February 4, 2016

A History of Peanuts Balloons in the Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

(This special post is by 5CP Associate Editor Gayna Lamb-Bang.)

After watching last year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and anticipating the oversized balloons of our pals Snoopy and Woodstock, I wondered about the Peanuts balloon legacy in this annual celebration.

1968 WWI Flying Ace Snoopy
I quickly discovered that information was both scarce, and frequently inaccurate.

In the interests, then, of providing an authoritative chronology of the association between Macy’s and the Peanuts gang, I spent considerable time researching the topic. The goal was to find and provide an absolutely accurate listing, at all times cross-checked with photos and news coverage from reputable sources.

Let’s start with a few fun facts:

• New York City’s famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade began in 1924, complete with live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. The live animals were replaced by large balloons, beginning in 1927.

• Snoopy, in various personas, has been in this parade more than any other character. 

Newspaper ad for the 1969 parade
• The average height of the large balloons, like our pal Snoopy, is roughly six stories.

• The ground-based balloon handlers must weigh at least 125 pounds.

• For many year's, Macy's promoted the parade with detailed, full-page newspaper ads that sometimes even listed the scheduled balloons and floats.  

• Until 2011, the floats and balloons were built in a former Tootsie Roll factory in Hoboken, New Jersey. The parade construction facility then moved to a larger warehouse in Carlstadt, also in New Jersey. 

• During the very early hours of parade day, everything travels through the Lincoln Tunnel, to get to the parade’s starting point in Manhattan. Once there, the balloons are inflated with a mix of helium and outside air, just a few hours before the parade begins.

• These days, roughly 2 million spectators line the streets of Manhattan, to view the parade. The event lasts approximately three hours, and covers two and a half miles.

January 30, 2016

ABC to show two Peanuts Valentine's Day specials on Friday, February 12, 2016

The old and new double-feature of Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (1975) and A Charlie Brown Valentine (2002) will be shown on ABC on Friday, February 12, 2016 from 8 - 9 PM (Eastern/Pacific).

January 13, 2016

Limited edition Snoopy Come Home prints from Dark Hall Mansion

Our best of buddies Dark Hall Mansion are getting it together to show they have fundamental-print-dependability with their first Peanuts print of 2016, an outstanding rendering for Snoopy Come Home, the gang's second theatrical outing in 1972.

Returning artist Tom Whalen has created an image full of scenes from the movie using an appealing symmetrical composition, as he did in his A Boy Named Charlie Brown print from last year, to cover Snoopy's journey from home, to Lila's hospital, back home again.

The print will be available in four editions: a standard edition; a variant edition with a different color scheme; and very limited foil editions of each color scheme.  They go on sale very soon - Friday, January 15, 2016 - so be ready to samba over to Dark Hall Mansion's store.

Standard edition (click to enlarge)
Variant edition (click to enlarge)
These officially licensed editions will measure 18" x 24", are screen printed, and hand-numbered.

The standard edition will be limited to 280 prints, the variant edition will be limited to 50 prints, and the foil editions limited to just 10 prints of each color palette.

The prices will be as follows:

Standard: $65
Variant: $100
Foil (Standard): $150
Foil (Variant): $150

The Snoopy Come Home prints go on sale Friday, January 15, 2016 at 9:30 AM Pacific time at Dark Hall Mansion's webstore.

Visit Dark Hall Mansion's Facebook page and their blog for more information, larger pictures of the artwork, and behind-the-scenes photos.

December 13, 2015

Dark Hall Mansion's A Charlie Brown Christmas limited edition prints for 2015

Our friends at Dark Hall Mansion haven't forgotten that it's the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas - they're marking the event by bringing us their yearly gift of a limited edition print based on the first Peanuts television special.

The exuberant art by Tom Doyle & Ridge Rooms (who also created one of this year's It's the Great Pumpkin prints) melds elements of the show's opening scene with the gang skating together, the closing scene of Charlie Brown's suprisingly festive tree, and a few iconic images from in between to create a new piece celebrating the show's long history.

