american masters good ol charles schulz review

This documentary gave me a far deeper appreciation for poor little Charlie Brown.

The American Masters series looks at the life of Charles Schulz, the creator of the comic strip Peanuts.

The Good

  • Very honest look at Charles Schulz through the eyes of the people that knew him
  • Looks at some complex issues including friendship, loss of innocence, and feeling like an outsider
  • Peanuts fans will gain a deeper insight into his work, while others may be inclined to stop and look at Schulz’s work again

The OK

  • Gives more time to the people in Schulz’ life and how they influenced his work, than the creative process and how Schulz created his strips

The Bad

  • Nothing really

Overall Opinion

I never really liked Peanuts growing up. Even now, looking at some of Schulz’ later work, it seems that he didn’t really have that much to say, especially in comparison to strips like Calvin and Hobbes. However, a few years ago my opinion on Peanuts changed when I found a book containing some of his early work. Schulz’ first strips have a very melancholic core and I found it instantly appealing. He looked at the problems of the world (or the problems of his world) through the strip, and his comics were much stronger for it.

This documentary explores Charles Schulz’ life, with all it’s ups and downs, and how it influenced the strips. It’s a refreshingly honest look at a man who was adored by millions but still felt isolated from the world. Good Ol’ Charles Schulz is an absolute masterpiece if you are into comics, although it doesn’t really explore Schulz creative process, so don’t go into it expecting the details of how he actually created each strip.

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