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05/13/2017

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Mary McNeil

I feel as you do about Classic Peanuts (and Classic Winnie the Pooh, not Disney) but I watched and enjoyed the specials with the same feeling I'd have
had watching my kid - or grandkid - or friend - in a school play or amateur production.

Ellen in PA

I'm a few years younger than you, but I had been reading the funny pages since before I could read. I'm old-school Peanuts too, even though I did enjoy the first Peanut Christmas special. Some of it was the music - Vince Guaraldi's composition fit perfectly and the music still feels alive. I hated the big Snoopy period and even stopped reading the strip for a number of years. It seemed to be tedious and it felt as if Schulz was bored and cranky, a lot of cranky.

Jason T.

I cried the day Schulz died, and I was not a kid then. I wish I still had the letter (no doubt, a form letter) he sent me when I was seven or eight ... you can't possibly comprehend how excited I was to get an envelope with "Charles M. Schulz" as the return address.

And my wife and I took a vacation day to see the new "Peanuts" movie in 2015 on the day it debuted. We were the only adults in the theater without children of our own.

All of that is a way of establishing my bonafides: Schulz, God bless him, was heavily merchandising the strip by the late 1950s, so it's hard for me to work up even mild dudgeon over this licensing deal.

Jeannie Schulz has negotiated a deal with an entertainment company known mostly for gentle, educational kids' programming --- it sounds like an ideal fit.

The Peanuts gang was featured in commercials for the new Ford Falcon in 1959, and then, if I recall correctly, for Coca-Cola (a relationship which begat "A Charlie Brown Christmas"), then for Dolly Madison cakes and pies, etc., etc. In fact, the '60s were filled with comic books, record albums, View-Master slides, lunch boxes, Halloween costumes, and whatever else Schulz and United Feature Syndicate could stick a "Peanuts" logo onto.

Having read pretty much the entire Peanuts canon from beginning to end, I would wholeheartedly agree that the era of the 1980s and early 1990s, when some gags were little more than Snoopy eating cookies, was pretty grueling, and I also agree Schulz had caught his second (third? fourth?) wind in the late 1990s.

Now, come to think of it, how many of us working in creative fields ever even catch our first wind?

Schulz was one of those rare visionaries who was able to combine real art with wild financial success. He's the comic strip equivalent of Spielberg and Hitchcock in movies.

Bookworm

I loved Peanuts when I was in grade school (1950's). I stopped reading Peanuts for awhile because high school, college, marriage, and small kids got in the way of my reading any comics. Peanuts was so different when I got back to it, it was like reading a different comic, so I didn't mind so much. I agree about the TV specials -- they just weren't the voices with the timing I had in my head. I'm loving reading the beginning comics again. They really are gems.

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