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Lucy: Let me let you in on a little secret, Charlie Brown. If you really want to impress people, you need to show them you're a winner.
Charlie Brown: A winner? Me? Lucy, you may be on to something!
Lucy: Of course, when I say "you", you know I don't mean you personally.

The Peanuts Movie is a 2015 CGI animated feature film produced by 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios, based on the popular comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. It is the fifth big-screen adaptation of the strip, the first since Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown in 1980, and the first since the death of Schulz in 2000.

Three of Schulz's grandchildren produced it, and one of them is a co-writer. Paul Feig also served as a producer. Schulz's estate has 100% overseen and approved everything having to do with the movie, and an unconventional style of CGI has been developed to preserve his design work and Bill Melendez's animation style.

The plot revolves around Charlie Brown making many attempts to talk to and impress the Little Red-Haired Girl, with his bad luck making many mixed results. Meanwhile, Snoopy tries making his own story of World War I, imagining himself as a hero wanting to save his girlfriend from the Red Baron. Will Charlie and Snoopy succeed at their goals?

Previews: Teaser 1, Teaser 2, Trailer 1, Trailer 2, Trailer 3.

The Peanuts Movie contains examples of:

  • 15 Minutes of Fame: After appearing to ace the test, Charlie Brown becomes a celebrity among the school kids and has a constant crowd of followers. Lucy's the only one who refuses to change her behavior, recognizing that Charlie Brown is still Charlie Brown and deriding the other kids for thinking of him differently now. This all disappears immediately as soon as Charlie Brown admits that there was a mix-up and the test wasn't his (and embarrassingly, just as Lucy was coming around).
  • Accidental Misnaming: It was fortunate that Charlie Brown found Marcie in the library, or he would have never found the book of Leo's Toy Store.
  • Adaptational Mundanity: In the original Peanuts strips, the Kite Eating tree was literal. In this movie, it is just a tree that Charlie Brown lost a lot of kites to.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The comics and specials generally portray Peppermint Patty as secretly having a crush on Charlie Brown, and becoming jealous towards The Little Red-Haired Girl because of it. In the film, while she does playfully flirt with him on a few occasions, and can be spotted giving him a Longing Look one point, she doesn't pursue it and she's just as happy for him succeeding in impressing The Little Red-Haired Girl as everyone else is. note 
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: The film actually undoes this for a number of characters, specifically Frieda and the original Patty (with Patty's hair being changed from auburn to blond), which has caused no small amount of confusion for folks more familiar with animated versions of the characters than the comics. Marcie's gotten a subtle one, too – her hair in the comics is black, but in animation it's usually brown, so this film found a shade in-between.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • In Snoopy's story, he writes that Woodstock and his fellow birds manage to successfully sabotage the Red Baron's plane so that the fight ends in a draw. Snoopy himself lasts for a longer time than he has in canon.
    • Charlie Brown. While he has pulled off wins on his own merits in other depictions they are usually shown as being laborious or due to an incredibly rare stroke of luck. Here he achieves impressive feats by simply buckling down and focusing on success, with his failures being much more based in rotten luck than in genuine inability. Played with in that he nearly gives up completely, whereas in most adaptations, he just goes on no matter what.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Snoopynote  and the kids are certainly nicer to Charlie Brown than they were in the strips or TV specials (with the exception of Lucy, who is (initially) as much of a jerk as always).note 
    • Patty. In the comic strips and earlier cartoons, she and Violet were little more than clones of Lucy (and largely disappeared after failing to develop any distinctive personality traits), and generally only played the "mean girls" role. In this adaptation, Patty's clear affection for Pig-Pen makes her seem very sweet, and certainly wins her far more sympathy than the previous portrayals of her did. In fact, when it was revealed that Charlie Brown got the highest test score (actually Peppermint Patty), these two were the first to acknowledge him and defended him from anyone who became too obsessive over him.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Except for one of the comic strip panels shown during the credits scroll, Linus and Lucy's little brother Rerun is entirely absent from the movie, despite Rerun being a prominent character in the last couple decades of the strip's run, and even the lead in one TV special, along with several shorts. Rerun is substituted by the unnamed little boy, credited simply as "Little Kid" in the end credits, who Charlie Brown encounters in the nurse's office and later teaches to fly a kite (successfully!).
    • Eudora too is nowhere to be seen in the movie. While her absence is less noticeable than Rerun's, she was a semi-major recurring character in the strip for a decade, and here she doesn't even get a cameo.
  • Advertised Extra: Despite showing up on the poster, Snoopy's family only shows up in a mid-credit scene.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: In a mid-credits scene, Lucy gives Charlie Brown a pat on the head after pulling her classic football prank on him, calling him "gullible".
  • All-CGI Cartoon: This is the first all-computer-generated Peanuts film in the franchise. It's designed to look like a literal translation from the Bill Melendez-produced TV specials and shows, complete with animation playing on 2's, and flat perspective, giving off an almost stop-motion feel.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version uses a different ending theme called "A Song for You" by Ayaka.
  • Always Save the Girl: At the climax of the B-plot, Snoopy FINALLY has a chance to shoot down the Red Baron once and for all, but at the same time the zeppelin Fifi is on is collapsing. He immediately chooses to save Fifi while the Red Baron makes an emergency landing after his plane is damaged.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: The only hard-and-fast rule the film had for the world's tech level is that any device used had to have shown up in the comic strip at some point. Given that the comic strip lasted fifty years, that's not much of a limit at all, and so while modern computers and phones are absent note , modern recycling bins and Scantron-based tests are fair game to exist alongside rotary-dial phones and typewriters. This is very subtly lampshaded by Snoopy finding his signature typewriter... in a school dumpster.
  • Art Shift: With the exception of Snoopy's Red Baron fantasies, each Imagine Spot in the film shifts from the flat perspective CGI used in the movie to a more traditional 2D style.
