This was an old nostalgic movie that I remember watching a long time ago when I was a kid. Even though I had remembered watching it, for what ever reason I was drawn back to this film and got it from my public library and I rewatched it.
I personally am a huge Peanuts fan. I currently own all the Complete Peanuts bookset, some other smaller Peanuts books, rewatch the specials, and even have the last Peanuts comic strip hanging on my wall. Peanuts is not only a part of my childhood, it essentially is my childhood. And this movie definately captures the spirit of the Peanuts Universe, the world around them may be cruel sometimes, but goodness eventually wins out, and not in the way you expect it.
In case you don't know what the film is about, I'll summarize. The Peanuts gang go to summer camp and when they arrive they come across the most sadistic camp bullies I've ever seen. Seriously, these bullies are so mean they actually (albiet indirectly) threaten the lives of the Peanuts gang. Then they get involved in a river rafting race that takes place over several miles and several days (and considering how dangerous it gets, I am assuming that there are no adults). And that's it. The characters racing is the main basic plot.
You may have noticed that I noted that the film has several logical fallacies. Like I already noted how unrealistic the bullies are, and that no sane adult would ever sign off on a dangerous river raft race for kids. There are also apparantly no rules as the bullies are able to cheat with ease. Then again I guess that's not really the point. This isn't a film that you can put logic into it. This is a film where you can enjoy these characters and the situations they get themselves into. And also, the fact that the bullies are extremely unrealistic, it makes us want to root against them even more. But the main problem with them is that they are just bullies, there's nothing interesting about them and they are pretty generic.
Still the film's biggest accomplishment is the film's message of taking leadership and how to work together as a team. We slowly watch as Charlie Brown, briefly, takes leadership skills and grows as a person, and also takes a stand near the end. Better still, one scene involves Charlie Brown risking his life to help save his friends, without any hesitation. The growth of Charlie Brown as a character is what makes this film for me. While Charlie Brown's luck still doesn't change, you can still tell that he's grown over the summer, and that's what's important.
Am I looking at this film with any nostalgia? Oh yeah. However, at least I think, that even if I remove nostalgia from this, it's still a great film. If you're a Peanuts fan, I would definately recommened it. Now we just have to find a way to get this film released on DVD.