The new Christmas print will be available in a standard edition, a variant edition with silver metallic ink highlights, and a small glow-in-the-dark edition.

Standard Edition (click to enlarge)
Variant Edition (click to enlarge)
Glow-in-the-Dark Edition (click to enlarge)

These officially licensed editions will be screen printed and hand numbered.

The prices and print run sizes for the 2015 A Charlie Brown Christmas prints will be as follows:

Standard Edition of 280 - $65
Variant Edition of 65 - $100
Glow-in-the-Dark (GID) Edition of 35 - $150

All editions go on sale Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 9:30 AM Pacific time at Dark Hall Mansion's webstore. They're usually fast sellers, so be ready to act when they go on sale!

Visit Dark Hall Mansion's Facebook page and their blog for more information, larger pictures of the artwork, and behind-the-scenes photos.

December 11, 2015

I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown broadcast moved to December 15

I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown has a new broadcast date - it will now be shown Tuesday, December 15, 2015 from 9 - 10 PM (Eastern/Pacific) on ABC.

Why the change?  It's because ABC will be showing a Democratic presidential primary debate on December 19, the originally announced show date for I Want a Dog for Christmas.

(While there is a Republican candidate debate on the 15th, it is being shown on CNN only - so ABC has decided that the 15th is an okay time to show I Want a Dog for Christmas, even though that may be an inconvenience to viewers who want to watch both.)

Thanks to reader Amy M for bringing this to my attention.

And remember, if you missed A Charlie Brown Christmas or the new retrospective special It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown, both will be broadcast again on Thursday, December 24 from 8 - 10 PM (Eastern/Pacific).  Or you can watch them online at ABC.com:

A Charlie Brown Christmas
It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown

November 26, 2015

A classic Peanuts Christmas countdown on FiveCentsPlease.org for 2015

Christmas is coming, and so is FiveCentsPlease.org's tradition of counting down to the Big Day with the Peanuts gang. Starting Friday, November 27 and continuing every day through December 25, our home page will feature a different, seasonally themed single panel.

As we have for the past several years, we've chosen a countdown from the archives in order to continue this tradition.  This holiday season we'll be featuring the panels from 1998 for your enjoyment.

Please join us on our home page each day - we hope the Christmas countdown panels will bring you a little extra daily cheer!

November 23, 2015

ABC celebrates the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas on November 30 & December 24

It's been 50 years since the classic holiday special A Charlie Brown Christmas debuted, and ABC is commemorating the event with a new hour-long retrospective special, It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown, airing from 8 - 9 PM (Eastern/Pacific) on both Monday, November 30 and again on Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24.

Each evening, the uncut original 1965 special will air immediately following the retrospective, from 9 - 10 PM (the rest of that hour will be filled out, as usual, by Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales).

It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown will be hosted by Kristen Bell and produced by Lee Mendelson, who produced the classic special 50 years ago. According to the press release, the show will feature "spectacular live performances, from the memorable music of Vince Guaraldi, to Kristen Chenoweth singing 'Happiness' from the Peanuts Broadway hit 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown,' and a performance from Matthew Morrison of an original song, 'Just Like Me.' Other musical guests set to perform classic songs are Sarah McLachlan, Boyz II Men, Pentatonix, David Benoit and The All-American Boys Chorus." There will also be "Hollywood notables reminiscing about their most treasured A Charlie Brown Christmas moments."

So tune in one or both nights for two hours of Christmas memories with the Peanuts gang!

Both shows are available to watch via online streaming at ABC.com:

It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown
A Charlie Brown Christmas



Also this holiday season, ABC will show I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 from 9 - 10 PM, and Happy New Year, Charlie Brown together with She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown on Monday, December 28, 2015 from 8 - 9 PM (all times Eastern/Pacific).


