My first encounter with the Peanuts comic strip was way back in the ‘1980s. As a 7-year old, brimming with enthusiasm and curiosity, I instantly fell in love with Charles M. Schultz’s endearing and a bit chaotic child characters – Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the gang.
After over three decades, it was indeed a pleasure watching the Peanuts Movie in theaters – this time too with my 7-year old. Yes, Charlie Brown Survives the Leap to 3D, something which many of its contemporaries could not.
For somebody like me who has grown up with Schultz’s characters, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the rest of the beloved “Peanuts” gang, seeing the big-screen debut in glorious 3D animation was simply wow! My kido was enjoying Charlie Brown’s mistake-ridden adventures – fidgeting with his 3D glasses, often binging on his favorite caramel popcorn. However, the cartoon’s contemplative style and dark humor that gives it a timeless appeal was meant for us – the grown up kids on the block!
As the movie picked up pace, I started deciphering all the familiar characters in a different light like never before. Of course Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, like all good pop culture icons, have taught us some important life lessons over the years. One of the key lessons is to ‘Never Stop Trying’. Charlie Brown taught us how to really give it the old college try.
Linus’ big sister Lucy was always my Peanuts shero. She was loud, ambitious, ridiculous, and really kind of mean. In spite of her faults, Lucy knew that she didn’t owe anybody anything. When she set up shop as a psychiatrist, she didn’t hand out free advice, because she knew her time was worth. Lucy van Pelt’s self-confidence taught us all to value ourselves, even if it wasn’t very polite.
While sorting out our personal philosophy, Peanuts remind you to never take anything too seriously. After all, life is hard enough without taking every punch straight to the gut. It’s here that Charlie Brown’s little sister, Sally, the ultimate pragmatist can cross no other. If she tried to summon sunshine and got rain instead, she’d celebrate her powers. Pragmatism might not always be the logical choice, but Sally taught you just how well it could serve you.
On the other hand, Peanuts pianist Schroeder rarely speaks, preferring to practice his music instead. When he does talk, it’s because he has something pretty damn important to say.
Snoopy has an enviable imagination. One minute he’s a happy beagle, the next a tortured writer, and the next, a Space Flying Ace. He had his head in the clouds, and he made his own fun when he wanted to. Following Snoopy on his imaginary adventures made you hold on to your own sense of make-believe.
Everyone in the Peanuts gang loves to dance, right? Even if they didn’t have the best moves, that didn’t stop Schultz’s characters from cutting a rug. So their philosophy dance like no one’s watching, and make your own happiness is worth learning.
Finally, Charlie Brown and Snoopy have plenty of fun, but they’re even happier than when they’re just enjoying the weather and each other’s company.
The Peanuts Movie provides its life lessons through humour, heart-felt messages and endearing characters. Taking joy from the simple things is one of the most valuable life lessons we can ever learn, and Peanuts has been teaching this to us since childhood.