×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Snoopy Honored With Star on Walk of Fame as ‘Peanuts Movie’ Opens

All his life he tried to be a good person,” begins the famous quote by Charles M. Schulz. “Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.”

Snoopy, the beloved cartoon beagle based on Schulz’s own family dog Spike, first appeared in the Peanuts comic strip on Oct. 4, 1950. And now, 65 years later, the dog’s legacy will be cemented, alongside Schulz’s, when he receives a star on the Walk of Fame on Nov. 2.

Snoopy’s range of characters over the years — World War I flying ace, famous writer, lawyer, astronaut, hockey player among them — rivals many Hollywood legends. And with a career spanning nearly five decades in the strip and more in TV and film, Snoopy’s career is a model for longevity. He even coined a signature move — the “happy dance” — in which he points his nose to the sky, curves his mouth into a “U” shape and scampers about, feet radiating with energy.

But Snoopy wasn’t always the adventurous, character actor that we know him as today. In the beginning, Snoopy’s anthropomorphic tendencies were more subtle than in later years, says Jean Schulz, Charles’ widow, who now sits as board president at the Charles Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, Calif. In fact, Snoopy did not speak until 1952. But even in those first years, Charles Schulz found creative ways for Snoopy to communicate.

A STAR IS BORN: Snoopy plays a large part in the upcoming “The Peanuts Movie.”

“Snoopy was doing some very clever things and Sparky was using him for visual humor,” Jean Schulz says, referring to her late husband by his nickname. For example, in one strip that depicts a baseball game, Snoopy puts his ears out to call safe. In another, the kids play hide-and-seek. “Someone runs past him and he points that ear out,” she laughs.

But Snoopy’s humor is no mystery, considering his inspiration, Spike, was apparently a pretty intelligent model. Jean Schulz says her husband used to say Spike understood 50 words. “He would say ‘Spike, go down to the cellar and get a potato,’ and he’d come back with a potato,” she says.
But despite Snoopy’s immediate tendency toward humor and intelligence, Schulz says her late husband knew he had truly tapped into the beagle’s potential when he allowed the pup to stand on its hind legs and sit atop the doghouse. “He [said] that changed the whole strip.”

From that point on, Charles Schulz helped Snoopy discover his fantasy life that rocketed his career forward to become the famous and beloved character that he is today. Not only did the pup and his bird pals gain popularity in the strip, they also became a sort of marketing national treasure. In the world of flight, Snoopy became a symbol for exploration with ties to NASA, the Air Force communications and MetLife to provide aerial coverage during sporting events. He has also made his way into two of the most prized positions in American culture as both a stamp and a temporary part of the Google logo.

Snoopy will take another step forward when he stars in the upcoming “The Peanuts Movie” feature film, hitting theaters Nov. 6. Though it centers around Charlie Brown and his quest to find love with the Little Red-Haired Girl,  Snoopy still gets plenty of attention. The film uses a unique style of animation that attempts to reconcile a current, three-dimensional look with the strip’s two-dimensional integrity.

“As Snoopy acts in such a big way, he’ll strike poses from different generations.”
Steve Martino

In “The Peanuts Movie” Snoopy is voiced using archival recordings by Bill Melendez who has historically been the voice of Snoopy in addition to directing many of the Charlie Brown TV specials.

Steve Martino, who directed “The Peanuts Movie,” says there was no point in trying to replicate Melendez’s original voiceover work. “As we listened to (the archived recordings) and I started to cut those into our story reels, we couldn’t create anything other than that,” Martino says. “Bill is so funny and Snoopy is so hilarious in his voice, so he is Snoopy and Woodstock.”

In terms of design, Martino says the Snoopy in the movie is close to Schulz’s drawings from the 1980s, something that was a joint decision with the film’s writer and producer, Craig Schulz, who also happens to be the artist’s son. But he is quick to add that there are others thrown in, for example, some poses from the ’60s that the director finds particularly hilarious. “As Snoopy acts in such a big way,he’ll strike poses from different generations.”

