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Snoopy

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"Snoopy’s whole personality is a little bittersweet. But he’s a very strong character. He can win or lose, be a disaster, a hero, or anything, and yet it all works out. I like the fact that when he’s in real trouble, he can retreat into a fantasy and thereby escape."

Charles M. Schulz on Snoopy

Snoopy is the iconic deuteragonist of the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. He is the pet beagle of Charlie Brown who owns and cares for him. Snoopy is blessed with a rich, Walter Mitty -like fantasy life.

In most of the Peanuts television specials, Snoopy is voiced by Bill Melendez. Andy Beall voiced Snoopy in Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown, following Melendez's death in 2008. Recordings of Melendez were used to create Snoopy's voice in The Peanuts Movie.

Along with Charlie Brown, Snoopy is the only other character to appear in every movie and special.

Background

Snoopy first appeared in the October 4, 1950 strip, two days after the strip began. Schulz originally planned to call him "Sniffy", but found out that name was used in a different comic strip. He then changed the dog's name to Snoopy. The name first appeared on November 10, 1950.

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Peanuts comic strip from February 2, 1951.

In the early days, it was unclear who was the owner of Snoopy. It was not necessarily Charlie Brown. For instance, in the strip from February 2, 1951, Charlie Brown yells at Snoopy for following him, until Patty tells him that Snoopy is not following him, but simply lives in the same direction. Other early strips show Snoopy on a leash with Shermy or Patty, and not Charlie Brown. However, other early strips show Snoopy in Charlie Brown's room at night, as he is going to sleep. It seems that in the early days of the strip, Snoopy was an ownerless dog who played with the various children. As the years went by, Snoopy began to interact with Charlie Brown more often than the other children. It is eventually shown that Snoopy's doghouse is in Charlie Brown's backyard, and Charlie Brown is responsible for feeding him. It is eventually confirmed that Charlie Brown is the owner, when he says that his parents bought Snoopy for him, when he was upset, after a boy dumped a bucket of sand on him in a sandbox.

Snoopy has some little bird friends, the most loyal of which is Woodstock. Snoopy also has seven siblings, Spike, Belle, Marbles, Olaf, Andy, and two others named in the special Snoopy's Reunion as Molly and Rover . The eight puppies were born at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm. Snoopy has recalled his family going to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm's chapel every day, and being part of a fifty-beagle choir. He also taught Sunday school there, a fact Charlie Brown sometimes forgets. He went to school at the Ace Obedience School.

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Linus tells Charlie Brown about Snoopy's first owner Lila in the strip from August 30, 1968.

According to a series of comic strips from August 1968 and the movie, Snoopy Come Home, at an early age, Snoopy was taken in by a girl named Lila, but when she was unable to keep him, he was returned to the farm, where Charlie Brown picked him up. This fact came to light when Lila was in the hospital and wrote to Snoopy, asking him to come and visit her. Linus did some research and learned of this, sharing his information with Charlie Brown when Snoopy returned.

Snoopy appears to like Charlie Brown. Once when Charlie Brown came home from camp, Snoopy made a welcome home banner and was waiting outside Charlie Brown's house with cake. However, the banner said "Welcome home, Round-headed Kid." Snoopy often refers to Charlie Brown as "the Round-Headed Kid" not out of spite, but simply because he could not remember his name.

According to a series of strips in from August 7 to August 10, 1968, Snoopy's birthday is August 10.

Personality

Snoopy is loyal, funny, imaginative and good-natured. He is also a genuinely happy dog. A running gag within the strip is that he does a "happy dance", which annoys Lucy because she believes that nobody can ever be that happy. However, Snoopy just thinks Lucy is jealous because she is not capable of being as happy as he is. The only thing that truly upsets him is a lack of supper. Snoopy, being a dog, has a strong hatred of cats, often making rude remarks to the cat next door (Who usually attacks him and destroys his doghouse) and in one series of strips writes stories for a magazine which just point out that cats are stupider than, and inferior to, dogs. However, Snoopy has on occasions tried to be nice to the cat next door, but their relationship always remains antagonistic.

Snoopy loves root beer and pizza, hates coconut candy and listening to balloons being squeezed, gets claustrophobia in tall weeds, and is deathly afraid of icicles dangling over his doghouse. One of his hobbies is reading Leo Tolstoy's epic novel War and Peace at the rate of "a word a day". Snoopy also has the uncanny ability to play fetch with soap bubbles, and can hear someone eating marshmallows or cookies at a distance, or even peeling a banana. He claims to hear chocolate chip cookies calling him. Snoopy is also capable of disappearing, like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, as shown in a series of strips ("Grins are easy. Noses are hard. Ears are almost impossible.").