Here's the full upcoming schedule of Peanuts TV appearances on ABC (all times Eastern/Pacific):

Mon Nov 30 8-9 PM  It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown
Mon Nov 30 9-10 PM A Charlie Brown Christmas
                   + Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales
Tue Dec 15 9-10 PM I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown
Thu Dec 24 8-9 PM  It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown
Thu Dec 24 9-10 PM A Charlie Brown Christmas
                   + Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales
Mon Dec 28 8-9 PM  Happy New Year, Charlie Brown
                   + She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown


(UPDATED: The broadcast date & time for I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown was changed to the 15th from the originally announced date of the 19th, because ABC will be showing a Democratic presidential primary debate on the 19th.  Thanks for pointing this out, Amy M!)

November 20, 2015

New Peanuts float debuts, Snoopy balloon returns in 2015 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade

Look for Peanuts characters both in the air and on the ground in this year's 89th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

A returning favorite, the Snoopy and Woodstock balloon will make its third consecutive appearance sailing above the crowds - and the 39th time overall a Snoopy balloon has appeared in the parade, starting with the first appearance in 1968.

Meanwhile, down below on the road, a new "Snoopy's Doghouse" float will celebrate the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas.  The float will feature elements from the classic television special, including Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree and Snoopy’s prize-winning decorated doghouse, along with several of the Peanuts characters themselves.

Preview of the new float. Photo courtesy of Mitsu Yasukawa/NorthJersey.com

(A Peanuts-themed float has appeared at least once before in the parade; it also featured Snoopy's doghouse, but this is a completely new float.)

If you can't be in New York City in person, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be televised from 9 AM - Noon on Thursday, November 26, 2015 on NBC. (All time zones; the Macy's Parade broadcast starts at 9 AM, regardless of which time zone you're in.)



The parade balloon and float aren't the end of Macy's celebration of Peanuts in 2015; this year, the store's traditional holiday window displays will feature a Charlie Brown Christmas theme.  According to the company's press release, "the Broadway windows at Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square in New York City will debut incredible animated scenes from the iconic television special [...] additionally, A Charlie Brown Christmas is the theme that will decorate the holiday windows at Macy’s downtown stores in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C."  So you might want check it out if you live near one of those locations!

You can see a preview of the NYC windows and a peek at how they were made in this video from USA Today.

November 15, 2015

Correction: ABC to show A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Warm up the popcorn maker so it's ready on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 (note corrected date) for ABC's annual broadcast of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, together with This is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers, from 8 - 9 PM (Eastern/Pacific).

(The advance information I received, and passed on in my previous post, saying the special would air November 25 turned out to be wrong.  Tuesday November 24 is the officially announced, and correct, date.  I apologize for the confusion and for sending out incorrect information.)

November 6, 2015

The Peanuts Movie opens today...

...and you'll want to get your tickets early; all indications point to a smash opening weekend.

Do make a point of finding a theater showing it in 3D; this marvelous film makes excellent use of that third dimension.

As it happens, our tireless staff of 5CP researchers includes a full-time film critic, whose review will appear later today in his daily Northern California newspaper. But you can read it immediately.

(He kinda-sorta liked the movie. Just a little!)

October 27, 2015

Snoopy Becomes a Star (Again!)

Charles M. Schulz’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame soon will have an equally prestigious companion.

Our favorite beagle, Snoopy, will be honored with his own star, which will be unveiled during a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. (PST) Monday, Nov. 2. The event will be streamed live at the link below.

Snoopy himself — and longtime Peanuts Collector Club members know what that means — will be on hand to acknowledge this honor in his own inimitable way. He’ll be joined by our very own Craig Schulz, co-writer and co-producer of The Peanuts Movie, scheduled to hit theaters nationwide on Friday, Nov. 6.

Paul Feig, another of the film’s producers, will give a short talk.

The dedication of the world-famous beagle’s own star — the 2,563rd star along the Hollywood Walk of Fame — will take place at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard.

What will Snoopy wear?  A tuxedo, of course!

Additional details are available at this Walk of Fame site.

October 21, 2015

Dark Hall Mansion's It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown limited edition prints for 2015

While Linus may wait in vain for the Great Pumpkin each year, fans of Dark Hall Mansion's Peanuts art prints have much better luck - for the fifth year in a row, they're back with two new limited edition designs based on the TV special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, just in time for Halloween 2015.

