Apple has signed a deal with DHX Media that will see the Canadian broadcaster producing new shows, specials and short films about Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang. That includes exclusive short-form content for Apple starring astronaut Snoopy, aimed at getting kids excited about STEM.
Peanuts was created by Charles Schulz, who wrote and illustrated the popular comic strip for five decades, starting in 1950. The characters moved to television in the 1960s with “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” followed by a long list of specials. And they recently returned to the big screen in the computer animated “Peanuts Movie,” which grossed $246 million worldwide.
DHX acquired a controlling stake in the rights to Peanuts last year (the remaining 20 percent stake is still held by the Schulz family).
Apple, meanwhile, has been lining up lots of new, family-friendly content for its upcoming streaming service. That includes also enlisting Sesame Workshop to create original programming (not Sesame Street, which recently moved to HBO).
By the way, if you only know Peanuts secondhand, through Snoopy dolls or other merchandise, it’s worth revisiting the early strips (restored to print by Fantagraphics), which are among the finest ever made. There, you can fully appreciate Schulz’s art, as well as his pitch-perfect ability to mine humor from Charlie Brown’s bleak outlook and constant heartbreak.