Snoopy also loves sleeping, and being lazy - a trait which often annoys Frieda. Snoopy often lies on top of his doghouse and sleeps, sometimes all day long. In one strip, Charlie Brown refers to him as a "hunting dog", because he always hunts for the easy way out of life.

In later strips, Snoopy's main human contact (when not indulging in his fantasy life) is with Rerun van Pelt.
Snoopy and Rerun

Rerun van Pelt and Snoopy

Younger than the other children, Rerun deals with his loneliness and lack of owning a dog by persistently asking to borrow Snoopy from Charlie Brown. Snoopy alternates between refusing to leave the house and agreeing to play with Rerun on his own terms (such as having Rerun push him on a stroller or pull him on a sled). While he also shows genuine affection for Rerun, Snoopy sometimes reacts indignantly to being treated as a common dog. In one strip, Rerun calls him a "puppy dog" while playing with a stick. After seeing Snoopy drop the stick off a cliff, he declares, "I am not a puppy dog."

Development

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The first appearance of Snoopy in the Peanuts comic strip from October 4, 1950.

In the very early years of Peanuts, Snoopy behaved much like an average, everyday pet. Gradually, however, he became more like a human than a dog. Snoopy was a silent character during the first two years of the strip, but he eventually verbalized his thoughts to readers for the first time (in a thought balloon) on May 27, 1952.

Schulz moved Snoopy's sleeping location from inside his doghouse to the rooftop. Preceding that, Snoopy gradually changed from being a quadrupedal dog to a bipedal, anthropomorphic character, like typical cartoon animals.

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Snoopy plays baseball in the Sunday strip from April 6, 1952.

On April 12, 1957, Snoopy first appeared as the shortstop on Charlie Brown's baseball team, although he had appeared playing baseball since April 6, 1952. The idea of the baseball team being so bad that one of its players was a dog was a long running gag in the comic strip.

On June 28, 1957, Snoopy was taught by Charlie Brown how to walk on his hind legs. This bipedal gait soon became so commonplace as to be almost unnoticeable. As the strip progressed, Snoopy became a much more human-like dog. His character is that of a dog who thinks he is a person (or who sometimes forgets he is a dog). In one strip, Sally has to do a report on animals for school, and requests Snoopy's help. But Snoopy is reluctant, saying, "How can I help? I don't know any animals."

Fantasy life

See main article: List of Snoopy's alter egos

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Snoopy imitates a bird in the strip from August 9, 1951.

Snoopy has a broad and vivid fantasy life, often delving into many alter egos.

Snoopy has done many impressions over the years. His earliest impression (that of a bird) was seen on August 9, 1951. Starting on November 17, 1955, his impressions began to be somewhat prominent: He did impressions of Violet, a pelican, Lucy, a moose, Beethoven and Mickey Mouse. He would also pretend to be other animals, including a snake, rhinoceros, lion, and vulture. But his eccentricities did not stop there.

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Snoopy first appears as the World War I Flying Ace in the Sunday strip from October 10, 1965.

The most famous of his role plays is The World War I Flying Ace. When assuming this personality, Snoopy dons goggles, a flying helmet and a scarf, and climbs on top of his doghouse (which he claims is a Sopwith Camel). He calls his imaginary enemy the Red Baron.

Another well-known imaginary role is "Joe Cool", in which Snoopy puts on a "cool" look by putting on sunglasses and leaning against a wall doing nothing.

Snoopy has also imagined himself as a self-proclaimed "famous" writer (although his extremely short "novels" are never published, and the two-paragraph one that managed to get published failed to sell), a bow tie-wearing attorney (who once defended Peter Rabbit), a hockey player, an Olympic figure skater (who used to skate with Peggy Fleming before he became "big time"), and as a world famous grocery checkout clerk who operated from the top of his doghouse in an apron. He also imagined himself as an astronaut, claiming to be the first beagle on the moon in his delusional dreams.

Relationships

Charlie Brown

See main article: Charlie Brown and Snoopy's relationship

Snoopy is Charlie Brown's dog, he and Charlie Brown both like each other, but sometimes it seems like Snoopy does not appreciate Charlie Brown, he only seems to at times appreciate the fact Charlie Brown feeds him and gets upset easily if Charlie Brown brings his supper just a few minutes late, even though Charlie Brown brings him food everyday, In one strip Charlie Brown had to go to hospital, Snoopy initially did not care very much until he finds out he will not be getting any supper. Snoopy also does not appreciate the jokes Charlie Brown sometimes makes when he brings Snoopy his food, at one point he even throws the supper dish at Charlie Brown.

