Charles Schulz and the Peanuts in a dubbed cartoon documentary – Observer

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Growing up, Drew Barrymore had a “safety blanket,” just like Linus of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts. And like Linus, every time his mother put the blanket in the washing machine, Barrymore couldn’t wait to stare at the drum, waiting for the laundry to finish and he could retrieve it. This is one of the curious stories related to Peanuts told in the documentary “Who Are You, Charlie Brown?”, by Michael Bonfiglio, with which Apple TV+ celebrates Schulz and his characters.even if the film brings few novelties or surprises to what is already generally known of the creator of Charlie Brown and Snoopy, and his deeply autobiographical and universally resonant work.

The originality of “Who Are Who, Charlie Brown?”, punctuated by the essential interviews and testimonies of the author’s widow, Jean Schulz, and her family, friends and admirers, in particular other cartoonists, is that the documentary features a new Peanuts cartoon, in which Charlie Brown is to write an essay on the subject of “Who are you?” for school. Which throws him into enormous, typical angst and makes him ask everyone around him – including Snoop, of course – what they think of him. And through Charlie Brown, we also speak, of course, of Charles Schulz.

[Veja o “trailer” de “Who Are You, Charlie Brown?”:]

Michael Bonfiglio, who also wrote the screenplay with Marcella Steiningart, weaves this narrative thread, fully integrated into the spirit of Charlie Brown’s personality and the characteristics of the Peanuts universe, and using various “gags” from the strips and drawings animated series, with the most conventional of the biographical documentary, in which he reiterates, through testimonies, photos, drawings and archival images, the excellent, thoughtful and modest person, and the extraordinary artist that was Charles Schulz; how much of himself and his life he put into Charlie Brown and the other characters; and the importance and significance of his work, both for the history of “comics” and for its socio-cultural projection (and this without forced or disheveled interpretations or readings, fortunately).


Narrated by Lupita Nyong’o, “Who’s Who, Charlie Brown?” includes testimonials from a few people who seem to be there just to cover several generations of Peanuts admirers, how unremarkable or indifferent they are, and also to respect the inevitable “diversity”. And for not even reaching the hour of duration, the film knows little, even if it is undeniable that Michael Bonfiglio has the power of synthesis. But the cartoon in which Charlie Brown searches for his “self” is very faithful to the identity of the character as Charles Schulz conceived it, and ends in the best and most classic Peanuts style. Oh, and Snoopy still can’t defeat the Red Baron.

“Who are you, Charlie Brown?” is now streaming on Apple TV+

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