Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown

Up a creek, without a paddle.

Charlie Brown and associates find themselves in a battle royal after getting into a rafting race at summer camp in one of the first films I remember seeing in a theater.

The bad guys have a wily cat named Brutus, while Snoopy is on hand as always, ready to rev his motorcycle and scarf ice cream sundaes.

My childhood theater was an epic two-story structure, complete with an imposing balcony, plus a diner which sat next door.

Did we get our own ice cream sundaes after the show?

I’d like to hope so.

 

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown

Eight-year-old foreign exchange students??

Ignore that, and this is a delight, bright and inviting, and full of joy.

Charlie Brown and Co. are off to France, planning to stay at the Château du Mal Voisin, AKA the “House of the Bad Neighbor.”

Shenanigans ensue, especially when Snoopy goes off on flights of fancy, playing tennis at (and being tossed from) Wimbledon, or stripping gears while driving a sporty lil’ car.

There’s mystery, a hint of romance, and a lot of broken bread as blockhead Chuck tangles with extra-long baguettes.

Like stepping into a warm bath and returning to your childhood.

The Peanuts Movie

New animation style, same old fun.

Hits all the classic elements, from the kite-eating tree to the lil’ redheaded girl, to Snoopy dueling with the Red Baron, and does it with a great sense of joy.

There’s a genuine sense of old-fashioned kindness coursing through the film, which is refreshing.

While modern computer animation drives things, the filmmakers sprinkle in some old-school drawings from Charles Schulz to remind us where everything started.

My youngest nephew, who’s eight, is driving the middle one, who’s 10, bonkers by wanting to watch this over and over.

But you know, he’s not wrong.