So they finally went ahead and did it.
Sooooooo many mixed emotions about this. The whole concept of doing PEANUTS in 3D sounds abhorrent on it’s face, but look of this is… not bad. If nothing else, there’s obviously been a lot of work/thought put into the style here that’s coming from the right place: They’ve used the “dropped keyframes” animation trick from WRECK-IT RALPH and LEGO MOVIE to preserve the instant-shift from static to motion of traditional animation, and the programming physics behind the faux-linework for the details and faces (which makes them look like “embossed” 2D-paintings rather than fully-3D figures) would probably make my head spin. Blue Sky is a consistently under-appreciated studio.
So it looks right and sounds right, but what I want to know about is TONE: A 3D PEANUTS is terrifying because 3D animation’s current “default” is dizzying, movement-centered showcases for 3D projection – all chases and pratfalls and elaborate visual gags – all of which are anathema to these characters and their world. Part of the reason Charlie Brown etc. look the way they do is because they were designed, deliberately, to occupy space and grouse to one another… and that’s about it.
…except it just occured to me that a Snoopy “Red Baron” sequence would be the most-logical place for this to jump-out into a bigger-scale “wheeee!” showcase moment apart from the rest of the film, and now I want to see what that looks like. Huh.