  • Ascended Extra: Violet and the original Patty play more prominent roles than they have in literally decades. During the '70s, both characters were pretty much Demoted to Extra (in both the newspaper strip and in animated productions) in favor of newer, more popular characters like Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Franklin, etc.
  • Ash Face: Snoopy after his plane backfires while standing behind it to impress Fifi, covering him with soot.
  • Behind a Stick: Snoopy hides behind a lamp while spying on the Little Red-Haired Girl.
  • Be Yourself: Charlie Brown goes to impressive lengths to get the attention of the Little Red-Haired Girl. It turns out he didn't need to do any of it for her to see him as the wonderful person he is.
  • Big Bad: Manfred von Richthofen, a.k.a. the Red Baron, obviously serves as this for Snoopy's fantasy side-story. As well as being the Central Powers' top flying ace and thus a natural nemesis for an Allied pilot like Snoopy, he takes down Fifi's biplane and captures her while she is still parachuting to the ground, setting the stage for a series of rescue attempts by our heroic beagle aviator.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In the final battle against the Baron and the zeppelin, Snoopy's air crew pilots another plane and helps in the fight. Said air crew are played by the Beagle Scouts, which consist of other birds like Woodstock. Woodstock himself even gets a moment to shine when he flies onto the Baron's plane and starts disassembling it piece by piece with a screwdriver.
    • In Charlie Brown's plot, the Kite Eating Tree of all things drops him a kite at a critical moment to use to catch up with the Little Red-Haired Girl.
  • Book Dumb: Downplayed with Peppermint Patty, who frequently gets D-minuses on her report cards, and when the mix-up shows that the perfect score on the aptitude test belongs to Peppermint Patty, it apparently doesn't have much of an impact (if any) on her academic life, in contrast with Charlie Brown, who feels like a genius when writing his essay on "War and Peace".
  • Book Ends:
    • The start of the film begins with a blank white canvas. Then a rectangle is added to make it resemble a comic strip panel. Black circles are drawn inside the panel, which crossfade into CGI snow. Before the credits, the final shot of the cast crossfades back into a black-and-white drawing, with Sparky adding his signature.
    • In an example more technical than the above, the first piece of music heard in the film (after Schroeder's rendition of the 20th Century Fox Fanfare) is Vince Guaraldi's "Skating". The same piece also plays at the very end of the credits.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: When Charlie Brown goes to the refrigerator for a snack, he gets some cookies and a slice of cake, but absentmindedly adds mustard instead of whipped cream. Snoopy then comes and helps himself to eating some of the mustard straight from the bottle.
  • The Bus Came Back: Violet, Patty (not Peppermint Patty), and Shermy — the original co-stars of the comic strip — return after decades of being Demoted to Extra. Although they are still minor characters here, Violet was considered important enough to get her own poster for the movie. Less so for Shermy, as outside of his mime acts at the talent show, he's mostly a voiced extra. Peppermint Patty's friend Jose Peterson, a very obscure character, is visible in one shot.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Charlie Brown, by tradition. Established in one of the trailers: while trying to find a seat in a theater full of the cast, he drops his popcorn and everyone laughs at him. "Good grief", indeed.
    • One of the birds in Woodstock's gang gets picked on by the others a lot.
    • As per the norm, Lucy is a minor Butt-Monkey by way of karma.
    • In the early parts of the film, Marcie ends up on the receiving end of a lot of slapstick abuse at Peppermint Patty's hands. When the kids are peering over the fence at the moving van arriving at the Little Red-Haired Girl's house, Peppermint Patty is standing on top of Marcie's head to get a better view. Later, Peppermint Patty gives a martial arts demonstration at the talent show; we only see the aftermath as they leave the stage, with a very dazed and dishevelled Marcie holding pieces of broken board, having evidently been in the path of several kicks and chops.
  • Buzzing the Deck: The Red Baron does this to the Flying Ace's root beer party, leaving root beer all over his face.
  • Call-Back: At the end, the Little Red-Haired Girl mentions all of Charlie Brown's major actions to show that she actually does respect him.
  • Cheated Angle: Enforced by the animators in order to get every character to look just like how they are in the comic strip, from eyes shifting positions around faces to hairstyles changing dramatically depending on the camera angle.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Several seemingly unimportant details become very important later:
    • The smiley face Peppermint Patty draws on her test; and
    • The scale model of the Red Baron's triplane.
    • The Little Red-Haired Girl's pencil, which Charlie Brown ultimately returns to her before she leaves for the summer.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Charlie Brown's attempts at flying a kite which inspire the boy at the park prove a crucial inspiration to the neighborhood kids when he rushes across town to see the Little Red-Haired Girl before she leaves for the summer.
  • Clown-Car Base: Snoopy's doghouse (of course). When rooting around inside looking for something, he tosses out various items which should be too large to fit inside, including a grandfather clock.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: As usual, Snoopy has some shades of this toward Charlie Brown, such as ditching him in the middle of a conversation and eating all of his muffins. Ultimately, however, he's taken a level in kindness and most of his interactions with Charlie Brown are positive.
  • Composite Character: Combined with a variation of Canon Character All Along, this movie depicts the Little Red Haired Girl as also being Charlie Brown's Pen(cil) Pal.
  • Continuity Nod: Way, way too many to count — the entire film can be seen as a throwback to the original strips and specials. Some notable examples are:
    • Various memorable quotes from both the comic strip and previous specials are used throughout the movie.
    • The Kite-Eating Tree is briefly mentioned, though its appearance is leafless (on account of winter) and without its trademark grin.
    • Vince Guaraldi's "Skating" appears, set to, appropriately enough, skating.
    • The opening sequence when Snoopy grabs Linus's blanket and the chain of ice skaters goes flying off in all directions is highly reminiscent of A Charlie Brown Christmas.
    • Lucy pulling away a football, causing Charlie Brown to slip into the air and fall flat on his back.
    • Baseball, Charlie Brown pitching, and having his clothes knocked off.
