It’s fair to say that for fans of Peanuts, the prospect of a big screen animated reboot of Schultz’s much loved comic series doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence. Most of us can still remember the Smurfs and Garfield films. There is a nostalgic sweet nature to Good Ol’ Charlie Brown that isn’t necessarily in fashion anymore (just look at what they’ve done to Superman for this generation).
But the first trailer for the film looked promising, as did the follow ups, and while we still don’t know what the finished film is actually like yet, based on those trailers and this book, it’s looking promising. The mixture of CGI and the traditional look of the Schultz’s characters and world is a triumph and means that purely as an art book, this is a must have for Peanuts and animation fans alike.
The book is jam packed full of images from the film, concept art and paintings, original Peanuts strips (including the first one and Schultz’s retirement strip) and character models, showing their development from the strip to the screen and highlighting just how true to the original designs the makers have been.
The ‘making of’ side is in-depth without getting bogged down too much in the technical side of it. Taking the time to look at the history of the strip and each character is a nice touch. It probably won’t add much that diehard fans know, but as an introduction to a new audience it opens the door nicely to the wider world of Schultz should people wish to go deeper.
The success of a good Making Of book is in recognising its audiences and finding a way to speak to them all at the same time without ignoring some or speaking down to them. This book succeeds in that and offers a beautiful book of art as well that can be enjoyed by new and long time fans, both young and old.
THE ART AND MAKING OF THE PEANUTS MOVIE / AUTHOR: JERRY SCHMITZ / TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 27TH