Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: Sparky’s Gang

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. Uncle Bardie might even throw in a reflection on the movie. If so, it will make an appearance below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s pick is “The Peanuts Movie” (2015).

When I was a kid, the Sunday funnies were a big deal. “Dick Tracy” and Al Capp’s “Lil Abner”, “Nancy” and “Beetle Bailey”, “Alley Oop” and “Pogo”. “We have met the enemy and he is us.” That used to crack me up. Because of the Sunday funnies, everybody knew what a Dagwood Sandwich was. Tried to open our mouths and get a bite in all at once. Most of us didn’t have that big a mouth.

Al Capp’s “Lil Abner” became a musical. “Alley Oop” became a hit song by the Hollywood Argyles. And so did another comic strip. “Charley Brown” by the Coasters.  “Who’s a clown, that Charley Brown.” Of course, I am talking about “Peanuts”, the comic strip that seemed like it would live forever. It almost did. It continued for fifty years.

In the sixties, there started appearing the television specials, beginning with “A Charley Brown Christmas”. That featured a wonderful score by  jazz pianist Vince Guraldi. The Peanuts Gang found their way into two musicals, “You’re a Good Man, Charley Brown” and “Snoopy the Musical”. There was even a “Snoopy on Ice” Ice Capades show.

Now there is a movie bringing back all the Peanuts Gang. This one I didn’t think I would enjoy as much as I did. I gotta tell you that I liked it so much I am labelling it a two-thumber. All the kids in the Peanuts Gang are back. Lucy is doing her devilish things. Schroeder still plays Beethoven. Linus and his blankie. Peppermint Patty is still calling Charley Brown “Chuck”. Marcie still thinks Peppermint Patty is the smartest girl in the world. Snoopy is still doing battle with the Red Baron.

And, of course, the Peanuts Everyman, Charlie Brown, has a starring role. He instantly falls for the Red-haired Girl when she moves into the neighborhood. So much so he takes on a book report for her, even though it means he has to read “War and Peace”.

There is no sex or violence or car chases or trucks blown up. Just the Peanuts Gang doing what they always did, being the kids they always were. And no adults were harmed in the making of this movie. But it is still a two-thumber. How about that.

So do yourself a favor. See this one. It’s a hoot and a half. Besides it’s Christmas. What would Christmas be without Charlie Brown?

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