Ok, so maybe the title is a bit over the top. I know my son liked it, my wife bless her heart did her best to stay awake, and the rest of the family well, I think they didn’t do quite as good of a job as Laura at not turning our trip to the movies into an expensive nap.
I, however was transfixed through most of the movie. It was a weird sort of attention though. I had to work at it, almost like reading (trying to) C.S. Lewis or Shakespeare when you haven’t read anything other than Berenstain Bears or Dr Seuss books for some time. (Parents you know what I’m talking about)
I was simultaneously trying to be “into it”, struggling with the fact that I had to work at it, and drawing philosophical parallels to my own personal psyche. (Deep, I know!)
So other than my obviously trying to put into words something I’m nowhere near qualified to even spell, much less pontificate on, why would I say that this is the best children’s movie EVER? The best word I can think of to summarize would be that its real.
The Peanuts Movie is not the best as in the most entertaining. It’s not the funniest or most intense and it certainly didn’t have a Disney budget, but it was real. Real as in a story of kids dealing with real struggles and doubts and fears.
Charlie Brown’s deep feelings of inadequacy, his fear of talking to the little red-haired girl. Lucy’s over confident bossiness, Linus being the strongest of all of them seemingly yet unable to detach himself from his security blanket. Each of the children deal with real issues that real children work through on a daily basis.
I love this about the Peanuts Movie. Children’s movies like Frozen and Despicable Me are awesome. I enjoy them for what they are, but our children are over-saturated with over-stimulating fantasy. I am over-saturated with over-stimulating fantasy. Peanuts is a welcome change.
I’m confident that every now and then my son may have to fend off a 50 foot snow monster, or save the world from an evil villain bent on world domination. However he’s more likely to have to deal with insecurity, feeling inadequate at school, or eventually being completely done in with confusion when that first crush happens.
The real villains in life aren’t fantastical magic creatures (Though girls will seem like that when the first crush happens!) Knowing that a dragon must have a sword pierce its heart, or believing that love will solve everything won’t help him get through life. Living in a fantastical world of rainbows and talking snowmen won’t give him confidence to deal with bullies, to have confidence when nothing seems to go his way, or to have the courage to talk to that little red-haired girl.
The Peanuts movie is the best children’s movie ever because while my son is being entertained, he’s also seeing a kid just like him, going through the same things he’ll most likely go through, and still ending up on top. Not because he’s the best baseball player, coach, director, or student; but because he doesn’t give up, surrounds himself with friends who care about him, and has an unwavering drive to keep trying to kick that freakin football no matter how many times it gets pulled away from him.
That’s what makes this the best children’s movie ever. And to be honest a great movie for us grown-ups as well, but that’s a much longer, deeper, psyco-babbley post for another day.
Thanks for reading.