Snoopy from Peanuts
Snoopy made his first appearance in October of 1950, two days after the premiere of the Peanuts strip. He received his name when Schulz recalled his mother saying if the family got a new dog, it should be named “Snoopi”.
Snoopy was a silent character until May 1952, when a thought bubble conveyed his thoughts to the readers and other characters in the strip. In the television specials, Snoopy’s thoughts and moods are made known by the noises and expressions makes.
In the early days, Snoopy walked on all four feet and had a smaller snout. His appearance changed gradually until January of 1956, when Snoopy walked upright on his two hind legs for the first time. When Snoopy is happy, he does this cute little dance known as the “Snoopy Dance”.
At the beginning of the Peanuts strip, Snoopy slept inside his doghouse. In December 1958 he started sleeping on top of the doghouse – from then on he was rarely seen inside his house.
Snoopy loves to sit on his doghouse roof and nap, watch the world go by, or write on his typewriter. He also likes to engage his imagination, and one of his favorite pretend personalities to be is a World War I Flying Ace. He climbs atop his doghouse wearing goggles and a scarf, flies his Sopwith Camel plane (his house) and tries to shoot down Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron. This usually ends up with the Red Baron escaping and Snoopy’s doghouse getting riddled with bullets.
Another one of Snoopy’s identities is Joe Cool. As this personality, he wears dark sunglasses and leans against a wall, doing nothing. Snoopy has other fantasy personalities such as an attorney, an Olympic figure skater, and an astronaut.
In his real life, Snoopy is very active. He plays sports – like tennis – and has temper tantrums when he double faults on his serve. He also plays shortstop on Charlie Brown’s Little League team. Snoopy is also a “Beagle Scout” and is a Scout leader for Woodstock and his friends.
Snoopy is capable of many things. He has various abilities and talents, and each year saw Snoopy developing more as a character. For example, he can use his ears to fly like a helicopter. He understands some foreign languages, and is able to hear people chewing his favorite snacks from far away.
Although he is very talented, Snoopy is not lucky in the love department. More than once his heart has been broken, and he was even left at the altar in one storyline. In his failure to find love, he is much like his owner, Charlie Brown, who is unlucky not just in love, but in many other ways as well.
Watch Snoopy convey his rotten mood when he’s kicked out of the library (from the animated musical, Snoopy Come Home):
A prominent character, Snoopy’s popularity rivals that of Charlie Brown. He has his own adventures and lives life to the fullest, and does not listen to anyone telling him what to do. He is independent and intelligent. Snoopy has a rare quality that allows him to make readers think about the points he is trying to convey, while at the same time, he makes people laugh.
All of these characteristics were the brainchild of Schulz. And for 50 years, the Peanuts gang entertained people and warmed their hearts. After the death of Schulz in 2000, newspapers began printing older strips under the title Classic Peanuts, and they remain popular today.
Generations have grown up reading the Peanuts comic strip and watching the television specials. It is a tradition around the holidays to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Peanuts has a special place in American culture, and its popularity continues to grow with each year, as new readers get introduced to the characters, especially Snoopy. He’s such a special character, Peanuts would not be the same without him.
Are you a fan of Snoopy? What’s your favorite storyline about this classic character?