‘The Art and Making of The Peanuts Movie’ by Jerry Schmitz - Book Review

Category: Books and Music

65 years ago Charles Schultz started a little comic strip that has endured and entertained several generations. The strip began with a small number of characters and through the years more were added to round out the adorable gang. The Peanuts Movie hit theaters in 2015 and with this new animated CG feature film, another generation of Peanuts lovers joined their parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents as Peanuts fans. “The Art and Making of The Peanuts Movie” is a detailed book filled with information about the film as well as plenty of wonderful pictures, making this interesting for both young and old.

Jerry Schmitz put together an entertaining and delightful history of not only the film but also the Peanuts gang. The film’s director Steve Martino writes in the forward, “The artwork and stories contained in this book provide a glimpse of our journey and showcase the creativity of [the] incredible artists.”

The book begins with the evolution of “The Peanuts Movie.” The filmmakers worked with the Schultz family to create a film that was a fun work combining the characters with their timeless antics. They wanted to create an extension of the legacy of Charles Schultz. And what a legacy that is. The filmmakers had their work cut out for them.

The book looks at the character designs with drawings and pictures. The gang was transformed from 2D to 3D, which provided the filmmakers with some challenges. How would they make Sally’s hair look from all angles? And just what would you call her hairstyle? Is it a wedge? Is it stacked? We know how it looks from the front, but how does it move when Sally moves?

Pigpen’s dust cloud was also something they had to work on, along with everything else associated with the iconic characters. They updated the gang for this 3D feature film while keeping them true to their physical characteristics, and they all kept their trademark emotions. Throughout the making of the movie the animators always referred back to the original drawings by Charles Schultz.

Readers will learn and see how the filmmakers created the various expressions for the characters and how these drawings evolved from the printed page to the sculpting process to the final digital art in the film. Along with all the great images is a narrative that brings the readers right into the process.

The hair, the expressions, the emotions, the scenery, the background, and the enjoyment of all things Peanuts combine in this book that is not only fun to peruse visually, but also interesting to read. The details on the pages provide a wonderful narrative of the making of the film and the images add to the understanding of how much effort was put into the movie.

Lovers of Peanuts and fans of The Peanuts Movie will definitely enjoy this book.

The Art and Making of The Peanuts Movie
Author: Jerry Schmitz
184 pages
Titan Books (October 27, 2015)
ISBN 9761783293247

About the Reviewer

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for 20 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

Follow her on Twitter