It’s not easy to continue a beloved series after the death of its creator, especially if that creator was singlehandedly responsible for everything. For the first few years after the death of Charles Schulz, his family would only allow new animated specials if they took their material entirely from comic strips he’d already written. That worked for a while, but eventually even fifty years of storylines runs out.
They unavoidably had to allow new material to be created at some point, but they’ve been careful to make sure it all fits the spirit of the original. From the trailer embedded below, Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne feels like a worthy addition to the Peanuts animated library, even if it lacks the “It’s _____, Charlie Brown” naming scheme that all these specials are supposed to have.
Lucy’s hosting a New Years party, and the entire gang is invited, whether they want to be or not! Typical fussbudgeting from our neighborhood tough girl, or is she projecting based on insecurities coming from something that happened to her on Christmas? The animation looks fantastic for a “special.” The characters are perfectly on-model and the backgrounds blend in flawlessly. You could swear Schulz animated the thing himself.
But perhaps the most promising thing about For Auld Lang Syne is the touch of melancholy in the plot. Sure, the strip is funny, but what has really made Peanuts a timeless success over the decades is its relatability. It’s completely honest in its portrayal of a world that takes gleeful delight in punching us in the gut every day. A lot of Peanuts specials, especially those made in the later years of Schulz’s life, seem to ignore this element.
Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne will premiere on the Apple TV service December 10. But there’s more: the long-neglected 1992 special It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown will finally be added to the service tomorrow, December 3. It’s a pretty charming special that was kind of buried after its one CBS airing and deserves a second chance.