Many classics have been turned into feature films in the past few years. Smurfs, Alvin & the Chipmunks and more have gone out of their way to “update” the franchise. In my heart I hoped Peanuts wouldn’t be that way. Thankfully I feel the movie is exactly what it should have been and is well executed Classic Peanuts.
My son and I watched the film together and I asked him to tell me if he saw the story of Jesus in the film at all. This exploration comes from that conversation.
Snoopy’s pursuit of Fifi- Snoopy writes a romantic story about himself as a WWI flying ace, out to rescue his love interest, Fifi. Fifi is captured by Snoopy’s arch-nemesis, the Red Baron, and held as his prisoner. The task is difficult, but there’s nothing that will stop him from saving his beloved. At one point Snoopy’s plane (dog house) is shot down in enemy territory and he crawls through the deadly terrain. He gets back to his home base and gets his new plane. Eventually, he overcomes the Red Baron and rescues Fifi to become her hero!
This is much like our Hero, Jesus. We, His Church, are his beloved. We were captured by Satan the Enemy and imprisoned by Sin. Jesus came to Earth, which is the Enemy’s territory, and endured much hardships. His Body, like Snoopy’s plane was broken to the point of death. He appeared hopelessly defeated until He returned triumphantly in His resurrected body, overcoming the Enemy and Sin, rescuing His beloved: us!
The Red Baron – The enemy of Snoopy. The reason Fifi became a target of the Red Baron is because Snoopy loved her. Even after Fifi is rescued, and the Red Baron’s plane is critically damaged, we are told that one day Snoopy and him will have another battle. At that point we can be sure the Snoopy will finish him off forever.
Satan hates humanity and specifically the Church because he knows we are Jesus’ beloved. That is why he went to the trouble of capturing us in the prison of our own sins. Jesus is already victorious over Satan. The Church is rescued and can never ever be taken from Jesus again. But Satan has not been destroyed. We are told in Scripture that One Day, Jesus will return and finish off Satan forever. Both Satan and Sin will be banished to the Pit forever.
Charlie Brown – Another major plot-line in the film is Charlie Brown’s desire to be accepted by the new girl, since she doesn’t know his history (that he’s always messing things up). In the end, the Little Red Haired Girl does accept Charlie Brown, not because she doesn’t know about his failures, but despite his failures she accepts him and sees his potential to do good.
Most religious observers try to do good works to earn God’s love and acceptance, but in this everyone fails. No matter how hard we try to be good people, we will fail to be acceptable to God based on these works. But what relief we find when we are called by Him and told that He will not count our failures against us, because of the work of Jesus. Every failure is washed away in Christ’s Blood. Not only are we accepted, but we are given good works to do by God himself. Our salvation is earned by Jesus, and our potential to do good is fulfilled in service to Him.
- What are some of the bad things that happened to Snoopy while he was saving Fifi? What are some of the bad things that happened to Jesus when He came to save us? (Isaiah 53:7-12)
- The Red Baron seemed to have gotten away, even after Snoopy won and it said that Snoopy and he would battle again one day. In our world, even after Jesus won the war by rising again, Satan is still around. One Day the final battle will come, do you know what will happen to Satan then? (Matthew 25:41, Rev. 20:10)
- Even though Charlie Brown seems to mess up everything, the Little Red Haired Girl still accepted him as her friend. Did you know that we also mess things up because we are sinners, you and I and everyone in the world. Even though we fail again and again, God accepts us as His friends, not because of what we do right, but because of something Jesus did right, do you know what that is? (Ephesians 2:8-10)