    • During an Imagine Spot montage of the WWI Flying Ace behind enemy lines, Snoopy briefly looks like his brother Spike while crossing a desert (since Spike lives in one). During another spot, Snoopy puffs himself out, which makes him look like his other brother Olaf. The real Spike and Olaf, and their other siblings Belle and Marbles and Andy cameo in a post-credits scene.
    • Snoopy does his trademark vulture stare, and then his flying "whirli-dog", while snatching cupcakes.
    • Snoopy sitting on his doghouse contemplating a novel and starting with "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night".
    • Psychiatric Help, regardless of inflation, still remains 5¢.
    • The moment when Charlie Brown picks up the Little Red-Haired Girl's pencil and notices it has teeth marks is derived from 2002's A Charlie Brown Valentine, with Charlie Brown successfully hanging on to it in the movie, as compared to A Charlie Brown Valentine, where Lucy snatches the pencil away and ruins his chances to talk to the Little Red-Haired Girl.
    • Joe Cool crashes the school dance.
    • Woodstock driving a tiny Zamboni, and then pushing a tiny snowblower, each appeared a number of times in the strip.
    • One of the many things tossed out of Snoopy's doghouse is Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night, a reference to the oft-mentioned but never-shown Van Gogh painting that Snoopy owns.
    • Peppermint Patty calls Joe Cool a "funny-looking kid with a big nose", in reference to what she called Snoopy during her first years in the strip.
    • Charlie Brown writing a book report about War and Peace was previously used in the special Happy New Year, Charlie Brown; in the TV special, he managed to get a D-minus for writing his book report at the last minute, while he puts more effort into writing an extensive report in the movie, only for it to get blown to pieces by a miniature Red Baron biplane model.
    • Snoopy licks Lucy, and she gives the exact same overreaction that she had in A Charlie Brown Christmas.
      Lucy: Ugh! I've been kissed by a dog! I have dog germs! Get hot water! Get some disinfectant! Get some iodine!
    • Marcie appears serving root beer to Snoopy and his siblings during one of his WWI Flying Ace fantasies. In the strip, Snoopy would often go to Marcie's house while in the Flying Ace persona, believing it to be a French café, where Marcie would willingly play the part of a French Waitress serving him root beer.
    • A subtle one, but Charlie Brown meeting the little red-haired girl at the bus at the end brings back the ending of You're in Love, Charlie Brown, a seldom-aired special from 1967.
    • When the kids watch The Little Red-Haired Girl moving in, Linus hopes she'll have an open mind about the Great Pumpkin.
    • Snoopy getting hit with "No Dogs Allowed!" when trying to enter the school.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: Fifi ends up on a partially detached zeppelin wing, which is being chewed up a bit at a time as it falls into one of the propellers.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Charlie Brown, of course. While his more major losses were more or less self-inflicted in favor of a moral victory, his others make it hard to believe that someone upstairs isn't out to get him. Most specifically when Charlie Brown ends up accidentally throwing his book report on War and Peace into the air. Instead of blowing away it just floats back down... but the runaway model of the Red Baron's triplane comes out of NOWHERE and tears it to pieces! Lampshaded at the climax of the film.
    Charlie Brown: It seems as if the whole world is conspiring against me!
  • Creative Closing Credits: The credits start with a montage of the whole cast dancing in a similar style to the dances shown in A Charlie Brown Christmas, over images of their original comic strip incarnations. The credits continue to scroll after the two stingers, alongside original panels from the comic that relate to the credits they're next to (i.e. a panel of Charlie Brown strung up like a marionette for the model rigging crew).
  • Damsel out of Distress: Fifi while being held hostage by the Red Baron pulls her own weight. She tosses a chair at the Red Baron to distract him and finds an exit. Snoopy still needs to save her but she very nearly makes it off the zeppelin without any help.
  • Darkest Hour: Charlie Brown has never come closer to giving up than he does in this film.
  • Description Cut: After Charlie Brown admits during the school assembly that he and Peppermint Patty put their names on each other's test by accident, so she was the one who got the perfect score, he tells Marcie and Franklin that Peppermint Patty is "the real genius". Cut to Peppermint Patty in the audience, sprawled out in her seat (and halfway into the seat of the annoyed-looking boy next to her), fast asleep and snoring loudly.
  • Determinator: Good ol' Charlie Brown; lampshaded when he decides to have a practice baseball game with snowmen:
    Charlie Brown: I don't care what Lucy says. I may have had trouble in the past flying a kite, and I may have never won a baseball game, but it's not for the lack of trying. My pitching has to improve if I come out to my trusty mound every day. [Charlie Brown builds a baseball team of snowmen] Charlie Brown is not a quitter!
  • Ditzy Genius: Marcie, who gets good grades, but isn't very talented at athletics as Peppermint Patty.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Hoo boy. After being Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown finally gets to talk with the Little Red-Haired Girl, who even convinces him he's a good person and is now her pen-pal.
  • Eat the Camera: Snoopy does this when he is about to crash into the wall of a tunnel.
  • Entertainment Above Their Age: Peppermint Patty mentions that Marcie loves The Catcher in the Rye and War and Peacenote . Charlie Brown then uses War and Peace for a book report.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The opening montage is of most of the cast being woken up by their alarm clocks and is a series of character notes, such as Peppermint Patty smashing her clock with a hockey stick, Schroeder almost shutting his off but declining so he can listen to Beethoven, and Lucy seemingly gently trying to wake up Linus before grinning, snatching his blanket away, and running off with it. We get another series of character notes during the ice skating sequence, including other characters like Frieda and her naturally-curly hair.
  • Exposition: Linus explains, with the help of his model triplane, who the Red Baron was, and in the next scene Snoopy and Woodstock spend a minute or so figuring out how the typewriter works. The exposition is needed as modern (very young) children in the audience, naturally, have no experience of anything related with WWI, let alone know what a typewriter is.
  • The Faceless:
    • The Little Red-Haired Girl is usually seen from behind, and her face only seen in brief glimpses, until the very end of the film when Charlie Brown finally has the courage to look her in the eye. It's not her first actual onscreen role; she's appeared in three TV specialsnote  and a stage musical.
