Everyone’s favorite beagle flies back into action for a new series of misadventures on Apple TV+. Charles Schulz’s beloved gang of misfits are here to provide support on The Snoopy Show, based on the Peanuts comics.
The new animated series premieres Friday, bringing some stress-busting, family-friendly entertainment to Apple’s streaming service.
The Snoopy Show review
Snoopy the dog has few interests, goals, traits or ideas. He’s a beagle with two best friends: Woodstock (a neighborhood bird) and Charlie Brown (his round-headed, elementary schooler owner).
Snoopy’s a dreamer, quickly falling into flights of fancy whenever a fun, new object falls into his line of sight. He longs to be a World War I Flying Ace so he can save the world from his nemesis, the Red Baron. He loves dancing, he’s mostly lazy, and he’s easily flustered.
The Snoopy Show — unlike Snoopy in Space, Apple TV+’s first venture into the world of animated Snoopy stories — has almost no real plot, which allows the audience time to just bask in the off-kilter observational humor of Schulz’s beloved creation.
Snoopy and Woodstock try to build a snowman, but must combat a quickly rising sun. Charlie Brown wants to give a flower to the little red-headed girl down the block, but Snoopy and Woodstock tear the petals off the daisy he picks. Snoopy and Charlie Brown both get the frights after seeing a scary movie. And through it all, Lucy, the neighborhood kid psychiatrist, is always annoyed at everything the little dog gets up to.
No matter what happens, no matter the stress and fuss kicked up during each episode’s three eight-minute-or-so vignettes, everything always sorts itself out nicely. The world of the Peanuts gang is not one where trouble ever makes a nest long. And our world is better for their presence in our lives.
You can’t overstate what a shrewd and smart decision it was for Apple TV+ to come to an agreement with the Charles M. Schulz estate for the right to make new entertainment based on the characters from the Peanuts comic strip. (Apple TV+ also landed the classic Peanuts holiday specials.)
Schulz used to insist that his characters and settings not be everywhere all the time, knowing how quickly a good idea can become both ubiquitous and tainted. (Just look at Star Wars. Or, rather open your eyes — something Star Wars-related will walk by soon enough.)
Apple TV+ wisely did not overextend itself with serialized Peanuts shows. In fact, the streaming service waited a full year between its two original entries. Snoopy in Space, while gentle and good-natured, was the kind of thing that probably sounded easy and fun in the writer’s room. But by the end, they’d said more than there was to say on the subject of a dog wanting to go to space. It was a fine reintroduction to the Peanuts world.
Happiness is a few minutes with Snoopy
The Snoopy Show is a safer bet — and a little more easy to get lost in, in a good way. People came to Schulz’s work for the same reason they do something like the short stories of Raymond Carver or the television of Amy Sherman-Palladino: It’s a very inviting and well-thought-out place to wile away an afternoon.
However, unlike either of those two voices, there’s zero stress involved in visiting with Snoopy and Charlie Brown. The closest it comes to real disaster is, say, when Woodstock falls in love with an out-of-bounds badminton shuttlecock and then has it taken away for another game.
The Snoopy Show is deliberately low-key, nicely low-energy and thoroughly relaxing. I’ll always be grateful for more time with these characters and their creator’s gentle worldview.
The Snoopy Show on Apple TV+
The Snoopy Show comes to Apple TV+ on February 5.
Watch on: Apple TV+
Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the director of 25 feature films, and the author of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.