59 Comments

  1. Why a blimp? It just confuses me, because MetLife, to whom Schulz pimped out his characters, actually has a blimp, but they don’t have anything to do with this…

  2. @ larK – Actually, knowing that MetLife had a blimp makes me like this strip even more. They may not be involved in this round, but they certainly were the “prior pimpee” for an equally commercial transaction.

  3. I guess Mark Tatulli assumes this is common knowledge? I had no idea.

    That said, there would be no uproar from me. I’d be just fine never seeing another Peanuts special for the 30th time again.

  4. … but he’s using one of Charlie Brown’s phrases so perhaps it’s not a spoken dialog so much as an outfit accessory.

  5. NYT article from Kilby: “the 1965 Christmas special, long praised as being ahead of its time in its anti-consumerism message.”

    Is this really true? I wasn’t alive in 1965, but I somehow think of “Remember the true meaning of Christmas” messages as being older than that.

  6. I’m old enough to think Peanuts Specials on PBS seems very weird and unnatural.

    ” but I somehow think of “Remember the true meaning of Christmas” messages as being older than that.”

    Yeah…. this is one of those things you must take with a grain of salt. It was more strongly specifically against comercialism and consumerism than the norm of the time and from within a commercial and consumer product.
    I think the general ‘remember the true meaning of Christmas’ was couched in “Kids, don’t be greedy; it’s not just about presents and its better to give than to receive… so had out to our sponsers Al’s conglomerate and buy stuff to give,give,give”. This was an early, but not earth-shattering, case where it implied commercialism is foisted on us rather then we greedily bring it on ourselves. It wasn’t earth-shattering but in the generations of well-belovedness, our prose a memory get rosy and perhaps more lauditory than it deserves.

    Actually, I remember watching it for the first time in decades once and thinking. Geez, this is really actually tacky and tepid. (But I do have to admit the classical Jazz soundtrack was innovative and inspired.)

  7. A Charlie Brown Christmas had a lot of opposition from producers and executives. It was too slow paced, they didn’t want actual children doing the voices, they didn’t think jazz music was appropriate, having kids use such big words was unrealistic, the kids sounded like amateurs, it didn’t have a laugh track. It was innovative in a lot of ways.

  8. The licensing relationship, which FORBES estimated at more than $12 million per year, will come to an end in 2019 as MetLife reveals an updated logo and brand identity. “We brought in Snoopy over 30 years ago to make our company more friendly and approachable during a time when insurance companies were seen as cold and distant,” MetLife global chief marketing officer Esther Lee said in a statement. “Snoopy helped drive our business and served an important role at the time.”

    (Forbes article, Oct 20, 2016)

    Now Metlife’s mailings seems so cold and businesslike without the Peanuts characters.

  9. Oh, and the comic could have been made even better with Charlie exclaiming “Aaugh!” as he’s carried aloft.

  10. The “non-commercial” nature of the Christmas special rests primarily on the monologue spoken by Linus, and the way that all the characters reject (destroy) Snoopy’s hideous (prize winning) decorations to rescue Charlie Brown’s pathetic Christmas “twig”. Nevertheless, the original broadcast had corporate sponsorship, and I believe that the opening animation sequence originally ended with skaters crashing into a Coca Cola logo, which has since been removed from the DVD editions.

  11. “and I believe that the opening animation sequence originally ended with skaters crashing into a Coca Cola logo”

    Are you making another dry joke?

  12. Yeah… I had forgotten those. I had almost forgot the whole concept “This special brought to you by….” too. Saying the skaters crash into a large coca-cola logo as part of the story sounded like a modern cynical product placement but as part of the credits as a corporate sponsor…. It’s easy to forget but yeah… it happened.

  13. “Snoopy helped drive our business…” And he also drove the car in some Peanuts specials. I guess Snoopy is the only character old enough to drive.

  14. @ MiB – One principle of the strip to which the specials carefully adhered was that no adults ever appeared on screen. Since it would be “illegal” to have a child driving, the scriptwriters decided to go for “surrealistically silly”. It wouldn’t have worked in the strip, but it probably was OK for TV.
    P.S. The Peanuts movie had a scene in which the kids are boarding a bus, but I don’t remember whether the driver was visible.

  15. Kilby, I think you’re right that no adults ever appeared in the strip. But at least 3 times their speech bubbles did.

  16. @ Arthur – I’m not surprised, but I have no memory of that happening. Do you remember who it was that was speaking, or a date on which it occurred?
    P.S. In the TV specials, whenever a adult spoke, it was rendered as the “wa-wa-wa” of a trombone.

  17. There were several, much more than three, times adult spoke off screen. Although it was always supposed to be no adults appear it was never considered a taboo to have them speak. But the speaking only occured in the first few years as, in hindsight, it’s obviously more in the spirit to have them out. The Waa-waa was a special affect and not part of the strip.

