Warner Home Video has announced a new Peanuts animated special to debut on DVD on March 29, 2011, for $19.98 US.
Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown is the first new Peanuts special in five years. (He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown aired in late 2006.) According to the press release, it “is comprised of original comic strip ideas created by Charles Schulz. The concept was to stay true to the characters’ emotion and original look of the strip while still producing a new story, with Schulz’s work at the heart of the program.” The plot is described as follows:
In this heartwarming new tale, Linus is pushed to his limits when he learns his grandmother is coming to visit and plans to rid him of his most cherished possession, his beloved security blanket. As grandma’s impending arrival looms closer, the Peanuts gang finds ways to try and help Linus lose his dependence on his fuzzy crutch.
Lucy is particularly eager to cure Linus’ emotional attachment and applies her own psychiatric techniques. Charlie Brown, on the other hand, does his best to help but he just does not have the heart to see Linus suffer. Snoopy constantly agitates matters because he longs to have the blanket himself. In the end, insightful Linus points out that everyone has their own type of “security blanket” and that in life, a little security is a valuable thing.
Awww, I like that. I just found my security blanket from when I was a kid — well, the square foot of it that survived. I gave it to my baby niece to carry on the tradition.
The special is written by Craig Schulz, son of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, and Stephen Pastis (Pearls Before Swine). Directors were Andy Beall (Up, Ratatouille) and Frank Molieri (The Simpsons Movie, SpongeBob SquarePants Movie). Craig Schulz praises the special:
“Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown is based directly from Peanuts strips my dad drew from the 1960s, which I personally like the best. Maybe it is because I can see so much of my family life embedded in those years. In this special, we tried to show how all kids have security issues, not just Linus, and not all are as secure as one would think. We bring back Shermy, Patty, and Violet, and if you are a true Peanuts fan, you will notice others that formed the foundation for Charlie Brown’s neighborhood.”
My guess is that this will also air on TV at some point, but nothing’s been announced. Sadly, it will also have new voices for Snoopy (and Woodstock, if he appears), since the previous voice, Bill Melendez, passed away in 2008 (unless they reuse recordings). TV Shows on DVD has the rear cover art, which includes a list of special features. A tie-in book will be released around the same time as the DVD.