NEW YORK — Everyone knows that Charlie Brown’s nemesis is a kite-eating tree. But the “Peanuts” hero is hoping to cool that kind of rivalry as we head into Earth Day and Arbor Day.
A new “Peanuts” special debuting on Apple TV+ today celebrates the environment and highlights that even tiny changes can help the Earth. “It’s the Small Things, Charlie Brown” also has an original new song by Ben Folds. Earth Day is on April 22.
In the 40-minute film, Charlie Brown’s hope to finally win the neighborhood championship baseball game is derailed when his little sister, Sally, tries to protect a dandelion growing on the pitcher’s mound. Soon everyone is cleaning up the ballfield.
“Charlie Brown kind of represents probably 90% of the population and doesn’t really want to take on any challenges with the world. And here’s Sally, representing the new generation that really does care about the small things and realizes that small things can make a difference,” said Craig Schulz, son of the late “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz, and who co-wrote the teleplay and helped executive produce the new film.
It’s one of several ways the cartoon gang is celebrating the Earth this year. “Peanuts” is also opening its vault to release one of its classic cartoons, 1976’s “It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown,” on Apple TV+ on April 29 — Arbor Day. And a new original short video, “We Need Our Trees,” is at Peanuts’ YouTube channels in the U.S. and abroad, and GoNoodle.com.
“The ‘Peanuts’ universe can integrate with what’s going on in the world,” Schulz said. “There’s obviously more to come and more great stories to tell. This cast is so rich and diverse that the stories almost seem endless.”