But there are many occasions where Snoopy shows his love for Charlie Brown, On one occasion when Charlie Brown returns from camp, Snoopy makes him a welcome home sign (Although it says "Welcome home 'Round Header Kid'"). He also gets very excited when Charlie Brown returns from School, and sometimes does a dance and hugs Charlie Brown when he gets home. In one storyline, when Charlie Brown and his family go on vacation, he has to leave Snoopy with Linus and Lucy, Snoopy cries the whole time until Charlie Brown returns. In the strip from October 9, 1971, Snoopy joins Charlie Brown in walking out of a game of Ha-Ha Herman when Peppermint Patty crudely insults Charlie Brown (although she is unaware that Charlie Brown was within earshot when she insults him). He also helps Charlie Brown recover his autographed baseball when a bully takes it and challenges Charlie Brown to to fight for it. In a storyline where Charlie Brown leaves school and tries to spend the rest of his life making Snoopy happy, but is eventually told by the principal to return to school, Charlie Brown tells Snoopy that he has to return to school and Snoopy replies "Don't worry about it, I was already happy."

Sally Brown

Sally does not care very much about Snoopy and often calls him a stupid beagle. Sally usually complains when Charlie Brown asks her to feed Snoopy whenever when he is away from home. While Sally was still an infant, she had a friendly and playful relationship with Snoopy. In later years Sally enlists Snoopy's help with school assignments. She even treats him to an ice cream cone (a very tall ice cream cone, with scoops of about a dozen flavours) when Snoopy helps her get an "A" on a report about "Our Animal Friends". In one storyline, Sally uses Snoopy as a "weapon" to help protect her from bullies on the playground (Snoopy barks loudly at anyone who threatens Sally, leading Snoopy to comment, "I feel like a can of mace!"), but this ends in disaster when Snoopy sees an old girlfriend of his and runs off to meet her, abandoning Sally and leaving her to get "slaughtered" by the playground bullies.

Linus van Pelt

Snoopy and Linus appear have a good relationship, at least when Snoopy is fantasizing about being Joe Cool or the World Famous Attorney. In one strip from May 12, 1972, where Lucy kicks Linus out of the house when their mother is in hospital. Joe Cool allows Linus to stay at his "dorm" (that is to say Snoopy's doghouse). Linus also offers Snoopy advice about legal issues whenever the beagle is playing the World Famous Attorney. For example, Sally Brown once physically injured Linus, resulting in Linus using Snoopy as his lawyer. However, they do have their quarrels, mainly over Snoopy's desire to take Linus' security blanket for himself. A recurring gag in the strip involves Snoopy grabbing the blanket in his mouth and dragging Linus around to make him let go. Occasionally, Snoopy goes as far as to swing around the blanket, with Linus still attached to it, before letting it go, sending Linus flying through the air. As a result of this treatment, Linus often refuses to let Snoopy near him when he knows he is after his blanket. Many strips show Linus threatening to inflict physical harm on Snoopy. easily scaring him away into submission. Despite all this, Linus and Snoopy remain on friendly terms, most of the time.

Lucy van Pelt

Snoopy frequently tries to kiss Lucy on the cheek and/or nose, Lucy is afraid of dog germs, thoroughly hates these actions, which occasionally results in Lucy injuring Snoopy. Despite their rivalry towards each other, both seem to care for one another, In one strip this is proved when Lucy admits "You know there are times when you really bug me!, But I must admit there are also times when I feel like giving you a hug" and proceeds to hug Snoopy, proving this even more, also in Snoopy, Come Home, She is sad to see Snoopy go and is (momentarily) glad when he comes back home.

Rerun van Pelt

Snoopy first met Rerun on March 27, 1973 when Snoopy greets Rerun in his sandbox by licking his face, he then turns away, observing that Rerun "tastes terrible".

In strips from the later years of Peanuts, Rerun repeatedly asks Charlie Brown if he can borrow Snoopy, as his mother will not let him have a dog of his own. Snoopy and Rerun are often seen together in later strips, playing card games, throwing and chasing balls and frolicking in the snow. Rerun, younger than the other children in the strip, even treats Snoopy as a confidant at times, sharing his anxieties and thoughts with the beagle, who often responds with exasperated or sarcastic thoughts.

Woodstock

Woodstock is Snoopy's best friend and sidekick. In March 1966, when one of Snoopy's bird friends made their nest on Snoopy's stomach, The mother left the bird nest and did not come back, Snoopy took care of Woodstock and another bird who was born at the same time. Snoopy soon made Woodstock and the other bird fly away, but Woodstock had a lot of trouble flying and soon came back. The under talented bird stayed by Snoopy's doghouse, while at first Snoopy was annoyed by his presence, he soon warmed to him. Soon after Woodstock was officially named on June 22, 1970, Snoopy and Woodstock have become very close friends.

Woodstock often works as Snoopy's secretary, which was most noticeable when Snoopy was the Head Beagle, He also is his secretary when Snoopy is assuming the role of The World Famous Attorney, he has also worked as Snoopy's mechanic when Snoopy is The World War I Flying Ace. Woodstock also caddies for Snoopy when he plays golf, he has played American football with Snoopy, usually Woodstock has the most trouble kicking the football and catching it, When Snoopy is playing as a helicopter, Woodstock is his pilot.