    • Played straight for the Red Baron, who's only ever seen from the back and at a distance.
  • Failure Montage: Charlie Brown has two Imagine Spots featuring reminiscences of his past failures.
    • As he watches the Little Red-Haired Girl's family's furniture being carried into their house and hopes the as yet unseen new kid on the block has never heard of him, he imagines putting an ornament on a small Christmas tree which then bends over double, trying to use a pencil sharpener and getting his sleeve and then his whole shirt caught in it, getting soaked trying to drink from a water fountain, trying to kick Lucy's football only for her to pull it away at the last minute yet again, and standing on his pitcher's mound as a cloud moves over him and starts raining.
    • Late in the film, when the unnamed little kid asks him if he has experience flying kites, he imagines a kite crashing at his feet, a runaway kite dragging him face first into a tree, another kite crashing on top of his head, another runaway kite ripping off his shirt and shorts and leaving him in his underwear, and hanging upside-down from the kite-eating tree, wrapped up in another kite's string, as a thunderstorm rages.
  • Fake Shemp: The late Bill Melendez's voice clips were repurposed for Snoopy and Woodstock's appearances in this film.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The moving van says "Mendelson & Melendez Moving Co." as a tribute to Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez, the producers and, respectively, the executive producer and director of every Peanuts TV special and feature film from 1965-2006.note 
    • Marcie taking off her glasses for a split few seconds in one scene.
    • The test scores are a bonanza of freeze-frame bonuses.
      • Read the list carefully and you'll see that Peppermint Patty is the lowest-scoring student, which means that it was really Charlie Brown who got the lowest score. This is never explicitly mentioned in the dialog. But if you look close enough at the beginning, you can see that Charlie Brown signs his name on the wrong test, as does Peppermint Patty. (His actual score, 65, was not chosen randomly; the film came out 65 years after the comic strip debuted.)note 
      • The test scores list also shows the canonical last names of various characters. While Linus and Lucy's last name ("Van Pelt") is well-known, having been mentioned multiple times in the strip, the list also includes Violet's ("Grey"), which was mentioned exactly once in the entire fifty-year run, along with Peppermint Patty's ("Reichardt"), which was mentioned no more than thrice (along with her real name, Patricia, which the list also uses).
      • Furthermore, the list gives some characters brand new surnames taken from Schulz's friends and relatives — whose first names he originally borrowed for them, thus completing the homage: Marcie "Carlin" (though she was surnamed "Johnson" in one of the specials), Frieda "Rich", Patty "Swanson" and Shermy "Plepler". But like in the strip, Schroeder and Franklin still have No Full Name Given (though Franklin was surnamed "Armstrong" in one of the specials) while Pig-Pen is still Only Known By His Nickname.note 
      • The test scores also reveal the Little Red-Haired Girl's name to be "Heather Wold", which is a combination of Heather (the name Bill Melendez gave her in the specials) and Donna Wold (Schulz's real-life inspiration for the character).
      • Longtime Peanuts fans may also recognize another odd name on the list: "5 95472", a character who comes from a family whose parents changed their names and the names of their kids to numbers.
    • If you go frame-by-frame, you can see the Little Red-Haired Girl's face in some early scenes, though never for more than a second or two at a time. If you're paying attention, you can actually get a clear look at her in the dance scene when the sprinkler system goes off. Can't find her? In the wide crowd shot, when Lucy shouts "Let's get out of here!", she's on the far right of the frame. This is because the directors felt hiding her face in these scenes would draw more attention to it.
    • Some of Charlie Brown's notecards for his book report can be seen, with notes like "I always thought Napoleon was a pastry," and "Napoleon was the leader of his troops, much like the manager of a baseball team."
    • The school newspaper article about Sally winning the talent show, with a highlight being Sally's response to winning the talent show: "I'm going to Disneyland!" Another article quotes Violet as being dubious that a fellow student can clean up the Student Council if he can't even clean himself, almost certainly a reference to Pig-Pen.
    • When Charlie Brown helps the unnamed little kid get his kite in the air, it's easy to miss since the focus is on the two characters, but the kite-eating tree is in the background, and at least three or four of Charlie Brown's old kites can be seen in the branches (semi-obscured by leaves).
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision:
    • During the talent show, Charlie Brown actually has a solid magic act ready, with Snoopy as his assistant. Sally is on stage and doing horribly. Franklin threatens to drop the curtain on her act early, or let her keep going at the cost of Charlie's act. Charlie Brown decides to abandon his act and helps out his sister.
    • At the end of his Red Baron story, Snoopy has his nemesis in his gunsight with a crippled plane, all he has to do to shoot down the Red Baron is to pull the trigger... Then he sees that Fifi is falling to her death, and lets the Red Baron go to save her.
  • Gale-Force Sound: When Linus stands up to ask whether the standardised test he and his classmates are about to take truly reflects their educational experience, Miss Othmar's reply (which, from the intonation of the "Wah-wah" sounds, is likely "Sit down, Linus!") is so loud, it blows his hair back.
  • Genius Ditz:
    • Charlie Brown is known for being a Butt-Monkey extraordinaire. That said, his book report on War and Peace was, apparently, quite the fine work of written literature.
    • Downplayed with Peppermint Patty whose Book Dumb ditziness almost always results in D-Minuses. Aside from getting a perfect score on the aptitude test, she can still strike Chuck out in baseball, and rushes so fiercely in football she knocks Chuck for a loop, yet her life goes on as normal when her score is revealed to be the perfect one as if she hadn't gotten a perfect score.
  • The Ghost: As per tradition, all the adults remain unseen and talk through Trombone Shorty's muted trombone.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: In Charlie Brown's Failure Montage Imagine Spot after the unnamed little kid asks him if he has any experience flying kites, one of the failed attempts he remembers involves the kite zooming away so quickly it tears off his signature shirt and shorts, leaving him wearing only a pair of boxer shorts with hearts on them.
