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It’s been a while since we’ve seen Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang. The last Peanuts comic strip was published nearly 15 years ago, shortly before Charles Schultz’s passing, and the last original TV special aired in 2011. Fortunately, the beloved comic strip characters will be returning soon when The Peanuts Movie hits theaters on November 6, 2015. In the meantime, 20th Century Fox and Peanuts Worldwide has released new images of protagonist Charlie Brown and the rest of the cast to tide fans over.
Accompanying USA Today's interview with producers Paul Feig and Craig Schultz are official stills from the film, featuring first looks at Linus, Lucy, Peppermint Patty and many others. Earlier this year a teaser trailer gave us our first glimpse at Snoopy and Charlie Brown, but these new pictures give fans an idea of what most of the main characters will look like on the big screen next year. The film will also be set partly in a winter setting, as you can probably tell from the image above, though it’s unlikely it will be a full-on Christmas/holiday story.
The Peanuts Movie will follow Charlie Brown as he optimistically goes "on a quest to get something he's sure he needs, even though he discovers he's pretty OK just as he is." It’s Charlie Brown’s search that will kick off Snoopy’s story, which will see the beagle donning the identity of the World War I flying ace, hopping on his doghouse-turned-plane and heading to France to fight his sworn nemesis the Red Baron.
Due to Peanuts' already gigantic cast, no newcomers will be introduced, although we will get appearances from more obscure characters like Snoopy’s brother Olaf, his love interest Fifi, and Charlie Brown’s crush The Little Red Haired Girl. This is the fifth theatrical Peanuts film to be released, following A Boy Named Charlie Brown in 1969, Snoopy, Come Home in 1972, Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown in 1977 and Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back!!) in 1980. Despite being a 3D computer animated film, the characters and story will retain the look and tone of the original comic strips. The film will also emphasize the "timeless" elements of the franchise, meaning don’t get your hopes up of seeing Charlie Brown "twerk" or "wear a baseball cap backwards." A wise decision. There’s no need to see Lucy taking a selfie or pop in on Charlie Brown and Linus browsing YouTube.
As a longtime Peanuts fan, I appreciate that the filmmakers aren’t trying to alter the appearances of the characters or make the story more contemporary. Peanuts is a timeless franchise that can be appreciated by the young and old alike. There’s a reason these characters are still popular after 64 years, and it looks like the film will be staying true to these classic elements. Head over to USA Today for more images from the new movie.