The union between Apple TV+ and the Peanuts has been a successful one, so far. Their animated series “Snoopy in Space” was nominated for a Daytime Emmy, and they’re looking to dive into the world of new animated holiday specials that might just give “A Charlie Brown Christmas” a run for its money. One of the new installments is “The Snoopy Show,” a series aimed at giving audiences more of the beloved beagle and his larger-than-life adventures.
Each episode of “The Snoopy Show” consists of three separate stories involving Snoopy and his close companion Woodstock. We watch the pair build a snowman, write their memoirs, and help Charlie Brown (voiced by Ethan Pugiotto) confess his love for the little red-haired girl.
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Compared to other children’s series where the lesson is front and center, “The Snoopy Show” isn’t particularly preachy. As Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts engage in the plot, morals are subtly discussed, ranging from learning to live with others different than you to finding happiness in the simple things. For a kid’s show, it’s pretty amazing how much the series aims at teaching real-world life skills. The episode where Snoopy decides to let Woodstock move into his doghouse with him, and the issues that occur, seem oddly prescient in these times when families are trapped in the house together.
There’s something remarkably comforting about the world of the Peanuts. Each 22 minute episode is a beautiful world of bright colors and imagination. (If you watched “Snoopy in Space,” it’s a similar tone and aesthetic.) The seasons are rendered so beautifully, from the bright, blooming flowers Snoopy and Woodstock walk through, to a magical winter wonderland.
Too often shows aimed at children forget to remind the viewers of the complex feelings of adolescence, but that’s perfectly embodied within “The Snoopy Show.” Watching Snoopy cry over a melted snowman is funny, but it also is enough to take you down a weird existential rabbit hole about your own connection to the seasons and the passage of time.
Because this is “The Snoopy Show,” the rest of the Peanuts gang aren’t positioned as front and center. That’s not to say you won’t get a healthy dose of Linus, Peppermint Patty, and Lucy; it’s just that they’re more set dressing around the beagle. The first episode, “Happiness Is a Dancing Dog,” does a great job of reminding the audience of Charlie Brown and Snoopy’s relationship.
Snoopy writes his memoirs only to have his yellow-shirted owner question where he fits into Snoopy’s story, a telling setup for the rest of the series. The two never fall into maudlin “aw” moments, but as the episode’s final line is laid out, it’s obvious these two characters are devoted to each other. It comes back around in the final episode, when Charlie Brown tries to help Snoopy get over the melting of his snowman. A look at how Charlie Brown came to adopt Snoopy will give you all the feels and easily tap into the first pet to ever truly connect with you.
It’s interesting that this series is being released at the beginning of the year since Episode 3, “The Curse of a Fuzzy Face,” is all Halloween and spooky-centric. It’s easily one of the first season’s best episodes with Snoopy and Woodstock going to see a scary movie, only to have to walk home alone. The episode includes several cute throwbacks to the Universal monsters, especially with Linus swathed in bandages and Lucy as a green face-masked Bride of Frankenstein.
And if you’re a fan of Snoopy’s numerous alter egos, such as his French Foreign Legion character or the Red Baron, the series gives you that. Snoopy’s imagination takes over in nearly all the episodes, but in the case of Episode 2, “Never Bug a Beagle,” it takes full flight. Snoopy is tasked with delivering Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally, her lunch.
Not only is the humor about Sally being hangry utterly hilarious (and relatable), it gives Snoopy the chance to turn it into a life or death mission wherein the lunch becomes precious cargo. This fanciful quality is later returned to when Snoopy and Woodstock perceive Lucy’s yard sale as a place of bountiful treasures, with a fishbowl becoming the ultimate scuba diving helmet.
It’d be easy for a series like “The Snoopy Show” to fly under the radar. It doesn’t seek to teach grand lessons, but more about the coexistence and wondrousness of life for children. The silent antics of Snoopy and Woodstock might seem tailor-made for a quieter, younger audience, but there’s a lot to enjoy if you’re older. Snoopy, really, is all of us and after the year we’ve had we need something peppy and engaging like this. If you’re looking for something calm for what ails you, this is great. What the creators evince is a remarkable sweet element of innocence, fun, and whimsy, that’s so worth watching. “The Snoopy Show” is pure joy distilled into 22 minutes.
“The Snoopy Show” streams on Apple TV+ on February 4.
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