  • Graceful Loser: Snoopy and the Baron both have this in their climactic confrontation when it ends in a draw. The Red Baron retreats with dignity, and Snoopy cheers because he saved Fifi and all of his bird comrades as well.
  • Group Picture Ending: The movie ends with all of Charlie Brown’s friends celebrating his success by walking towards the camera before slowly transitioning into a 2D drawing of all the characters that looks like it was taken from the original black and white comic strips.
  • Hard-Work Montage: Charlie Brown reads War and Peace and writes a Linus-approved book report in about two days, and also teaches himself to be a pretty competent dancer and magician over the course of the movie. He legitimately masters a lot of different crafts to impress the Little Red-Haired Girl, but still ends up as a Failure Hero for reasons outside his control, or for choosing to do the morally right thing at the cost of winning.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Kite-Eating Tree (hibernating, as far as Chuck was concerned) was mentioned as the main reason why Charlie Brown decides to fly a kite during winter. That said, it is shown that said tree is where Charlie Brown got the kite that allowed him to talk to the Little Red-Haired Girl.
  • He Went That Way: When the Red Baron has Snoopy in his sights as the latter flies toward the German airfield to rescue Fifi, one of Snoopy's attempts to throw his rival off the scent is to don a big fake moustache and point off to one side as a spotlight shines on his Sopwith Camel. And it works — the spotlight starts moving in the direction Snoopy was pointing, then seems to do a double take as it returns to its original position, but Snoopy has used the time to escape.
  • Honesty Aesop: Charlie Brown becomes a minor celebrity when he apparently scores 100% on a test, but when he finds that his high-score test paper actually belonged to Peppermint Patty, he immediately confesses to everyone about the gaffe. The Little Red-Headed Girl later uses this as an example of how Charlie Brown is a good person.
  • Humiliation Conga: It wouldn't be a Charlie Brown movie without one. The poor blockhead suffers loss after loss over the course of a year. But it all pays off in the end, when his positive qualities are recognized by the Little Red-Haired Girl.
  • Imagine Spot: Snoopy fighting the Red Baron, naturally.
  • Impact Silhouette: When Snoopy is dragging Linus along by his blanket across the ice (a nod to similar antics from A Charlie Brown Christmas), Linus grabs the first hand he can find — which turns out to belong to Sally, who wastes no time snuggling up to her "sweet babboo", surrounded by two-dimensional Heart Symbols. A horrified Linus lets go, and Sally is hurled into a snowdrift, leaving a Sally-shaped hole in the side — surrounded by heart symbol-shaped holes. Both Sally and the heart symbols soon re-appear as she delivers her Catchphrase, "Isn't he the cutest thing?"
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The title screen adds "by Schulz" in Schulz's handwriting next to the actual title. While he obviously wasn't involved in the production, his family and estate was, and the movie was made with the goal of sticking as closely to Schulz's style as possible.
  • Inept Aptitude Test: Due to Charlie Brown accidentally signing Peppermint Patty's test paper (which proves to be the one with the perfect score), Charlie Brown turns out to be a genius, until the misunderstanding is cleared up...
  • Informed Attractiveness: The Little Red-Haired Girl is said to be beautiful, but on merchandise and frames where her face can be seen, she's shown to have almost the same standard face most of the kids have, except with a smaller nose. This is one of the reasons Schulz preferred to have The Little Red-Haired Girl be The Faceless in the comic in the first place.
    • Lucy even gets to lampshade this in the Little Red-Haired Girl’s introductory scene, by pointing out she isn’t that pretty.
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Snoopy has just understood how to use the typing machine, and was attacked by the toy plane. That's a good idea for a novel. Let's see, how to start it? Oh, of course. "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night"...
  • It's All About Me: When Charlie Brown visits Lucy's psychiatric booth for advice on how to get the Little Red-Haired Girl to notice him, the mention of a "pretty face" infuriates Lucy:
    Charlie Brown: She has a pretty face, and pretty faces make me nervous.
    Lucy: [turning angry] Pretty face? Pretty face? I have a pretty face! How come my face doesn't make you nervous? How come you can talk to me, Charlie Brown?
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lucy never fails to exploit a chance to make Charlie Brown her own personal Butt-Monkey, but ultimately she does try to provide him with some assistance. She even pats him on the head after tricking him with her classic football gag.
  • Kafka Comedy: Per the Peanuts norm. Though it's never been that dark, the universe seems to actively conspire against Charlie Brown ever accomplishing anything or giving him a glimmer of hope. It's less prominent in this movie than in most of the rest of the franchise, but it's still there.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: Snoopy throwing his typewriter at Lucy.
  • Left the Background Music On: When Miss Othmar announces that the students have yet another standardised test to take, Linus stands up and asks if the test will adequately reflect their educational experience, his speech accompanied by Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No.1... an accompaniment revealed to be supplied by Schroeder, who keeps his piano in his desk. When Miss Othmar cuts off Linus' speech, Schroeder switches to a vaudeville sting before closing his desk.
  • Lighter and Softer: While the movie does a very good job of recreating the tone and feel of the comic strip, and to a lesser extent the previous animated specials, the Kafka Comedy is notably toned down. There's a more positive and optimistic undertone to this movie, and even if Charlie Brown remains a Butt-Monkey with a huge unlucky streak, in the end his Determinator traits and kind nature win out in a way they seldom did in previous incarnations. The other kids are also less inherently cruel to him, even if they do have their moments — and Snoopy in particular is much kinder here than he's ever been before; his Jerkass moments all resulting either from getting caught up in the moment, or succumbing to temptation.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded with the shot of Charlie Brown's closet full of identical yellow zig-zagged shirts.
  • Logo Joke: Schroeder plays the 20th Century Fox fanfare on his piano.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: How Charlie Brown's dance moves end, when he slips on some spilled punch. Also, when he's playing sports earlier.
  • Love Floats: Charlie Brown is somehow able to float into the air for a good few seconds expressing his feelings about The Little Red-Haired Girl.