Paul Feig, one of the film’s producers, posits that one reason Snoopy resonates so deeply with readers across generations is that the dog’s adventures mirror the process of an artist. “(As an artist) you start to look both beyond your world, and then also into yourself to find things that aren’t part of your life at the moment,” Feig says. “What could I be today? I could be an astronaut. I could be a World War I flying ace. I could be anything, really.”

It seems long overdue that Snoopy be recognized for spreading so much puppy love. “Honestly, Snoopy has probably entertained people for longer than most people on the Walk of Fame,” Feig says. “He’s been making people laugh for 65 years.” Cue the happy dance.

Snoopy Timeline
His live as a dog
1934 The Schulz family acquires Spike, the inspiration for Snoopy.
1950 Snoopy appears in the “Peanuts” comic strip for the first time.
1952 Snoopy’s thoughts are verbalized for the first time.
1957 Snoopy learns how to walk on two legs.
1965 Snoopy adapts the persona of the World War I Flying Ace for the first time.
1969 The astronauts on Apollo X carry Charlie Brown and Snoopy into space.
2001 A series of stamps showing Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace are released.
2009 Google features Snoopy and Woodstock in its logo.

Tipsheet
What:
Snoopy receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
When:
11:30 a.m. Nov. 2
Where:
7201 Hollywood Blvd.
Web:
walkoffame.com

More Film

  • Emma Thompson

    Emma Thompson Exits Skydance Animation Movie 'Luck' Over John Lasseter Hire

    Emma Thompson has dropped out of the voice cast of Skydance Animation’s upcoming film “Luck,” a spokesperson for the actress told Variety. The beloved British star did some recording for the project, but dropped out in January, following John Lasseter’s hire to the top animation job at David Ellison’s studio, an insider close to the [...]

  • Daniel Kaluuya Lakeith Stanfield

    Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield in Talks to Star in Film About Black Panther Party Leader

    Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield are in negotiations to star in the historical drama “Jesus Was My Homeboy” about Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton. The project is set up at Warner Bros. with “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler producing along with Charles King through his Marco production company. Executive producers are Sev Ohanian, Zinzi [...]

  • Watch First Trailer for Motley Crue

    Watch First Trailer for Motley Crue Biopic 'The Dirt'

    Netflix has dropped the first trailer for its Motley Crue biopic “The Dirt” — based on Neil Strauss’ best-selling history of the legendarily bad-behaved ‘80s metal icons — and it looks like the film pulls no punches in terms of the band’s famously sordid history. In this two-minute trailer, we get glimpses of singer Vince [...]

  • ‘Tomorrow and Thereafter,’ ‘Diane Has the

    MyFrenchFilmFestival Prizes ‘Tomorrow and Thereafter,’ ‘Diane Has the Right Shape’

    Actress-director Noémie Lvovsky’s “Tomorrow And Thereafter,” a heartfelt homage to the director’s own mother, and Fabien Gorgeart’s “Diane Has the Right Shape,” about one woman’s surrogate motherhood, both won big at the 2019 UniFrance MyFrenchFilmFestival which skewed female in its winners and viewership, making particularly notable inroads into South East Asia and Latin America. Opening [...]

  • Vue International Chief Slams BAFTA For

    Vue International Chief Slams BAFTA for Awarding Prizes to 'Roma'

    Tim Richards, the founder and chief executive of Vue International, one of the largest cinema chains in Europe, has slammed the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for awarding prizes to Netflix’s “Roma.” Alfonso Cuaron’s black-and-white film, which is also up for several Oscars, won four BAFTAs at the awards ceremony in London on [...]

  • Oscars Ultimate Party Guide

    Oscar's Ultimate Party Guide 2019

    Welcome to Oscar week. It’s the time of year when Hollywood’s film industry celebrates all things movies. But it’s certainly not just the big show everyone is looking forward to. With voting closed, it’s all about the parties now. Who’s doing what and where and when are they doing it are the questions everyone is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content