As Charlie Brown wrestles with a supersized crush on his red-haired new classmate, Snoopy prepares to do battle with feared aviator The Red Baron.
Carp about studio exploitation all you like, but director Steve Martino and his animators have paid due diligence to beloved “blockhead” Charlie Brown — an American hero more Woody Allen than Shrek, felled by “a serious case of inadequacy” and the mischief of classmate Lucy and canine Snoopy (Peanuts’ Tyler Durden). Devotees will appreciate the faithful detail, how the lush 3D animation exactingly reproduces Charles Schulz’s 2D artwork. As Schulz worked in three-panel strips, so the plot is an assembly of witty skits depicting Brown’s personal hell when a new girl arrives to melt his heart and social standing. To add some Pixar-pep, we get Snoopy’s loop-the-loop daydreams, dogfighting his nemesis, the Red Baron. It’s slight, but sweet.
Charming in that neurotically adorable way Charles Schulz established over many years, this is a fond continuation of the Snoopyverse.