November 19, 2014

I Am Weirdly Okay With This PEANUTS Trailer

A few years ago, CBS and Paramount released a remastered edition of Star Trek: The Original Series with all new special effects sequences.  A lot of people cried foul, preferring the show to remain unsullied by computer animation, but I don't really mind these new editions.  The animators didn't go all George Lucas-crazy on the episodes and in fact took painstaking effort to recreate most of the original shot composition in great detail, as opposed to slapping on a bunch of whiz-bang bells and whistles.  Mostly it's just nice to not have every planet look exactly the same, or to see the classic Enterprise engaged in some honest to goodness combat maneuvers.  Besides, if I want to watch the episodes as they originally aired, my Blu-ray box set contains both versions of every episode.

I guess that's why I'm okay with this trailer for a new Peanuts movie.  We still don't have any sense of the story, but we do get a better look at the execution of the animation and how they're handling the actual characters.

Thankfully, there's clearly no attempt here to make Charlie Brown and company hip and modern.  There's no flashy celebrity voice casting.  I could do without the cloying pop song, but hopefully that's just marketing bullshit.  More importantly, the essence of those classic Peanuts cartoons still looks to be intact, just realized in CG rendering instead of hand-drawn animation.  I'm kind of fine with that.  All great cartoon characters have evolved over time as animation techniques have progressed.  Just look at Bugs Bunny or Mickey Mouse.  So Charlie Brown's head is now spherical instead of simply circular.  Is that really what matters here?

All I care about is that the characters remain true to their roots.  The facial expressions still look like they were drawn in pencil.  Those wavy motion lines persist.  Charlie Brown is still a blockhead and the Red Baron is still flying.  And as someone who grew up watching Snoopy Come Home, I'm glad to see that my favorite cartoon beagle and his yellow feathered friend are still exactly as I remember them.

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