The Peanuts Movie – Re-inventing the CG Animation Aesthetic

Older folks will say,  it’s not Oatmeal – I mean real Traditional animation !

Blue Sky Studios will be releasing The Peanuts Movie using CG Animation  – Scott Thill states in a Cartoon Brew article that  “the animation in The Peanuts Movie is wildly experimental and fresh, at least as far as big-budget CG features go, and feels like nothing else out there today.”


Amid Amidi ( Cartoon Brew) observes, in this Peanuts teaser, director Steve Martino and the Blue Sky animators have minimized motion blur, keeping the individual movements of Snoopy and Woodstock distinct. In rapid movements where motion blur would be the obvious choice, they’ve instead opted to use a sophisticated system of multiple images and smears, custom-designed for each scene [see examples below]. Like cel animation, every pose reads clearly, which gives a unique feeling to this teaser’s animation.

In an Hollywood Reporter article, director Steve Martino and art director  Nash Dunnigan  explained that the aesthetic of Charles Shultz’s  cartoon strips  would be maintained. “We spent hours and hours and hours deriving our poses from the comic strip, our design aesthetic — everything came from the comic strip.”

In order to convey the 2D world of the flat comic strip panel,  they had modify the 3D approach , recognizing important characteristics and playing to them with their technology. “The characters are so round and so simple, we couldn’t shoot them close up because they are big orbs. So we had to use longer lenses, but that also helped the aesthetic, because Schulz drew Charlie Brown’s world kind of tableaux, kind of stagey, so using long lenses helped shoot the characters better and helped communicate the aesthetic of the comic better.”

Well it is definitely not Oatmeal, nor is it traditional animation. It also creates a new fusion of traditional animation elements with CGI animation. How the audience responds to this new technological spin on a beloved set of characters will be measured by the box office and online reaction. If successful, it may create a potential for different aesthetics appearing in the digital world of 3D animation.




One thought on “The Peanuts Movie – Re-inventing the CG Animation Aesthetic

  1. Pingback: Advice to Poets &Time Travellers | Implied Spaces

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