Peanuts special, "Snoopy Presents: Welcome Home, Franklin," set to premiere worldwide on Friday, February 16. The latest addition to the Peanuts universe promises to captivate audiences with an engaging origin story that delves into the life of one of the most beloved characters, Franklin.
Who is the Peanuts Character Franklin?
Franklin Armstrong, a groundbreaking character in the "Peanuts" comic strip, made his historic debut on July 31, 1968, courtesy of the visionary cartoonist Charles M. Schulz. This pivotal moment unfolded as Franklin exemplified kindness and camaraderie by returning Charlie Brown's misplaced beach ball, marking not only a heartwarming interaction within the beloved comic but also a significant step towards greater representation in the world of popular culture. Schulz's introduction of Franklin broke barriers, creating a lasting impact by promoting inclusivity and diversity in the iconic "Peanuts" universe.
In the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, a Los Angeles schoolteacher named Harriet Glickman wrote a heartfelt letter to Charles M. Schulz, urging him to introduce a black character into Peanuts. This touching exchange sparked a collaboration between Schulz and Glickman, ultimately leading to the birth of Franklin.
When did the Peanuts Comic Strip Debut?
The legendary "Peanuts" comic strip, which debuted in 1950 and concluded with Schulz's retirement in 2000, remains a cultural phenomenon. Beyond its immense success, the series is renowned for its iconic holiday specials and films, including timeless classics like "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," and "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving." The trailer for "Franklin" features a call-back to a controversial scene in which Franklin sits on the opposite from the rest of the characters during the dinner scene in “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”. Charles Schulz 'widow, Jean Schulz, responded to the controversy however, many still find it difficult to view the special.
Produced for Apple TV+ by Peanuts Worldwide and WildBrain, “Franklin” features an impressive team including Emmy Award winner Raymond S. Persi (known for his work on "The Simpsons" and "Wreck-It Ralph") and executive producers Craig Schulz & Bryan Schulz (Charles Schulz’s son and grandson, respectively).