  • Magic Feather: Thinking he scored at the top of the class gives Charlie Brown a confidence boost.
  • Medium Blending: While the film is CGI, many of the effects are 2D animated to replicate the style of the comic strip (the Book Ends, Pigpen's dust clouds, the floating hearts that appear above Sally's head, Charlie Brown's Imagine Spots, etc).
  • Midair Repair: Woodstock repairs Snoopy's plane in midair during the big battle. Inverted when Woodstock disables the Red Baron's plane in midair soon after.
  • "Mission: Impossible" Cable Drop: It's how Snoopy sneaks into the kids' classroom at school. It doesn't go well, as he immediately gets his paw caught in a binder, and Lucy throws him out of the building into a trash bin.
  • Mondegreen Gag: Charlie Brown goes to the library in order to check out Leo's Toy Store by Warren Peace. Played With in that Peppermint Patty was the one who misheard the title from Marcie while Charlie Brown heard Patty's mangled version loud and clear.
  • Musical Nod: The original version of "Christmas Time is Here" is used in one scene.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In one scene, Charlie Brown suggests a comic book to Violet for her to do her book report on. The comic book prominently features Spark Plug, the horse from the comic strip Barney Google and Snuffy Smith; Charles Schulz's love of the character as a boy earned him the nickname "Sparky".
    • On the back of the comic book is a panel from Sparky's first comic strip, Li'l Folks, which served as a predecessor to Peanuts.
    • The Little Red-Haired Girl's pencil has teeth marks, and Charlie Brown's reaction to this discovery is the same as in the comics.
    • Many, many shots are taken right out of the old specials.
      • A Charlie Brown Christmas is the most frequently homaged special. The sequence of Snoopy grabbing Linus' blanket, leading to him pulling nearly a dozen kids across the ice in a long human chain, is lifted from the pre-credits teaser, and it even ends the same way, with Snoopy landing face down on the ice and spinning in place after letting go of the kids. The scene at the talent show in which Snoopy licks Lucy after she threatens to slug him for sarcastically imitating her and Lucy runs in circles while yelling about dog germs is lifted from a similar backstage sequence from the Christmas special. When Sally gets the school dance going, almost every student seen dancing is doing a move from the celebrated "Christmas is Coming" sequence (fittingly, the music to which they dance is another tune to which they danced in the earlier special: "Linus and Lucy"). Two of Charlie Brown's Imagine Spots include visual homages: the Failure Montage he imagines as he hopes the new kid on the block has never heard of him includes him putting an ornament on a Christmas tree which then bends over double, and when he imagines himself and the Little Red-Haired Girl dancing together, the scene is preceded by the other characters re-enacting the "Christmas is Coming" dance moves.
      • Other shots reference It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, including Snoopy's "captain going down with the ship" salute as his disabled Sopwith Camel goes down, and Snoopy sobbing and howling next to Schroeder's piano (although this time, the musical accompaniment is Beethoven's Moonlight sonata rather than "Roses of Picardy"). The sheet Charlie Brown uses for his makeshift cow costume bears a strong resemblance to the one he used to dress up as a ghost, though the holes that were originally cut out have become painted-on spots.
    • Shermy appearing in the talent show as a mime is very fitting. Long-time Peanuts fans will recall that despite being a major character in the strip's early days, Shermy over time became a seldom-seen, deliberately-bland background character who rarely spoke.
    • At one point Charlie Brown accidentally smudges his red pajamas with ink, making a zig-zag pattern like his yellow shirt — referencing the red coloring it sometimes has in Sunday strips and merchandise.
    • For the first time ever, the trombone voice is visualized as if it were a sound effect from the comic strip, with WAH WAH WAH appearing with Trombone Shorty's credit as Miss Othmar, and the words drawn in Schulz's font style for sound-effect words.
    • War and Peace once appeared in the strip, in a story arc where Snoopy tried to read it one word per day.note  In the 1986 animated special Happy New Year, Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown had to read the novel as a Christmas break assignment.
    • During a Rummage Fail gag when Snoopy is going through his doghouse, one of the items thrown out onto the lawn is Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night. Snoopy had bragged about owning a Van Gogh several times in the strip.
    • The final shot of the major characters lifting Charlie Brown like a hero looks similar to a certain promotional image for the series.
    • The cast itself features a number of mythology gags. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it look at the test results list shows a listing for 555 95472, a character who very briefly appeared in the 60s.
    • A more subtle one occurs when the kids argue over who is going to be Charlie Brown's partner for a science project. Shermy can be heard saying "I saw him first!", a possible reference to the very first comic strip where he did see Charlie Brown first.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • Snoopy covering his doghouse with Christmas decorations never happens in the film. In fact, the bookends of the second teaser trailer concerning Snoopy at the doghouse at night is never in the film at all, yet the Imagine Spot in the middle is preserved.
    • Charlie Brown does try to kick the football in the film, however, he does not rev up for the kick by running backward through several locations around the world to do it.
    • The emoji gag made many fans uneasy, fearing the movie would be packed with jokes about pop culture and social media that would date it in an instant. The actual film preserves the Peanuts' timeless feel and makes no attempt to awkwardly shoehorn in references to contemporary culture.
  • No Antagonist: Played straight in the A plot, where the conflict is mostly Charlie Brown against himself. Zig-zagged in the B plot, where although the Red Baron poses a severe threat, he rarely directly interferes with "the Ace Pilot"'s goals.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In-universe. The trope is mentioned by name by Linus after Charlie Brown is revealed to be the 'cow' Sally rustles up during the performance, and is plastered over the newspapers at school. Linus's point is proven right after the Little Red-Haired Girl mentions how touched she was by Charlie Brown's compassion for Sally.
  • Odd Name Out: The only Peanuts movie (in fact one of the extreme few Peanuts media outside the comic strip in general) to actually include the franchise's name in its title. And the only Peanuts animation besides Snoopy Come Home to not use the "(X), Charlie Brown!" naming scheme.
