If you only know the Peanuts from MetLife blimps and from saccharine TV movies, you may not know that its comic forbearer was often devastatingly great. Unfortunately, that’s not always what gets portrayed when the Peanuts come to life onscreen. We’ve yet to see which version will show up in Steve Martino’s The Peanuts Movie, but a new featurette seems to showcase how the folks at Blue Sky Studios are hoping to capture Charles Schulz’s signature style while also finding a way to workably animate in 3D.
The featurette also includes commentary from lead animators Jeff Gabor and BJ Crawford, who talk a lot about Schulz’s changing character dimensions, and what a challenge its been to translate that to the screen. Sabine Heller, a character development supervisor, said it took them two years to get Charlie Brown’s character down. Two years!
Martino also mentions the “handmade quality” of Schulz’s drawings, and it seems like Blue Sky is dedicated to keeping those style flourishes intact as much as possible. I trust ’em, because it looks good so far. I’m just hoping that there’s a narrative dedication that matches this drive for authenticity. As a forever fan of the Peanuts, I have always loved the comic series’ sometimes dark tone and philosophical leanings, but also (of course) adore its particular brand of humor. It can be sly or it can be broad, but hopefully The Peanuts Movie will find a way — on the narrative side — to not strip away its best moments and nuances in favor of lame gags. We shall see!
The Peanuts Movie opens in theaters November 6th.
— The Peanuts Movie (@PeanutsMovie) September 17, 2015