The first teaser trailer for a new computer-animated “Peanuts” movie has hit the web, and I can already feel the outrage brewing. But in reality a CGI Charlie Brown and Snoopy isn’t as bad as you might imagine.
The short clip opens with a riff-on “2001: A Space Odyssey” — you know, for the kids — and zooms out until we see the nearly bald head of Charlie Brown and his dog Snoopy, Charlie Schulz’s most famous creations.
The look of animation is somewhere between 2-D and 3-D, and the characters move around in what look like purposely jerky motions, perhaps a throwback to the older movies. In fact, everything about the trailer seems like it was done with reverence to Schulz’s work… with an added dimension.
Speaking with USA Today, producer Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,” “The Heat”) suggested that we wouldn’t see sacrilege on the levels of “The Smurfs.” “Snoopy will not be rapping. No one will be twerking,” he said. “We’re in good hands.”
But there’s still the sense that the Peanuts are being needlessly modernized. If the computer animation is being handled in a way that respects the original format of the characters and their first movies, why take the extra step to render out the background with depth and add small hair details to Snoopy? The teaser looks good enough, but doesn’t exactly justify itself.
Count me as undecided, but I would like to know what you think. Do the Peanuts look great in all three dimensions, or is this just too different? Tell me in the poll below.