Peppermint Patty

Peppermint Patty liked Snoopy a lot when she used to think of him as "the funny looking kid with the big nose", She got excited whenever he kissed her, for instance, in There's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown, when Snoopy kisses her, she tells him, "You sure know how to show a girl a good time". When Peppermint Patty learns on March 21, 1974 that Snoopy is not a human, she continues to like him, but not in the same way she used to. A storyline in which she uses him as a watch dog when her father is away, was adapted into the Special Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown.

Lila

Lila was Snoopy's owner before Charlie Brown. Snoopy visits her in the film Snoopy, Come Home and struggles to decide whether to stay with Charlie Brown or go back to Lila. Lila eventually convinces him to leave Charlie Brown so he can live with her again. However, upon arriving at her residence, Snoopy is overjoyed to see a "NO DOGS ALLOWED" sign. He returns to live with Charlie Brown, much to Lila's dismay.

Snoopy in other media

Thankspeanuts

Snoopy and Woodstock featured in the Google logo for Thanksgiving 2009.

Over the years, Snoopy has become the mascot of several different companies.

  • Following the Apollo I fire, Snoopy became the official mascot of aerospace safety, testing and the rebuilding of the Apollo Program, due to his refusal to accept defeat and his "'outside the doghouse' way of looking at things." A series of Snoopy-in-Space ("Astrobeagle") products arrived with this campaign, and originals are still prized.
  • The Apollo 10 lunar module was nicknamed "Snoopy" and the command module "Charlie Brown". While not included in the official mission logo, Charlie Brown and Snoopy became semi-official mascots for the mission.
  • The Silver Snoopy award is a special NASA honor, in the form of a sterling silver pin with an engraving of Snoopy in a spacesuit helmet. It is given by an astronaut to someone who works in the space program that has gone above and beyond in pursuit of quality and safety.
  • A series of postage stamps featuring Snoopy as a World War I flying ace was released on May 17, 2001 in Santa Rosa, California.
  • Snoopy, piloting his "Sopwith Camel" (i.e., his doghouse), is featured in the logo of Charles M. Schulz - Sonoma County Airport.
  • Snoopy is the US Air Force Communications - Computer Systems Control mascot. He can be seen on the Tech Control emblem holding an old analog patch cord above his head as he walks on water.
  • During the Gulf War Snoopy appeared as nose art on several aircraft. He remains a popular image in air forces that still allow crews to customize the appearance of their planes.
  • Snoopy is the name of a U.S. Air Force B-58 Hustler bomber, serial number 55-0665, which was modified to test a radar system.
  • In Japan, Snoopy, Lucy, Peppermint Patty, Sally and Marcie appeared in commercials for the coupon magazine Hot Pepper.
  • Snoopy and Woodstock were featured in an At commercial.
  • Snoopy is the name of the primary research vehicle of Check-Six.com. *The black-and-white communications caps (formally called a Communications Carrier Assembly) worn as part of NASA spacesuits, carrying radio earphones and microphones, are universally known as "Snoopy caps", due to the resemblance of the white center and black outer sections to the top of Snoopy's head.
  • In 1966, the "Ace" was immortalized in song by The Royal Guardsmen with their hit, "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron". This was followed in 1967 by "The Return of the Red Baron", in which it is revealed that the Baron survived their previous encounter but runs away when Snoopy challenges him to a duel with pistols, and then by "Snoopy's Christmas", in which the two foes temporarily set aside their differences for a Christmas toast, as per the Christmas Truces that occurred during World War I. "Snoopy's Christmas" continues to be played as a holiday favorite on many oldies radio stations. During the 1968 U.S. Presidential election, the Guardsmen released two additional songs, "Snoopy for President", in which Snoopy's bid for the nomination of the Beagle party is tipped in his favor by the Red Baron, and "Down Behind the Lines", which does not mention Snoopy specifically but describes the attempts of a World War I pilot to fly his damaged Sopwith Camel back to friendly territory. In 2006 the Guardsmen recorded a song called "Snoopy vs. Osama" in which Snoopy shifts his focus away from The Red Baron and captures Osama Bin Laden.
  • American insurance company MetLife has used Snoopy as their corporate mascot since the 1980s. Snoopy One, Snoopy Two and Snoopy Three are three airships owned and operated by MetLife that provide aerial coverage of American sporting events, and feature Snoopy as the World War I flying ace on their fuselage.
  • On November 2, 2015, Snoopy was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, becoming the second Peanuts-related figure to be inducted with a star, after Schulz.[1]

Gallery

References

  1. Details on the Hollywood Walk of Fame website

External links

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