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A Short History of “Peanuts” Movies

November 9, 2015

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the others hit theaters this November in The Peanuts Movie. It’s not the first time they’ve appeared on the silver screen.

ABoyNamedCharlieBrownA Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)

The film opens with Charlie morosely convinced that he’ll never win anything in life (as usual) after his baseball team loses a big game. Lucy convinces him to participate in a spelling bee in order to help him restore his confidence. Charlie’s exceptional spelling skills earn him a slot in a national competition in New York. Unfortunately, the owner of Snoopy the beagle loses the top prize after he ironically fails to correctly spell “beagle.”

Snoopy, Come Home (1972)

Snoopy after he goes in search of his original owner, a little girl named Lila. Woodstock goes with him and the two encounter various hurdles as they rush off to visit her in a hospital. Once they arrive, they’re thwarted by not only a “no dogs allowed” sign but a “no birds” one too. The duo sneak into Lila’s room and Snoopy eventually decides that he wants to live with her instead of Charlie Brown. After handing out all of his worldly possessions to the Peanuts gang, he joins the now cured Lila at her home but is shocked to discover that she also owns a cat. Completely disgusted, he returns home.

Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977)

Charlie Brown and his friends spend a few weeks at a summer camp where they find themselves tormented by a group of bullies. Eventually, they break into teams and embark on an epic river race. After repeatedly cheating, the bullies come close to victory until their heavily damaged boat sinks. Woodstock winds up winning in a small craft made out of twigs. The film ends with Charlie Brown being stranded at the camp after a bus leaves without him. He manages to catch a ride home with Snoopy on his motorcycle.

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!) (1980)

Bon Voyage sends them on a whirlwind trip to Europe. After a spin through the U.K., they travel to France where Charlie Brown and Linus get stuck at a mysterious chateau owned by a mean-spirited baron while their friends stay in a much nicer house. While Woodstock and Snoopy hang out at a nearby pub drinking root beer, their human compatriots solve a mystery involving Charlie’s family. After Snoopy helps rescue them and the baron’s granddaughter from a house fire, the baron vows to change his cruel ways and the gang returns to the US. The film only managed to gross a little over $2 million at the American box office, which may be why The Peanuts Movie is the first Peanuts movie in 35 years.

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