See All Topics

Home / Section: Animation

Peanuts Worldwide to create 500 new Peanuts animation shorts

Peanuts Worldwide has announced that will create 500 90-second animated shorts based on the Peanuts comic strip and characters. The animation will be done by Normaal Animation and Télévisions. Distribution is set for the fall of 2014. The press release only states that the purpose is to “build its content portfolio” and mentions the new Peanuts feature film due out November of 2015.

Community Comments

#1 steve skelton
October/9/2013
@ 2:25 pm

I predict big things for this comic strip “Peanuts”. It has a cute little dog and features a main character who is meek, nervous and lacks self-confidence, a bully of a girl, and a little boy who likes to play piano. It is drawn in a style that I think will help it catch on.

#2 Michael Pohrer
October/9/2013
@ 9:09 pm

Ha! Funny stuff Steve

#3 Frank M Hansen
October/9/2013
@ 11:03 pm

Let’s hope the animated version lives up to the Charlie Brown animated specials and is not some Flash, cut out version with robotic animation.

#4 Dale Stout
October/10/2013
@ 6:11 am

Maybe people need to know more about the MetLife characters.

#5 Drew Litton
October/10/2013
@ 8:19 pm

This won’t be popular , but really, isn’t it enough already. I mean, can’t we just give some opportunities to new talent and new ventures to a younger new generation instead of just rehashing the same old same old. Sigh. I guess they will milk the beagle until there is no more. And it’s really too bad.

#6 Darryl Heine
October/11/2013
@ 9:12 pm

What cable channel will get the 500 90 second Peanuts shorts? Cartoon Network? The Hub? Nickelodeon? Disney Channel?

#7 Donald Rex Jr.
October/11/2013
@ 11:26 pm

I reckon they will sell these in packages to anyone with airtime to fill profitably, up to and including you-tube and money will be made all around. It is a lack of imagination that makes people see Peanuts as a threat, and as preventing ‘new’ talents from breaking into a market that doesn’t now profitably exist. By which I refer to both animated shorts and daily comic strips.

I assert that it is the poor prospect of profitability that keeps real good cartoonists away from syndication, and the second string work from being picked up.

Classic Peanuts sells papers, or at least keeps the older demographic and kids turning to the comics page. Peanuts will pioneer 90 second animation if a profit can possibly be derived from this format. Its a ‘field of dreams’ thing.

#8 Joe Engesser
October/13/2013
@ 2:36 pm

Right on, Rex!

#9 Jim Lavery
October/13/2013
@ 4:51 pm

I can see Drew’s point concerning Peanuts and funny pages space vs. newer artists coming in. But I think there’s still room and reason to reformat Peanuts in other venues in order to present it to newer generations and frankly, to keep it alive. This is said only with the hope that any new imagineerings will offer quality presentations. In reading 1950’s Peanuts strips one can find a wealth of “new” material–new because, obviously, most of that first decade of the strip has been unseen by the vast majority of any potential audiences. Those first ten years or so display different character designs, different humor and a different voice before the strip became iconic in the 60’s and 70’s where it has been safely ensconced ever since. I always thought a good concept would be to animate those early, simple and hilarious strips, completely using Schulz’ dialogue. 90 seconds each would be perfect. Use the same early character designs. Make it retro or Peanuts Babies or something. Guarantee they would be better and funnier than all the latter day Peanuts animated specials and movies. I don’t know if this is the kind of thing they are planning or are including, but they should do it.

#10 Donald Rex Jr.
October/13/2013
@ 8:03 pm

The quality that made Schulz a great cartoonist was his keen interest in people and the world around him, and his great powers of both observation and perception that in turn he applied to his strips. This is what makes his work unrivaled in its universal appeal.

It is ridiculous to believe Peanuts keeps new strips out based on the shrinking total number of ‘slots’ in a typical paper. I say this because if it came down to just one strip, it would probably be Peanuts.

#11 Drew Litton
October/15/2013
@ 11:13 am

Let me clarify, Donald, my thoughts on this. I certainly think your point is valid. Peanuts has been, and always will be one of the greatest comic strips ever created. I’m a huge Schulz fan, his work adorns the wall in my studio here at home as well as a large Tom Everhart painting of Snoopy that hangs in my living room. So I’m a Peanuts fan.
After Sparky passed in 2000, I was disappointed in the decision to continue to rerun the old strips in syndication, basically into perpetuity. Like so many fine strips of days gone by, there will always be a fondness for the classics. But there are better avenues to remember them by. The incredibly well done collections by Fantagraphics for instance are a shining example of how to preserve their greatness for generations to come. (Providing, of course, anyone under the age of 50 continues to read books, but I digress.)
My point is this: where would TV be if they were ONLY running the Beverly Hillbillies and Gilligan’s Island today. Or Petticoat Junction or Green Acres. Would we have seen the redefining sitcom of All in the Family? Maude? Or later on down the road Friends, Cheers or Frazier? Would we have Modern Family or the Big Bang Theory?
Instead we would be locked into a time capsule of dated sitcoms. which, is what I think, by and large, has happened to the comics pages of American Newspapers.
Yes, we have enjoyed the brilliance of Calvin and Hobbes, Bloom County and the Farside. But we’ve also had to endure years of endless Blondie gags that take up precious real estate in the ever shrinking news hole of the newspaper industry. That, and the decision by editors, who are always “word” people, to shrink and cut the most visual part of their papers certainly hasn’t helped their cause to reach a new generation of young readers.
It’s all a mute point really. Because everything now is moving to new platforms. Everything cartoonists create from now on has to be produced in ways to effectively reach audiences through mobile apps and iPads.
Which brings me back to this thing with Peanuts animations. I’m just not thrilled with the idea that the market needs more and more and more Peanuts stuff. Oh, sure it’s profitable. But is it the right thing to do? Does it encourage a new generation to create new content for new technologies or is it just one more thing that blocks their way of entry into the market place.
Comic Books are facing this dilemma. Someday this whole “let’s do another Batman movie” thing is going to come crashing down. It will become tired and the saturation of it in the marketplace will have a ripple effect. Where will that leave the comics industry? Not in a very good place. Because when you go to a comic book shop all you have is Marvel in one section and DC in another beating the dead carcases of the same super heroes. By not allowing great content like Eric Powell’s “Goon” or Kurt Busiek’s “Astro City” to find a spotlight or a movie deal, where does that leave the industry? Pretty much in the same sate as the current comics pages of major metro newspapers. Dead. Or Dying.
Or showing the Beverly Hillbillies everyday, all day, for the rest of our lives.

#12 Donald Rex Jr.
October/15/2013
@ 12:46 pm

Drew I respect your feelings, but you don’t suggest any way that what you want to see can be affected. We are at a technological cusp where cartooning will go in directions we don’t yet imagine. Still we are playing in a market system, and it takes dough to innovate.

Peanuts commands an invester’s respect where somethng you may prefer in principle likely would not. I admit that I am not particularly media savvey, but it takes a large investment to get 500 90 second cartoons in the works. Don’t overlook the employment that may led to new work in the future. If the project is not a bust it will mean new markets are opening for works in this and perhaps various other animated formats.

Pioneers break new trails for others to follow. So let up a bit on Bondie, please.

#13 Kelly McNutt
October/15/2013
@ 3:46 pm

Too bad they couldn’t find a studio in the US to do the animation. Good grief.

#14 Drew Litton
October/16/2013
@ 9:32 am

Good point, Kelly.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.