Whether you’re a long-time Peanuts fans or barely know who Snoopy is, Apple TV+’s The Snoopy Show is likely to put a smile on your face.
Peanuts has been part of pop culture since the 1950s and yet people still seem to have a passion for Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang. In fact, last year, when Apple TV+ acquired the exclusive rights to the Charles M. Schulz-created franchise and seemed poised to keep the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Christmas specials behind its paywall, fans protested in the form of a petition with over 250,000 signatures. Luckily, Apple found a compromise to keep everyone happy, but the brouhaha illustrated just how invested fans still are in these characters. Still, despite the odd movie and series, since the Peanuts comic-strip ended over 20 years ago and production of new TV specials stopped, there is far less new Peanuts content now than when many of us were growing up. Into that void comes The Snoopy Show, and if the new series is any indication of where Apple TV+ plans to take the franchise, it’s in good hands.
As the title suggests, The Snoopy Show centers on the adventures of Charlie Brown’s dog, Snoopy, often accompanied by his best bird pal Woodstock, but the Peanuts gang is all here — and they’re exactly how you remember them. Charlie Brown is still a hapless loser, Marcie still refers to Peppermint Patty as “sir,” Linus still loves his blanket and Lucy is still doling out therapy from an outdoor booth at five cents per session. Meanwhile, Snoopy is a perfect balance between fantastical creature and adorable pet dog. Yet, while he uses his doghouse as a plane so he can pretend to be a fighter pilot and dances on two legs, he never speaks a word, letting his vocalizations and expressions convey his feelings about things.
The series consists of just six 23-minute episodes, and each episode is divided into three segments, making it remarkably easy to breeze through. This allows those with small children to watch the show seven minutes at a time, while adults and older kids could easily binge the whole thing in a single sitting. Each episode is organized around a theme, whether it’s the stories of how the characters met each other, the holiday of Halloween or the joys of a snow day. But no matter what an episode’s organizing theme is, fans of Snoopy and Peanuts will find something to love in each mini-story.
The Snoopy Show perfectly captures the Peanuts gang as we’ve always known them, the animation is hand-drawn, the voices of each character sound the way they always have and the stories are earnest. For adults who’ve watched and read Peanuts their whole lives, this delivers a powerful feeling of nostalgia, and watching this new series feels like being wrapped in a warm blanket. Peanuts often gently mocked things like the way children heard adults, certain kids’ attachment to rules and how a certain hapless character always had the worst luck imaginable. But none of this ever felt cynical, and in the current pop-culture landscape where many movies and TV shows have a sharp edge, The Snoopy Show is a reminder of how nice it can be to spend time with a sincerely entertaining story.
Although the show is likely to appeal to children just as much as adults who remember watching Peanuts when they were children, some older kids may dismiss it for its simplicity. Furthermore, certain segments might be a little busy for the very smallest children, but they are still likely to be delighted by the fun sounds and dynamic characters.
Anyone looking for uplifting fare that celebrates things like the power of imagination and the simple pleasure of playing outside will adore The Snoopy Show. It captures what always made Peanuts special, which is likely to make some long-term fans wistful for a more innocent time in their lives. But regardless of whether you’ve watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown every year since it came out in 1966 or are barely aware of Snoopy, this is a heartwarming series that should bring a smile to just about everyone’s face.
The Snoopy Show stars Ethan Pugiotto, Terry McGurrin, Rob Tinkler, Wyatt White, Isabella Leo, Hattie Kragten, Isis Moore and Holly Gorski and Jonathan Philip Martin. The series is now available to stream on Apple TV+.
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