The Charlie Brown And Snoopy Show (CBS, 1983-1985)
Look, it’s another cartoon review. This was another one where although it was aimed at younger viewers, I don’t think it was ever shown as part of the main CBBC afternoon strand, it was more likely to be shown on weekend mornings. The Charlie Brown And Snoopy Show was of course based on the popular newspaper strip Peanuts, that was created and drawn by Charles M Schulz for almost 50 years.
I don’t really remember reading it myself much when I was younger though, this was the show where I first came to know the famous characters as they were brought to life in this cartoon, that was first shown on American TV in the mid-80s. I don’t think I even realised that the name of this show wasn’t the title of the actual strip, with many people always thinking that Peanuts was a rather curious choice.
Apart from this show, there had been several one-off TV specials stretching all the way back to the 60s (most of them had a title that ended with …Charlie Brown), but this was an attempt at a full series. In the show we meet several young characters. The main one is Charlie Brown, a boy who wore a yellow shirt, he was always portrayed as a lovable loser, and we also meet his sister Sally.
Among the other characters are Charlie’s pet dog Snoopy, who likes to sleep on top of a kennel rather than inside it, and the bird Woodstock. When not at school, Charlie likes to watch TV, or play with friends, but he always has a mishap, such as being unable to fly a kite. Every character had their own quirk, among the others I remember are Pig-Pen who smelt rather a lot, Schroeder who liked to play the piano, and Linus who was very fond of his blanket.
Every episode featured a few stories that focused on different characters. No adults were ever seen or heard on the show (any adult speaking was out-of-vision provided by an odd trumpet noise), so we don’t know much about any of the cast’s parents or teachers. All of the cast’s voices were provided by children, which meant that they were frequently replaced as they began to outgrow their role.
There were 18 episodes of The Charlie Brown And Snoopy Show in two series. They were repeated rather a lot on BBC1 and BBC2, and it was still being shown as late as 2005, over two decades after it was made. Beyond this, Peanuts has been popular enough for there to have been VHS releases of the TV show, along with books, computer games, documentaries, even musicals. It really is an American institution.