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Good Grief, Charlie Brown and Snoopy Still Make Us Smile

"The Peanuts Movie" (rated G), which opens in theaters today, features many of the classic gags we all remember from the beloved Charles M. Schulz comic strip and TV specials. The movie reminds us why the Peanuts gang found its place as an important part of American pop culture.

In their big screen debut, the Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and the rest are featured in state of the art 3D animation—but don't expect any magic or explosions. The story told here is a more personal one that centers around Charlie Brown's efforts to get noticed by his new neighbor, the Little Red-Haired Girl. It's a sweet, fun story based on problems most kids can relate to.

And for this parent who is, ahem, not necessarily a fan of kids' movies in general, this one is pretty watchable.

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I wasn't sure my 4-year olds would be excited by "The Peanuts Movie." (Why would they even know who these characters are?). But when my son chose "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" to watch during a recent haircut, it occurred to me that maybe there was something that crossed generations about the Peanuts gang.

And seeing Snoopy in his Joe Cool persona, showing the kids how to bust a move at the school dance, is guaranteed to make you smile with nostalgia.

By the time we got to the Children's Museum of the Arts in New York City for a special event for "The Peanuts Movie," where kids had a chance to learn to draw Snoopy, make a clay Snoopy and even meet Snoopy in person, he was filled with Peanuts mania.

After the festivities, we took the subway uptown to Times Square for a special screening of the new release. My son and his 3-year-old friend who joined us didn't keep the 3D glasses on the entire time, but slightly older kids will enjoy seeing Snoopy battle the Red Baron. My son's friend, who had never been to the movies before, sat through the entire thing, which is a glowing review in itself, any parent will tell you. Mom and dads will also appreciate the strong positive messages this movie sends about honestly, kindness and being yourself.

And seeing Snoopy in his Joe Cool persona, showing the kids how to bust a move at the school dance, is guaranteed to make you smile with nostalgia.

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The story of "an underdog and his dog" is one your whole family will truly enjoy.

The Peanuts Movie, directed by Steve Martino, from 20th Century Fox, hits theaters Friday, Nov. 6.

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