve to be consumed in a way that modern audiences will be able to access them? I sure hope so. The four panel strip is highly underrated and incredibly influencing to developing the humor and artistic tastes of all ages. No matter how cynical of a world we currently inhabit.