Nearly 18,000 comic strips and 45 TV specials after the first Peanuts strip was published on Oct 2, 1960, a fifth theatrical film is arriving – and 35 years after its own predecessor.
A breakthrough for Charlie Brown’s voice
For young actor Noah Schnapp, The Peanuts Movie is actually his second big break of 2015, after playing the son to Tom Hanks’ Cold War negotiator James Donovan in Steven Spielberg’s Bridge Of Spies.
Next year, he’s booked alongside Winona Ryder, Mille Bobbie Brown (Intruders), David Harbour (Revolutionary Road) and Cara Buono (Mad Men) in horror TV series thriller Stranger Things, and as a crossword-loving nine-year-old kid in family drama We Only Know So Much with Jean Tripplehorn, Damian Young (Birdman), and folk musician Loudon Wainwright III.
The mother of all of Charlie Brown’s unrequited childhood loves, the Little Red-Haired Girl, is voiced by the same actor behind the crush of neighbourhood prodigy Linus van Pelt, schoolteacher Miss Othmar.
Trombone Shorty, aka accomplished jazz trumpeter and trombonist Troy Andrews, had previously appeared in six episodes of hurricane recovery drama Treme.
He’s also played on talk shows hosted by Conan O’Brien, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, and David Letterman, and has also performed at the Grammys and Oscars.
As for the Little Red-Haired Girl herself, she, as well as the Peanuts strips’ other copper-topped denizen, the naturally curly-haired Frieda, are both played by real life little red-haired girl (and Disney’s Dog With A Blog co-star) Francesca Capaldi.
Experience and youth
While much of the cast is composed of young stars in the making, several more experienced actors are also invovled.
Kristin Chenoweth is known for her performances in Glee, Pushing Daisies, and The West Wing.
Here, and 16 years after winning a Tony Award for her role as Charlie Brown’s sister Sally in Broadway play You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Chenoweth voices Fifi, a poodle first created for a Charlie Brown TV special.
Snoopy, meanwhile, is brought to life by Bill Melendez, who also voices avian friend Woodstock.
The Mexican-born voiceover artist had become synonymous with the Snoopy sound, after first lending himself to the role for 1965’s TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Fifty years on and Melendez may no longer be with us, having passed away in 2008 at the age of 91, but archival recordings mean that his talents are preserved for The Peanuts Movie in the 50th anniversary year of that first outing many years ago. – AFP Relaxnews