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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Peanuts is a series of shorts starring Charles Schulz's classic comic strip characters. The stories are gentle, sweet, and reflective of the ups and downs of childhood, and they're presented in a manner that does well by the prints that inspire it. All of the cast is present (though the vignettes usually focus on two or three core characters at a time), and their relationships follow the formula Schulz created; Sally's still sweet on Linus, Peppermint Patty's still a tomboy, and Lucy's still demanding and impatient, especially with Charlie Brown. As such, you can expect the occasional peck on the cheek when there's a crush at play and some mild name-calling such as "stupid" and Lucy's trademark "blockhead." Even so, what's more memorable is what the characters learn about believing in themselves and being good friends.
What's the story?
PEANUTS follows Charlie Brown (voiced by Aiden Lewandowski), Linus (Jude Perry), Lucy (Bella Stine), Snoopy, and the rest of the gang through the small foibles and victories of their lives. From trying to break Linus of his blanket addiction to watching Charlie Brown wrestle with his feelings for the Little Red-Haired Girl who's captured his attention, the short-form stories are simple, sweet, and reminiscent of both the innocence of childhood and the look and feel of Charles Schulz's original comic strip.
Is it any good?
Following on the heels of the well-received feature film The Peanuts Movie, this vignette-style series revisits Schulz's classic characters in utterly delightful fashion. The animation closely resembles Schulz's original works with character sketches and a textured watercolor effect, and often scenes open or close with framing that recalls the comic strips themselves. The shorts are as sweet as they are funny, and they never complicate stories that will hit home with viewers of any age, clearing the way for feel-good messages about friendship, self-confidence, and putting your heart into every endeavor to win the day.
Because Peanuts isn't as visually vibrant as the CGI movie, kids might not be sold initially on the presentation, but this captivating series will win them over with its humor and array of characters. Many of the stories focus on the main core of Charlie Brown, Linus, Sally, Lucy, and Snoopy, but other favorites such as Peppermint Patty and Schroeder pop in now and then as well. Whether you're a lifelong Peanuts fan or a youngster just getting acquainted with the gang, this series deserves to be in your rotation.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Charlie Brown doubts himself so much in Peanuts. Does having a negative self-image affect your ability to do well even when you try hard? Why is it important to acknowledge what you do well even when you fall short of the bigger goals?
Why does Lucy act the way she does? What parts of her behavior would you consider bullying? If you encountered someone who acted like her, how would you respond?
How do the characters' experiences compare with your own? What do they do for entertainment? Does technology play any role in their lives in this show? How does that compare to how you use it? Is one way better than another, in your opinion?
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