The Peanuts Movie appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, the movie looked great.
Sharpness was always excellent. Virtually no instances of softness appeared, as the flick demonstrated nice clarity and delineation. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained absent. Source flaws also failed to mar this clean, fresh image.
Peanuts boasted a broad palette, one that tended to favor something of a pastel feel. The movie featured a wide variety of hues, and the disc made them look quite good. The tones seemed lively and full throughout the movie. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows looked clear and well-delineated. Overall, the presentation seemed strong.
Though not as good as the visuals, the DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio of Peanuts also satisfied. The soundfield wasn’t super-active, but it provided a good sense of place. The flick featured enough action-oriented scenes to add a reasonable amount of pizzazz to the package.
Most of these stemmed from Snoopy’s fantasies about his battles with the Red Baron. Those sequences allowed a lot of information to spread to the side and rear speakers. The elements opened up matters well, with nice localization and integration. While I couldn’t identify any real standout segments, the mix provided a good overall impression.
Audio quality always pleased. Speech was natural and concise, without edginess or other concerns. Music showed fine vivacity and depth, and effects also delivered solid presence. Those elements were consistently full and clear; no distortion interfered, and bass response seemed fine. Again, this was a good mix that worked well for the material.
The Blu-ray offers a bunch of largely kid-friendly extras. Under Snoopy Snippets, we find six clips that run a total of two minutes, 45 seconds. These are brief animated segments that offer a minor amount of amusement.
Within You Never Grow Up, Charlie Brown, we get three featurettes. We see “From Panels to Screen” (6:59), “Good Ol’ Charles Schulz and the Peanuts Gang” (13:00) and “We’re In a Movie, Charlie Brown” (10:24). Across these, we hear from director Steve Martino, writer/producer/son Craig Schulz, widow Jean Schulz, producers Paul Feig and Michael J. Travers, Charles M. Schulz Studio creative director Paige Braddock, lead animator Jeff Gabor, Charles M. Schulz director Karen Johnson, Charles M. Schulz Museum archivist Cesar Gallegos, story artist Karen Disher, lead animators Matthew Doble, BJ Crawford and Raymond Ross, animation supervisors Scott Carroll and Nick Bruno, character “inspiration” Harriet Glickman, art director Nash Dunnigan, lead character technical director Sabine Heller, and actor Marleik Walker.
Peanuts universe and thoughts about Charles Schulz, the decision to make a new movie, the evolution of the strip, characters and adapting for the screen, animation and going to 3D. A smattering of good thoughts appear – mainly during the animation discussion in “Movie” – but the programs seem awfully fluffy and filled with happy talk. That makes them less than substantial.
The one-minute, 55-second Snoopy’s Sibling Salute uncludes remarks from Martino, Travers, Caroll, Bruno, Braddock, and Gallegos. They discuss the little tag at the movie’s end and offer a few notes about Snoopy’s clan. It’s another fluffy piece.
Next we get three Learn to Draw segments. These look at Snoopy (4:13), Woodstock (3:04) and Charlie Brown (4:02). In these, director Steve Martino teaches us how to sketch those characters. The snippets offer some fun material.
A few music videos follow. Get Down with Snoopy and Woodstock combines a dance remix of the Peanuts theme with movie clips. It seems utterly uninspired.
Two versions of “Better When I’m Dancin’” from Meghan Trainor appear. One is a standard video, while the other provides a “lyric video”. The latter plays the song over movie clips – with the words on-screen, of course – while the former provides a true music video in which Trainor and others dance a whole lot. It’s not a great video, but it’s okay – and I appreciate the absence of movie snippets. The Peanuts characters dance along with Trainor but not in film clip form.
Behind the Scenes goes for two minutes, 53 seconds and looks at the making of the Trainor video. It includes notes from Trainor, some of her family members and choreographer “Charm”. We learn next to nothing about the shoot in this puffy reel.
With Snoopy’s Playlist, we get a form of chapter search. It lists 16 musical moments in the movie and you can select any you want to see – or with “Play All” to view them as one long 27-minute, 52-second collection. It doesn’t appeal to me, but it seems harmless.
A Gallery breaks in four areas. We examine “Concept Art” (33 frames), “Color Keys” (14), “Characters” (35), and “Final Art” (34). Since “Final Art” essentially just shows shots from the movie, it’s not especially useful, but the others present good images.
The disc opens with ads for Ice Age: Collision Course, Kung Fu Panda 3 and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip. Sneak Peek adds promos for Home, Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Tales and The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary Edition. We also find five trailers for Peanuts.
A second disc offers a DVD Copy of Peanuts. It includes all the extras except for the “You Never Grow Up” featurettes.
As much as I admire the source material, I can’t get too excited about The Peanuts Movie. Though the film comes with some charms and has a sweet nature, it simply lacks much creativity or inventiveness. The Blu-ray boasts excellent visuals and positive audio but lacks substantial supplements. Peanuts seems likely to work for kids but will probably do less for adults.