First post of the new year and I wanted to write about one of the most anticipated films of the year.......The Peanuts!................(audience:Oh good grief Charlie Brown). OK it might not be one of the big hitters that are coming this year but I have to say I am overly excited for this film! I usually hate when they take something of my childhood and try to apply CG to create a blockbuster movie ( I am looking at you Michael Bay! ). However when it comes to this film, I am genuinely excited. Check out the trailer, then read on to see why I am so excited for this film!
Its not your typical 3D film
If you read my previous articles on animated films, you will know that I am an advocate of traditional animation coming back to the big screen. I even discussed how studios are moving more towards a traditional style. The Peanuts are continuing that trend. Most 3D animated films try to push the ultra realism to cartoon styles. Its almost how we try to create robots to resemble human but they will never be 100% human. That's why I am liking the new Peanuts movie, they are using components of traditional animation techniques and applying them to 3D. Like adding motion lines, animation smears and multiple images of each character in a motion. Something that previous 3d animation films don't do.
Usually studios would use motion blur or computer special effects to create a sense of motion. Blue Sky Studios,the company producing the movie, decided to make the effort to make this film feel like the original Peanut films. Even the use of texture has a feel of paints or hand made feel. For me, I have found when studios do this and create a cartoon style film, I am more engaged. The reason is because your not distracted by the 3D. Most animated films I have seen try to wow you with their 3d work. Very clean and polished animation of the characters. Trying to develop a very technical world and polished style for a cartoon that isn't suppose to be all that polished. Stuff like that really throws me out of a movie. The best films are ones that focus on the story and allow the story and characters dictate how the look of the film will be. I feel Peanuts will deliver when it comes to feeling like the original series.
This Feels like a Peanuts movie
I have to give props to the animators at Blue Sky Studios because the animation is fantastic. They could have gone the same route as Dreamworks when they created Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Clean animation and 3d versions of the characters. Instead they did their research and animated in the style of the 1960s-1980s. Out of all of the revamped classic cartoons this feels like the original. Hopefully better story arch than the originals (some of the old Peanut movies can get quite boring). However just seeing how they animated Snoopy and Woodstock, this is going to be a character driven story. Even the art for this movie feels like the original. I mean compare this Snoopy with the old Snoopy, They look identical even though its a 3d movie.
It something different
I think what going to make this an interesting film is that the style is different. I cannot overstate enough how much I love the visual direction of the film especially compared to more contemporary animated films we are use to. Not to mention to take a new style and apply it to one of the most iconic, beloved comics strips of all time..... that's pretty ballsy. Blue Sky Studios could have easily went with a traditional high res 3D models with Disney style animation and model building. Instead they went to the heart and soul of what made Peanuts great and created something different.
What do you guys think? Leave it in the comments. Don't forget to subscribe to get the most recent articles. Also check out my youtube channel JaserTheAnimator and follow me on instagram @JaserTheAnimator.