It seems almost sacrilege that Charles Schulz’s famous comic strip Peanuts, so beautifully rendered in hand-drawn animation for numerous beloved holiday specials, should be made into a feature film in 3D using computer animation, but that’s what’s happened. Producer Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Office) and director Steve Martino (Ice Age: Continental Drift) seem well aware of the risk, as the first teaser trailer shows off a style that’s definitely shooting for a hybrid of 3D CGI and hand-drawn style.
The result, funny enough, actually looks a little bit like stop motion, with a herky-jerky-ness to Charlie Brown’s motions that remind a bit of The LEGO Movie, another recent animated pic that actually was looking for a stop motion style. Some stylistic flourishes call back to the property’s newspaper origins, like Snoopy’s waving arms and legs being represented by scribbled lines or dizzy circles which surround Charlie Brown’s head. It’s still weird to see the characters on such a bright color palette, but the trailer ought to give fans hope that Peanuts will be properly represented in a visual sense.
As for story, nothing has been released so far. The project was first announced last October, but with release not planned until the end of 2015, it could be a while before we get any details. This will be the first ever big screen outing for Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Voice talent has not yet been announced.
The release has been planned to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the strip’s debut; Peanuts ran continuously for nearly 50 years, from October 1950 until Schulz’s death in February of 2000. It’s still widely syndicated. The film’s debut will also come on the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas, the first of more than 30 forays into the television space for the strip.