The virus pandemic won’t stop Charlie Brown, Snoopy or the “Peanuts” gang from marking an important birthday and they’re hoping to raise the spirits of sick kids while they celebrate.
The beloved comic celebrates its 70th anniversary this week with new lesson plans, the announcement of a new TV show and a philanthropic push that includes donating “Peanuts” murals for kids to paint in 70 children’s hospitals around the globe, including the Westmead Hospital in Sydney.
The murals have been sent to participating hospitals in six pieces, along with smocks, brushes, and paints in 13 colors. Children and hospital staff are encouraged to paint the easy-to-follow templates, a diversion that gains even more importance during coronavirus restrictions.
The finished murals show an image of Snoopy and Woodstock sharing a laugh atop his red doghouse. It’s co-sponsored by Peanuts Worldwide and the Foundation for Hospital Art. They hope the custom murals bring a smile to worried families.
Jeannie Schulz, the widow of the comic strip’s creator, Charles Schulz, said the initiative hopes to lower the fear level in hospitals: “If you can have a little bit of levity — a little smile — we know that lowers your blood pressure. It’s almost as good as patting a dog.”
Other initiatives launching to celebrate the “Peanuts” anniversary include an animated video campaign on social media urging viewers to be kind to each other, Earth, and themselves. There is also a new Apple TV+ animated show debuting in February called “The Snoopy Show.”