Charles M. Schulz's much-adored, generations-spanning "Peanuts" comic strip has been adapted into a number of classic animated television specials—1965's "A Charlie Brown Christmas," 1966's "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," 1973's "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," and 1974's "It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown" have all the major holidays covered—but, amazingly, has never been given the feature-length treatment. Since the long-awaited "The Peanuts Movie" was originally announced, there has been understandable trepidation from fans. Would a film made in the twenty-first century have the same quaint, earnest charm as its source material? Would there be an onslaught of superficially hip pop-culture references shoehorned into its story? And as for the computer animation, would a switch away from hand-drawn simplicity squander the very essence of the late Schulz's work? The happy answer to all these questions is no. "The Peanuts Movie" is not only aesthetically beautiful, at once modern, retro and pure, but it also rings resoundingly true.
The central plot—a clothesline of various vignettes all adding up to a larger whole—finds perpetual elementary-school-aged underdog Charlie Brown (voiced by Noah Schnapp) experiencing his first major crush when The Little Red-Haired Girl (Francesca Lily Capaldi) moves in across the street. Charlie sees this as his big chance to reinvent himself, but his attempts to impress her from afar—at the school dance, during a talent show, etc.—never seem to go as he plans. Alas, advice from the know-it-all Lucy Van Pelt (Hadley Belle Miller), who has set up a 5-cent stand in the neighborhood replacing lemonade with psychiatry sessions, is not much help. The best course of action is to finally muster the courage to talk to her, but for a young boy lacking confidence who really likes a cute girl in class, introducing oneself is easier said than done.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review