  • One-Steve Limit: Zig-zagged. As in the comic strip, there are two characters named Patty. But only Peppermint Patty's name is spoken aloud, while the earlier Patty is only named in the credits (like other early characters Shermy, Violet, and Frieda). And in the test scores list, Peppermint Patty is listed with her real name ("Patricia Reichardt") while Patty is just Patty.
  • Out of Focus: Lucy, compared to the older Peanuts films and specials. Even Linus to some extent.
  • Painted CGI: In trying to translate the Peanuts characters into CG, the filmmakers found that fully three-dimensional models couldn't match the look of Schultz's drawings exactly, so they settled for using models with Cheated Angles. They also animated the figures on twos to match the animation of the classic TV specials, along with hand-drawn effects and linework on the models.
  • The Pig-Pen: Guess who?
  • Pop-Star Composer: "Better When I'm Dancing" by Meghan Trainor
  • Pragmatic Adaptation:
    • Certain minor details are tweaked to get all the major cast members in the same classroom. Linus is present, implying he has been aged up to be Charlie Brown and Lucy's age, or he skipped a grade. Peppermint Patty, Franklin, and Marcie no longer live "across town" and now attend the same elementary school as the other characters.
    • Making the Little Red-Haired Girl Charlie Brown's pen pal enables the film to have a true happy ending without making her presence too obvious in possible future films.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: An in-universe example; this adaptation portrays the origins of Snoopy's World War I fantasiesnote  as coming from an airplane model of the Red Baron's plane, which goes rogue and terrorizes the neighborhood as a running gag. Snoopy turns this into a story that is written chapter by chapter as the movie (and year) goes on. Likewise, Charlie Brown's crush on the Little Red-Haired Girl and Snoopy's attempts to help him with it is what inspires him to write in the romance between the World War I Flying Ace and Fifi.
  • Red Baron: The literal origin of the trope name himself is Snoopy's antagonist in his World War I Flying Ace Imagine Spots.
  • Remembered I Could Fly: Woodstock falls out of the sky after disabling the Red Baron's plane in midair and getting thrown off for a while before remembering to fly.
  • Retraux: Within the franchise itself, director Steve Martino has mentioned that the models to which he held the characters were based on how they looked in the comic strip in the late '70s and early '80s — after their designs had become standardized but before Schulz's deterioration of fine motor control became a problem. The way they move is based on the earliest television specials, only having characters move every two frames or having multiple actions on-screen at once instead of fluid motion. The characters' voices, while more polished and professional than ever, were recorded on old ribbon microphones to achieve the same style of sound, and the actors were encouraged to linger on pauses in sentences to approximate the often clunky and stitched-together voice takes of the old cartoons.
  • The Reveal: Towards the end of the movie it turns out the narrator of Snoopy's Flying Ace fantasies was Lucy, to whom Snoopy and Woodstock were pitching the finished story. She tosses it away claiming it's the dumbest thing she ever read, to which Snoopy hurls his typewriter at her.
  • Ring-Ring-CRUNCH!: In the montage at the beginning, Peppermint Patty smashes her alarm clock with a hockey stick.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Not in the film itself, but the official music video for "Better When I'm Dancing", the lead single from the soundtrack, features the cast dancing in a real life setting with Meghan Trainor.
  • Rule of Three:
    • The middle of the film follows Charlie Brown attempting a total of three tasks to impress the object of his affections and prove he can be a winner: doing a magic act at the talent show, win a dance contest at the Winter Dance, and getting the highest score on a book report. All of these three fail due to external forces, yet through each experience, Charlie Brown achieves advanced skills in a short span of time, proving there are good traits about him.
    • As part of the magic act itself, Charlie Brown is shown attempting to snatch the tablecloth from under the dishes three times and doesn't succeed until the third, when he uses the sheet for his cow costume in order to help Sally.
  • Scantron Picture: Peppermint Patty makes a smiley face on her test sheet. It actually gives her a perfect score, which Charlie Brown gets the credit for because they accidentally put their names on each other's tests.
  • Scary Shadow Fakeout: During the talent show, Lucy starts yelling at Charlie Brown while casting a spotlight shadow. But then the shadow stops matching Lucy's movements and starts looking more monstrous — it turns out it was just Snoopy making shadow puppets.
  • Self-Deprecation: A mild example. As Charlie Brown gets more popular, Sally starts selling Charlie Brown-themed merchandise at their house, a lighthearted jab at the series' omnipresent and still-ongoing commercialization.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend:
    • Charlie Brown is embarrassed when Peppermint Patty flirts with him, right in front of the Little Red-Haired Girl.
  • Shooting Gallery: Charlie Brown races through the last-day-of-school carnival on his way to talk to the Little Red-Haired Girl before she leaves for summer camp. As he races through the carnival, he gets caught in several of these, dodging footballs thrown at the targets and getting water intended for the clowns squirted into his mouth.
  • Shout-Out: The Little Red-Haired Girl's family use a moving company called Mendelson and Melendez (as in Lee Mendelson and the late Bill Melendez, producers of the previous movies and TV productions).
  • Shown Their Work:
    • See note above on Freeze-Frame Bonus regarding characters' last names.
    • The comic strip was used as reference for everything in the film — if an animator was confused as to how to convey a certain expression, a match was dug up from the archives. The looks of things as small as raindrops and Pig-Pen's dust cloud were achieved by scanning images from the comics and patterning the 3D objects on them in exacting detail.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: It's why the Little Red-Haired Girl decides to choose Charlie Brown as her Pen Pal. She grew to admire the positive qualities he showed during various events of the film.
  • Slice of Life: The movie is a "day in the life of" story that follows Charlie Brown over the course of a year. It feels less like a movie and more like a string of Peanuts episodes playing back to back that happen to form a story arc.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Per usual, Snoopy steals all attention from Charlie Brown in the teaser.
  • The Stinger: Three of them. The first two play during the credits.
    • Lucy once again tricks Charlie Brown into attempting to kick the football, only to pull it away.
