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Welcome to Snoopy’s World! PEANUTS MOVIE Exclusive Making-Of

Posted on November 09 2015 by Editor

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Welcome to Snoopy’s World! PEANUTS MOVIE Exclusive Making-Of

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“The Peanuts Movie” pulled in $45 million at the box office in it’s opening weekend. But, what was the story behind resurrecting the famous cartoon series from television cartoon specials to bringing it to the big screen? It took over 100 animators, and the “Ice Age” director with a nostalgic vision and even bigger mission.

This updated version of the Charlie Brown television cartoons re-visits all the regular characters of Lucy, Linus, Franklin, Peppermint Patty, Sally, and Schroeder. The movie also features typical scenarios of Charlie Brown where he is in a constant state of seeking all of their approval in the attempt to prove that he can achieve success.

The son and widow of Charles Schulz, creator of the famous comic strip and cartoon “Snoopy”, Craig and Jeannie Schultz worked on the famous comic strip’s characters “The Peanuts Movie” for eight years. At a recent media press event, Craig said he heard Snoopy’s Xmas and tried to visualize how it would look. The making of the new “Peanuts” movie was a real family event.

Craig’s son, Bryan Schulz is a screen writer and helped write “The Peanuts Movie”. He’s also one of the producers. Making the new film still feel like a classic, came with the help of immersing themselves in the “Charles M. Schulz Museum”. Jeannie runs the museum located in Santa Rosa, California. The true heart of the movie is to show people where the strip comes from which people can also get by visiting the museum according to Jeannie.

Director Steve Martino (“Ice Age”)said when he first started the project, the reaction from people was always the same – “don’t screw it up.” Four-hundred people at Blue Sky Studios used their skills to create “The Peanuts Movie”. The co-workers of Charles Schultz referred to him as “Sparky”. Martino said he wanted to hold-up the pen drawings in their complete animation, and create an experience that felt rich and felt big for the movie audience.

The difference is that they created texture to the scenes, and wanted to be able to take the audience to Snoopy and Charlie Brown’s world. Animators took 1980s and 1990s versions of Snoopy dog to model from. Fans of Snoopy may remember “Fifi”, a Parisian female dog of Snoopy’s interest. Well, she’s also in this new movie as part of Snoopy’s Fantasy Adventure in Paris. In order to achieve the nostalgic “hand-drawn” look of the comic strip and classic cartoons, Martino stated that they had to “beat the symmetry out of the computer.” Animator Supervisor, Nick Bruno said there were close to one-hundred animators who worked on “The Peanuts Movie”. They practiced 2D animating with 3D parts.

Bruno also noted that at Van Pelt University, every animator that worked on ‘Peanuts’ had to go through them drawing Charlie Brown and watching cartoons and documentaries about the comic strip and creator. Criag’s goal was to take audiences into Snoopy’s world and his mind – especially during “The Flying Ace” scenarios. The filmmakers also paid homage to “Red Baron” by keeping it as true to the original animation.

The voices used for the kids in the movie were all kids with the exception of Snoopy and Woodstock who were both voiced by adult Bill Melendez. His parts were either recorded in the early phases of production before his death in 2008, or pulled from his past voice work in other Charlie Brown cartoons. Martino said casting director Christian Kaplan, listened to thousands of audition tapes from children. Martino wanted the children’s purity of expressing themselves naturally without “putting-on”. The core of Charlie Brown in how we perceive ourselves is something that adults and children alike can relate to, stated Martino.

The Peanuts Movie characters

Pictured (l-r): Franklin, Linus, Sally, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Woodstock, Snoopy, Charlie Brown

Craig said the memory of his Dad is what drove them to do the film. Jeannie said Charles would have liked the movie, but never wanted anyone to do the comic strips. Charles’ great-grandson has a cameo in the film. He’s the kid that says “following in the steps of greatness.”

Although Charles never liked using the word “Peanuts” for fear of thinking people would associate it with a character in the story, Craig said they used ‘Peanuts’ to make it universal. “Good Old Charlie Brown” is what Charles wanted to call it. So, they paid homage to him by having it be the last line in this movie.

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