On my internet travels(which I conduct professionally from my bed), I noticed a lot of blog pages taking part in ‘Fandom Fridays’. I’m not going to pretend to be young enough to know what exactly a ‘fandom’ is. I just assume that it’s being a hardcore fan of something, right?
The first ‘Fandom’ that I was ever part of was that of the Charlie Brown/Peanuts gang. My dad recorded ‘Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown’ for me in Christmas 1987, 5 months before I was born(do the maths, and then keep quiet). Ever since, I have had a bit of an obsession with everything Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Peanuts and now, with the movie still due for release in the UK, I can just see this obsession intensifying.
I thought I would break my reasons for the love of this particular show/comic strip down into bite sized pieces instead of just waffling on. So please see the below list, and also parts of my ever growing collection in photos. Enjoy!
10 reasons why I love you so much, Charlie Brown!
1.The Nostalgia: I have explained the reasons for my nostalgia above, but there is an air of wistfulness for everyone who misses the innocence of childhood life. Often the stories revolve around childhood crushes, spelling bees and baseball practice. No alluding to bills, responsibilities,politics, or any of that icky stuff.
2.The lack of adults: The voice of adults in ‘Peanuts’ are replaced with a droning, horn like sound. Pretty much what we all heard when teachers/parents were talking when we were younger. The lack of adults in the show and having it solely revolving around the children means we are seeing the world entirely from a child’s point of view.
3.Snoopy and Woodstock: Snoopy is one of the most loveable and entertaining characters in the show, if not ever. In the comic strip, we see his musings via thought bubble and his little escapes from reality(like when his house becomes a fighter pilot plane). For me though, my favourite Snoopy is when he is part of a dynamic duo with his sidekick, Woodstock. Their infectious mischief, and the caring way in which Snoopy looks out for his birdy friend is truly heart warming and a great example of true friendship.
4.Snoopy and Charlie: Another amazing example of friendship and how relationships can really test us, is that of Charlie Brown and his dog. Anyone who has owned a pet knows that they can be ungrateful, destructive little rascals and that despite this, we love them anyway. Charlie and Snoopy have the kind of unfaltering friendship that can seemingly survive anything, and they don’t even have to speak the same language.
5.The Gang: The Peanuts gang are diverse, each one special in his or her own way. They are still learning a lot about the world, and often have some very important and profound things to say. They also have their own relationships such as Lucy and Schroeder, Linus and Sally, and their respective sibling relationships also. The way in which they act towards Charlie(especially the girls), isn’t always particularly nice, but they always come through for him in the end. Franklin, the only black character in the gang, was added by creator Charles M. Schulz after receiving a letter from a fan requesting a black character during the Civil Rights Movement. He was purposely interspersed into the children’s predominantly white school, and is shown to be confused having never integrated with white children at school before. Special mention goes to Lucy’s Psychiatric Advice booth too, she is the original self made business woman.
6.The dancing: If you know anything of Peanuts, you know the dance. Often parodied, it has become one of the most recognizable things about the series. I tried to find out the origin of this iconic part, but to no avail. Let’s just agree that it’s one of those random and awesome moments that needs no explanation.
7.The Simplicity: Peanuts is simple. The language is easy. The characters and atmosphere are not too showy and are easy to digest. It could easily be misconstrued to be a basic kids show, but it is in fact quite the opposite. Beneath the understated demeanor, there is a layered and incredibly intelligent show to be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
8.There is some Charlie in all of us: Let’s face it, Charlie Brown’s luck sucks. He is forever finding himself in some sort of predicament, needing the help and advice of his friends. Charlie is just a normal kid, as his name might suggest and he is desperate to be wanted and respected by his peers. We can all identify with his plight, and want him to succeed.
9.There are some really serious and deep moments: Among all the humor and quirkiness, there are some really insightful and hard hitting moments and revelations within the series. Most of them come from Charlie and Linus talking at the wall, and others come from lesser known characters. No matter who it comes from, there are many lessons and words of wisdom to be learned here.
10.It is timeless: In 2000, Charles M. Schulz wrote a letter announcing the end of the Peanuts strip, and he unfortunately passed away soon after. However, Peanuts continues to be regarded among the most influential and well received comic strips of all time. The Peanuts movie has been released in the US to mark the 65th anniversary of Peanuts, and will be released later in the year across the world. Alongside this, the famed holiday specials mean families get to enjoy the animated series time and time again across the year. We can’t really tell now if there will be any additions to the Peanuts series, but I personally don’t think it’s necessary. It has already given so much, and as Charles M. Schulz wrote in his parting letter ‘Charlie, Linus, Lucy.. How could I ever forget them?’