Written by E., by Lauri, By Jemal Countess, CNN
Every year, families across the country head to the local video store to pick up an oversized family-size version of their favorite movies to watch at the expense of everything else.
It’s a tradition that continues decades later, thanks to “Charlie Brown and Friends,” an animated series about the legendary Peanuts character — a show that aired for 44 years, until its conclusion in 2000.
However, the little animated cartoon with the mugging cats and warm Christmas tree didn’t only entertain generations of children — it also brought in a modern season of international filmmaking.
Charlie Brown lived to see a global surge in cultural interest in classic cartoons
In their first joint project in 2015, director Christopher Guest and narrator Eugene Levy spoofed, in modern terms, the modern circus-circus genre with their comedy TV special “Best in Show.”
A more recent remastering of the Peanuts character has spawned a new four-part documentary series that will screen on Netflix in November. Produced by Peanuts Worldwide, the show tracks the success of recent Charlie Brown films — including 2002’s “The Peanuts Movie” and 2015’s “The Peanuts Movie 2” — through interviews with cast members, as well as look into the creation of the iconic animated characters.
Other recent Peanuts releases have resulted in the release of a new book and a short film, “Charlie Brown and the Dog,” showing how the dog, Snoopy, came to live with the characters.
Here’s a look at some of the other recent Peanuts-inspired versions of classics that can be found in movie theaters, on television and online.
Plenty of questions that Peanuts fans have never had answered
In the years following his death in 2000, the eventual 1990 Peanuts book drew a huge response from fans.
It wasn’t just that the Peanuts gang had ceased to appear on television, but that they were also all but gone from books and art. Questions remain about which cartoonist conceived the characters and, in the 1990s, the lack of a definitive answer, threatened to shut people out of continuing the series.
More recent titles have attempted to address and answer many of the mysteries of the Peanuts characters.
Charlie Brown has his own ocean
In 2014, a group of friends invited Charlie Brown to celebrate Halloween at the Little Red House, the dingy strip shop from the Peanuts newspaper comic strip.
The party didn’t turn out as planned, however, as Peanuts fans around the world watched as Charlie Brown ran into the rough sea — and ended up in a documentary on YouTube.
Charlie Brown attends a wedding and has one too many parties
When Charlie Brown invites Snoopy to his little brother Linus’ wedding, which is presided over by the married couple’s neighbor Mrs. Lucy, things get off to a not-too-successful start.
Towards the end of the adventure, Snoopy sprouts a whisker and only Charlie Brown and his faithful pet can catch it — a slip of the tongue that completely breaks the little dog’s first kiss ever.
Between oddball pranks, cliffhangers and even having to ask Snoopy for help with chasing the lemon cake, it’s clear the Peanuts characters still enjoy mischief.
Is Charlie Brown really a cartoonist?
Whether it’s the Peanuts sequel “The Peanuts Movie 2” or the documentary, “The Peanuts Group,” Charlie Brown has become a relatively modern, viral celebrity.