    The kids in buses, and back seats of cars (Thanksgiving special) and back seat of bicycles (Rerun) are no big deal. “What a nightmare, Charlie Brown” TV special about Snoopy having a Jack Londonesque nightmare of being enslaved as a sled dog in the Gold Rush had adults from the waist down. This was talked about at the time. It was deemed that as it was a dream sequence and it’s waist down and mostly as a saloon crowd scene and no dialog it was acceptable.

    The strip I remember the most was Charlie Brown writing a letter to his Grandmother thanking her for his christmas present. He asks his mother “Does ‘goggles’ have one G or two?” His mother off screen says “Two, dear” so Charlie Brown writes “Thank you for the ggogles”.

  18. According to the Peanuts wiki, on rare occasion adults have not only been shown, but even spoken intelligible English:

    “The only Peanuts related media in which adult faces are seen, accompanied by understandable adult voices, are the movie Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back!!) (1980), its television sequel What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?, (1983) the mini-series This Is America, Charlie Brown (1988-1989) and the TV specials It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown (1984), It’s the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie Brown (1988), Snoopy’s Reunion (1991), You’re in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown (1994) and It’s the Pied Piper, Charlie Brown (2000).”

    I don’t think I’ve seen any of these (except maybe Bon Voyage?), so I’ll have to take the wiki’s word for it.

  19. Eep… had no idea they’d be so small.

    So click on those and then add “/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/600?cb=20130707221141” onto the end of the url so that it becomes, for instance, AITCH TEE TEA ESS colon slash slash slac static dot wikia slash nocookie dot net slash “peanuts/images/e/e9/19550107.gif/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/600?cb=20130707221141”

  20. “Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back!!) (1980), its television sequel What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?, (1983) the mini-series This Is America, Charlie Brown (1988-1989) and the TV specials It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown (1984), It’s the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie Brown (1988), Snoopy’s Reunion (1991), You’re in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown (1994) and It’s the Pied Piper, Charlie Brown (2000).””

    Just reading those titles can give you an idea when somethings just go on just a little too long….

  21. P.S. @ woozy – I am very indebted to you for digging up the dates for those four strips, I still have not been able to find a single one of them on my own. (I did find the “ggogles” strip, but only because you provided the necessary spelling, searching for “goggles” at GoComics produced an interminable list of strips with Snoopy in his WWI flying ace costume.)

  22. The goggle ones is just the one I remember, although I remember several where ….. one of their parents call them to dinner, or tells them to go to bed (in other words, too vague and non specific for me to use as references especially as they are only my memory– I think there is one where a teacher introduces a student for show and tell…. or not….). The one from 1950 was from the wiki “adult” page it seems so early it could be considered an aberration. So I arbitrarily jumped to Nov 1954 as a completely arbitrary starting point and found the next to pretty closely. Certainly couldn’t find the ggogles one on my own.

  23. The Muldin one doesn’t count as…. well, it’s a surreal one that doesn’t take place in the same universe and those aren’t actually real world adults but comic characters in a temporary cross over meeting of universes. If Hagar the Horrible had shown up in the strip as “a grown-up” it wouldn’t count. (Nor does it count that peanut characters show up in Lio and Lio has his dad in the strip).

  24. “I tried to edit one of those in place behind the scenes by your recipe, but it no longer embedded. Sorry.”

    Right we discovered if you have a straight url for an image such as: “https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/peanuts/images/f/fd/19501107.gif” on a line by itself it will be embedded as

    But if it has parameter values added on such as “revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/600?cb=20130707221141” the when you attempt to reference it on a line by it comes out as a url and not an embedded image

    https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/peanuts/images/5/52/19541127.gif/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/600?cb=20130707221141

  25. Well in this case a different requirement comes in — it needs to look like an image file type . But oddly, it’s okay to just add a .gif suffix, even if it might not be that.

    In this case there is already one n the middle!!! So this is not the right format.

    But the point is not entirely in the syntax, We could get acceptable syntax, but it could still fail if it requires server-side lookup.

  26. Charles Schulz illustrated one of Art Linkletter’s books. Most of the drawings were of children but there were a few adults including Art Linkletter. When Schulz drew an adult it looked like a very tall child.

  27. Before the iPhone came out, Apple bought a company that had a five-finger touch panel keyboard and cursor pad for those of us with aching wrists. It was life-saver for most of us and they withdrew the product AND all support for it (like how Apple pulled Dark Sky from Android users’ hands when they bought it). Apple had bought it for the patents for touch on the iPhone. The sad part is that they didn’t (or maybe couldn’t) use the fantastically special algorithms of the keyboard that understood the letter you MEANT to hit by seeing how all 5 finger tips rolled and changed “foot print” on the glass. The original company product was an example of “for AI to be effective, there still has to be a good model for the data crunching to improve.” (my quotes and loose paraphrasing of the story that’s around 15 years old).

  28. This one from Shrug’s link blew my mind when I first saw it fairly recently, I think in the collected Peanuts books from Fantagraphics; it’s part of a three or four Sunday-only arc:

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