    • Snoopy, Fifi, and the birds, accompanied by Snoopy's siblings, celebrate Snoopy's victory as the WWI Flying Ace by enjoying Root Beer together. The Red Baron flies by, causing the foam from the drinks to fly onto Snoopy's face. He angrily yells at the flying plane as the scene fades into a black and white comic strip panel.
    • A post-credits scene shows that the Red Baron model plane finally stops flying around and ends up crashing into a lake.
  • Strictly Formula: Pre-teens, let along adults, can see where the plot is going and what the Aesop will be, but the film was truly made for young children, but doesn't talk down to them, either.
  • String Theory: Charlie Brown does this while working on his book report on War and Peace.
  • Take That!: Against educational systems that rely heavily on standardized testing. Case in point, Peppermint Patty getting a perfect score just by filling in the dots to make a smiley face.
  • Take That, Critics!: Lucy takes a look at Snoopy's story, and dismisses it immediately.
    Lucy: A dog that flies? This is the dumbest thing I've ever read! (gets hit with typewriter)
  • Tempting Fate:
    • When Charlie Brown sees an embarrassing photo of himself on the school newspaper cover, he shrugs it off saying that nobody reads it anyway. Then he walks into the cafeteria and sees everyone with a copy of it.
    • And Snoopy has such a moment, when he eludes the Red Baron and laughs proudly, then gets ambushed by the Baron and shot down.
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: At the last-day-of-school carnival, one little boy tries his hand at one of these games, but before he can try to hit the target with the hammer, Charlie Brown races through the fair on his way to the Little Red-Haired Girl before she leaves for summer camp and accidentally steps on the target. He rings the bell, and the little boy is happily rewarded with a giant teddy bear.
  • There Are No Adults: It's a Peanuts movie, so expect nothing less. The only adults known to even exist in the film are Miss Othmar and the Little Red-Haired Girl's parents — they are not seen and we can't understand what they say.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • In the teaser, Charlie Brown gets to share a hug with Snoopy after the latter was annoying the former.
    • The film ends with the Little Red-Haired Girl choosing Charlie Brown to be her summer pen pal because he's a good, honest, and kind person.
  • Time Skip: The movie goes from winter to the start of summer in the last 10 minutes of the movie.
  • Troll: Despite having Took a Level in Kindness in this movie, Snoopy still gets plenty of moments, laughing at Charlie Brown during the baseball practice and later eating all his cupcakes.
  • Truer to the Text: The previous four Peanuts films were more plot-driven, and the stories of the latter two were not based on anything from the strip. This film takes a Slice of Life approach and exclusively focuses on the strip's long-standing elements. Schulz himself went on record as saying that he felt there were twelve things that were integral to the world of the comic strip: the character of Snoopy, his doghouse, his fights with the Red Baron, Woodstock and his friendship with Snoopy, Charlie Brown's baseball team, the football gags, the kite-eating tree, Linus' blanket, Lucy's psychiatry booth, Schroeder's piano, the Great Pumpkin, and the Little Red-Haired Girl and Charlie Brown's hopeless crush on her. All twelve of these are part of the film at some point (though some only very briefly — the Great Pumpkin is only mentioned in a throwaway line as Linus says he hopes the new kid has an open mind about the subject). Credit for this is often given to the fact that Schulz's family were directly involved in the production.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Charlie Brown's attempts to be worthy of the Little Red-Haired Girl's attention, and Snoopy's pursuit of Fifi in his WWI novel Imagine Spot.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: As much as Snoopy and Woodstock crack on each other, you'd never think they were that close.
  • The Voiceless: The Baron never speaks, although in the post credits scene, his plane flies past a celebrating Snoopy and his family, blowing root beer foam on his face while giving him a visible thumbs up. This is the most expressive an adult has ever gotten in the series.
  • Volumetric Mouth: It's a Peanuts film, so this is a given. The entire gang does this when Ms. Othmar announces an exam, a book report, and a summer project, and twice when they wait for Charlie Brown to get dressed and join them outside, and along with every "Aaugh!" yell.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Twice.
    • First, after Charlie Brown's book report gets shredded, we never find out what he and the Little Red-Haired Girl did for their project (if anything).
    • Later, after Charlie Brown confesses that the test isn't his, we don't learn the outcome of the assembly, if Peppermint Patty got the recognition Charlie Brown originally had, etc.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Charlie Brown winds up getting the perfect score on a test which causes all the kids in town to view him as a genius and quickly earns him some newfound popularity. During an award ceremony for passing the test perfectly, he discovers that he and Peppermint Patty accidentally signed their names on each other's test sheets when they were rushing to turn the papers in, meaning she's the one who really got the perfect score. He's the only one who knows this, but rather than keep it secret he confesses the mix-up to everyone and gives the award to Peppermint Patty.
  • Worthy Opponent: In a mid-credits scene, Flying Ace Snoopy is celebrating his victory with Fifi and his brothers and sister. In the midst of the celebration, the Red Baron flies low and sends a glass of root beer into Snoopy's face, but as he's flying away he gives a brief thumbs-up. Snoopy may never shoot him down, but the Baron at least respects him.
  • Wrench Wench: Unlike Snoopy, Fifi does the maintenance on her plane herself.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: At the very end, Charlie Brown finally gets the chance to talk to the Little Red-Haired Girl and wonders why she asked to be his pen pal for the summer, believing it's out of pity because he's a wishy-washy nervous wreck. She tells him that it isn't out of pity and he's not like that at all — she wanted to be his pen pal because he's a good, honest, kind, brave person, citing all the things she's seen him do over the school year like sticking up for Sally at the talent show and confessing to everyone about the accident with Peppermint Patty's test.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Fifi looks very different from her previous appearance.


Video Example(s):


The Peanuts Movie

Schroeder plays the fanfare on his toy piano, and is revealed to be sitting on the stage once the logo settles into its familiar angle.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (25 votes)

Example of:

Main / LogoJoke

Media sources: