In the film, Snoopy, the world’s most lovable beagle – and flying ace – embarks upon his greatest mission as he takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis The Red Baron, while his best pal, Charlie Brown, begins his own epic quest. The Peanuts Movie is being directed by Steve Martino (Horton Hears a Who!) and produced by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy).
The team behind the upcoming The Peanuts Movie, which includes the son and grandson of the much-loved comic strips’ creator, Craig and Bryan Schulz, continue to impress with their commitment to honouring the spirit and legacy of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang.
It’s been evident in every trailer so far and in the social media activities they’ve undertaken to promote their very modern yet wholly classic 3D animated take on Peanuts, that they understand why it is we love “Good ol’ Charlie Brown” so much and are determined to preserve it even as they push the boundaries of what the comic strip means to a modern generation.
Their sensitively adventurous approach to The Peanuts Movie continues with the latest TV spot, a trailer specifically designed to honour Franklin Armstrong, who appeared in Peanuts on July 31, 1968 as the first African-American character in the comic strip:
“The creation of Franklin Armstrong was inspired by Los Angeles school teacher Harriet Glickman, who wrote to Schulz in April 1968, just days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., urging the cartoonist to introduce black children into the popular strip in an effort to help influence attitudes about race. That began an earnest three-month correspondence, displayed last year at the Charles M. Schulz Museum, culminating in the introduction of Franklin on July 31, 1968.” (source: Robot 6.ComicBookResources.com)
Trailblazer aside, Franklin (voiced in the film by Austin & Alley cast member Mar Mar) is also, notes the official Peanuts website, the only character to have never uttered an unkind word about Charlie Brown, a boy who knows a thing or two about what it means to be deeply unpopular and unloved.
“Charlie Brown’s good friend and confidant, and the only one who never has an unkind word about our hapless hero, or anyone else for that matter.”
Franklin has accomplished a lot in the 47 years since his debut, and so it makes perfect sense he gets his own day to shine.
It won’t be too long till the rest of the beloved Peanuts group join him when The Peanuts Movie opens in USA on 6 November 2015 and Australia on 26 December.
And here’s Harriet Glickman talking about her famous association with Charles Schulz and how their correspondence gave rise to Franklin’s introduction into Peanuts.