Having read this interview with the perennial favourite Charlie Brown’s Christmas producer recently I had Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang in the back of my mind. I’m not a huge fan, as I was always more of a Calvin and Hobbes guy, but the staying power of these characters is certainly interesting. Anyway, it appears as though March will see a new animated film starring the beloved characters. Press release below.
THE PEANUTS GANG IS BACK WITH HAPPINESS IS A WARM BLANKET, CHARLIE BROWN
THE ALL-NEW ORIGINAL MOVIE TO BE RELEASED ON DVD MARCH 29, 2011 BY WARNER HOME VIDEO
Join Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts characters as they help their pal Linus break free from his attachment to his security blanket in Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown, the first new Peanuts special in five years. The film, produced by Warner Premiere, is set for release on DVD by Warner Home Video (WHV) March 29, 2011 and will retail for $19.98 SRP. Order due date has been set for February 22, 2011.
In this heartwarming new tale, Linus is pushed to his limits when he learns his grandmother is coming to visit and plans to rid him of his most cherished possession, his beloved security blanket. As grandma’s impending arrival looms closer, the Peanuts gang finds ways to try and help Linus lose his dependence on his fuzzy crutch.
Lucy is particularly eager to cure Linus’ emotional attachment and applies her own psychiatric techniques. Charlie Brown on the other hand does his best to help but he just does not have the heart to see Linus suffer. Snoopy constantly agitates matters because he longs to have the blanket himself. In the end, insightful Linus points out that everyone has their own type of “security blanket” and that in life, a little security is a valuable thing.
Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown is comprised of original comic strip ideas created by Charles Schulz. The concept was to stay true to the characters’ emotion and original look of the strip while still producing a new story, with Schulz’s work at the heart of the program.
Craig Schulz, son of the Peanuts creator, served as one the executive producers and writers of the film along with Stephen Pastis, who wrote the special as well. Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown was also executive produced by Paige Braddock and Linda M. Steiner and was directed by animator Andy Beall (Up, Ratatouille) and Frank Molieri (The Simpsons Movie, SpongeBob SquarePants Movie).
“We’re excited to see Charles Schulz’s work continue on through this new special,” said Jeff Brown, WHV Executive Vice President and GM of Non-Theatrical Franchise. He added, “Peanuts is one of our most cherished properties and we are committed to continue building this brand by offering new, original content such as Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown to consumers. This is the first Peanuts special produced in several years and we’re hopeful it will become a favorite with viewers of all ages.”
“Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown is based directly from Peanuts strips my dad drew from the 1960s, which I personally like the best,” said Craig Schulz. “Maybe it is because I can see so much of my family life embedded in those years. In this special, we tried to show how all kids have security issues, not just Linus, and not all are as secure as one would think. We bring back Shermy, Patty, and Violet, and if you are a true Peanuts fan you will notice others that formed the foundation for Charlie Brown’s neighborhood.”
On October 2, 1950 the PEANUTS comic strip launched in seven American newspapers. Little did anyone know the impact the brand would have around the world for decades to come. Nearly 60 years later, PEANUTS animated specials have become a seasonal tradition, thousands of consumer products are available in virtually all retail channels, and the comic strip appears in over 2,200 newspapers, in 75 countries and 21 languages. Charlie Brown kicking the football, Linus and his blanket and Lucy leaning over Schroeder’s piano are images to which everyone can relate. Phrases such as “Security Blanket’ and “Good Grief” have become a part of the global vernacular.