Today: April 22, 2024

Janet’s Animation Corner: Have A Charlie Brown 2016!

The end is nigh and it’s been an interesting 2015 both personally and cinematically. Like this year’s blockbusters, life has been filled with some awesome Age Of Ultron highs and box office bombs. Still, all is not lost. From every bad experience something can be learnt. Right? Right? So before we shove 2015 into the dark corner of the past to make room for a brand new year, there’s one thing you must do in order to ensure a fruitful 2016. Watch Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie.

A lot of you are rolling your eyes now. Tempted to click away are you? That’s fine; this kind of truth is only for strong-minded. I joke. It’s for everyone; bear with me while I explain. Charlie’s world is a chaotic swirl of maddening catastrophes with the occasional burst of happiness. Yet some how the little trooper manages to make it through. So, when your life resembles a rickety fairground rollercoaster and takes you on one of those crazy, loop-the-loop turns – the ones that make you think that everything is plummeting into the abyss, spiralling out of control, crashing into a fiery pit of doom – just think what would good ol’ Chuck do?

I’ll admit, on the surface, Charlie Brown may just seem like a sorrowful loser. A calamitous mess. He can’t fly that kite. His battle with the electric pencil sharpener is embarrassing. And never mind getting the girl, he can’t even talk to her without falling to pieces. Yet, of all the films I’ve watched this year, including all of Marvel’s glorious creations Charlie tops my list of heroes every time. There are lessons to be learnt from Mr. Brown’s hardships and here they are:

Lean on your friends. That doesn’t mean hang on their every word. But, if they’re good friends that usually means they have your best interests at heart, which tends to equal quality advice for you to reflect on. Note, I said reflect on not follow. No one knows your situation better than you and ultimately every decision is yours. (look at me getting my agony aunt angel wings.) Linus and Snoopy make the ultimate best friend duo to Chuck. While Snoopy has his back to the nth degree it is Linus who comes to the rescue with sage advice. Both provide that steadfast shoulder to lean on when disaster strikes again and again.

Honesty is the best policy. 95 per cent of the time that’s true … though there’s always a need to keep 5 per cent in the bag in case of an emergency. Take our underdog hero for instance. Having had a taste of the limelight, Charlie has the opportunity to continue being revered by his peers; something he has never previously had the chance to enjoy. For the first time he is being seen by others exactly the way he’s always wanted to, and it feels damn good, but he risks losing it all to be truthful. A high price to pay for a perpetual loser. All is not lost, however, and in the end he reaps some pretty awesome rewards.

Self-sacrifice can be a good thing. Charlie also manages to teach us a thing or two about self-sacrifice. As if navigating his way through life isn’t hard enough, our hero endures a big dose of self-inflicted humiliation for the sake of helping to his little sister with a her magic show. What a dude.

Dance like fury. Now, you’ve heard the expression dance like no one is watching? Hell, forget that. Dance like all eyes are on you. Throw those shapes and own the show. A round of applause for Chuck who dashed fear to one side and took a spin on the dance floor. Apply this bold attitude to life every day, twice a day, and if your self-confidence doesn’t swell, well at the very least you’ll have some interesting stories tell by new year 2016.

So, there you go. Some stellar Brown experiences.  Who knew it was possible to learn so much from an eight year-old? Among all those pearls of wisdom perhaps the most important double-packed lesson we should take with us into 2016 is the following: dare to be unique and never give up. Sure Charlie is awkward. Yes, maybe you have enough material to create a trilogy based solely on his tragic mishaps. But, at the end of the day, he never lets his past failures hold him back. He may have moments of doubts, who doesn’t? But he dusts himself off, picks up that kite string and gives the flaying malarkey yet another go. Charlie Brown is unashamedly, unapologetically him. Perfectly flawed in every way. Something we should all aspire to be proud to be.

So when you find yourself in a fix, feel your courage slipping away or you’re just a little down on your luck, take a moment to think, what would Charlie Brown do? I know I will.

Happy New Year guys. Make it a perfectly flawed one.


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