I'm overwhelmed at the idea of the new “Peanuts” movie. I grew up watching Charlie Brown's televised exploits on VHS in the early '90s, and even then he and his pals felt like quaint relics from another time. The fact that we're getting a Peanuts movie in November 2015 (with a snappy new trailer embedded above) is startling. Watch as Snoopy rides his doghouse like Slim Pickens on a nuclear bomb.
Another reason the new “Peanuts” movie is exciting is because we may get to rediscover how deep and cool Charles Schulz' characters were. Here are five forgotten Charlie Brown adventures that illustrate the gravitas of these kids. Hopefully they'll be referenced in the upcoming feature.
1. Peppermint Patty's tumultuous ice skating career
Peppermint Patty is remembered as a rowdy tomboy, but in “She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown,” we're reminded that the jocular girl has an emotional side. Watch as Woodstock saves Peppermint Patty before a big ice skating routine. (I tried to find a clip of her biggest competitor, a FABULOUS child named Evelyn who wore yellow and skated flawlessly, but I came up with nothing. Adore you, Evelyn.)
2. Linus' emotional journey with a sick pal.
Charlie Brown's cynicism is not the darkest thing about “Peanuts.” Sometimes the gang was confronted with very sensitive concerns. Here, Linus falls for a girl who is diagnoses with leukemia. It's an incredibly sweet, character-revealing turn for Linus.
3. The wild, competitive journey of “Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown.”
The best Peanuts feature film, for my money, is “Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown.” Chuck and the gang battle at camp to complete a river race, and for some reason there's a posse of bad kids who are allowed to use a motorized boat. Not fair! Watch as these scamps meet the angel of death during a dramatic confrontation with a paddlewheel.
4. Charlie Brown once met the Wright Brothers. And flew with NASA. Never forget.
Have you seen this “This is America, Charlie Brown”? So, so good. It was an '80s educational series where Chuck and his friends hung out in historical contexts with people such as Constitutional delegates and pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving. I'd love if the new “Peanuts” movie had a time-traveling element to it. Watch in these clips as Charlie Brown visits the space shuttle and dominates Kitty Hawk with the Wright Brothers.
5. Snoopy's creepy, trippy experiments with the dark arts in “It's Magic, Charlie Brown.”
Sometimes Charlie Brown's universe was creepy. One time Snoopy learned magic, made Charlie Brown invisible, and then couldn't figure out how to make him reappear. You will gape when Snoopy applies mud to Charlie's face in order to make him visible — but you'll cheer when Chuck uses his newfound power to finally (finally!) kick Lucy's football.