Though filmmaker Paul Feig is best known for female-centric R-rated comedies like “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat,” he’s also onboard as producer of the 3D CGI animated feature film adaptation of Charles M. Schulz’s beloved “Peanuts” comic at 20th Century Fox.
One fear fans have had about the film is if the classic cartoon characters would undergo a “modern makeover” to cater to contemporary audiences more ala “The Smurfs” or films like “Space Jam”. Speaking with Collider at SXSW, Feig says those fans have no need to fear:
“It’s very sweet. It’s totally a G-rated movie, because you can’t get edgy with Charlie Brown. That was the Schulz family’s fear, that me and Fox everybody were gonna come in and hip it up and cast Justin Bieber as Charlie Brown and have it like Space Jam or something. All of us were like, ‘No.’ We cast kids that sound exactly like the kids you remember from the specials. It’s very pure of heart.”
Charles M. Schulz’s son and grandson are writers on the project which help keeps the film as close as possible to their legacy the older Schulz left behind:
“I’m really happy with it. It’s a scary thing to take on, but also Charles M. Schulz’s son and grandson and the grandson’s writing partner are the writers on it. So we’ve been guiding it along for quite a while, it’s been almost two years now. Steve Martino from Blue Sky is directing it, and he and that team are so religious about wanting to keep it the way-everything we loved about it.”
Feng also spoke about the use of 3D CG animation for the film and claims it works better than traditional animation for the movie because the team have stayed quite true to the original:
“When I first came onboard they were already in the beginnings of developing it and Steve and the Blue Sky team showed me the preliminary artwork and some of the animation, and I literally got so choked up because the minute it came out I was like, ‘They cracked it. It’s so true to what it is.’ And weirdly the CGI makes it almost work a little better in a weird way because they made it feel like the cartoons, but it just has enough of a-realism’s not the right word, it just kind of comes off the screen in a way where you feel like they’re real. It’s very bizarre, I’m so excited about it.”
“The Peanuts Movie” opens in cinemas on November 6th.