Note that these prints go on sale Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM Pacific time - less than 24 hours after this is posted - so if you're interested, be ready to head over to Dark Hall Mansion's webstore as soon as possible after that time.

First, there's a moody piece by Tom Doyle & Ridge Rooms, showing the aftermath of the evening. This print will be available in a standard edition, a variant edition with silver metallic ink highlights, and a small glow-in-the-dark edition.  As a bonus, all editions will be signed by artist Tom Doyle.

The second print, by Australian artist Florey, focuses on the Halloween party scene from the show. This print will be available in a standard edition and a variant edition with a somewhat different color scheme.

Tom Doyle & Ridge Room Standard Edition
(click to enlarge)

Tom Doyle & Ridge Room Variant Edition
(click to enlarge)

Tom Doyle & Ridge Room Glow-in-the-Dark Edition
(click to enlarge)

Florey Standard Edition (click to enlarge)

Florey Variant Edition (click to enlarge)

All these officially licensed editions will measure 18" x 24"; Tim Doyle & Ridge Room's editions will be screen printed and Florey's editions will be giclee printed.

The prices and print run sizes for the 2015 It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown prints will be as follows:

Tim Doyle & Ridge Room Standard Edition of 280 - $65
Tim Doyle & Ridge Room Variant Edition of 50 - $100
Tim Doyle & Ridge Room Glow-in-the-Dark (GID) Edition of 25 - $125

Florey Standard Edition of 280 - $65
Florey Variant Edition of 50 - $100

All the prints go on sale Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM Pacific time at Dark Hall Mansion's webstore. They're usually fast sellers, so be ready to act when they go on sale!

Visit Dark Hall Mansion's Facebook page and their blog for more information, larger pictures of the artwork, and behind-the-scenes photos.

October 18, 2015

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown broadcast update

Announcements from last week that both of this year's broadcasts of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on ABC would be edited have turned out to be incorrect.

In a new press release, ABC says that the full, original length version will be shown on Thursday, October 29, from 8:00 - 9:00 PM (Eastern/Pacific), accompanied by You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown.

So you may want to skip the first showing on the 20th and make plans to see the full show on the 29th!

October 13, 2015

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown to air October 20 & 29, 2015 on ABC

ABC will be showing It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown twice this month.

First it will be shown in a version edited to fit a half-hour timeslot on Tuesday, October 20 from 8:00 - 8:30 PM.

But the good news is the full, original length version will be broadcast on Thursday, October 29, from 8:00 - 9:00 PM (Eastern/Pacific), accompanied by You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown.

(Previous information that the second showing would also be edited turned out to be incorrect.)

July 17, 2015

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown is coming to DVD at last

On October 6, 2015, fans will finally be able to complete their collection of Peanuts theatrical movies on DVD, when Paramount Home Video will release the fourth and final classic Peanuts animated movie, Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown. In this 1980 film, Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, and Snoopy travel to France as exchange students, and encounter mystery, history, and humor (of course).  The film's main setting is based on the chateau that Charles Schulz was billeted at for six weeks in World War II.

This release was promised last year when Paramount announced the Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown DVD, but it didn't have a firm release date or details until now.

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown will be presented in 16:9 widescreen on the DVD, which will also include the movie's theatrical trailer and a new making-of featurette with new interviews with Jean Schulz, Lee Mendelson, and Steve Melendez (son of animator Bill Melendez). It's nice to see Paramount actually including a bonus feature!

While Paramount's press release touts that the film has been "digitally remastered in 4K," there will only be a DVD release - no Blu-ray release is planned. (A high-definition download is available from iTunes. Still, that's not the same as a real disc.)

The Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown DVD has a suggested retail price of $14.99, and can be pre-ordered now from Amazon and other retailers.



Warner Home Video has also announced a "new" Peanuts DVD for October, although it's less exciting, since all the shows have been released previously. The DVD is titled He's a Bully, Charlie Brown, and features that 2006 television special as its main feature, together with It's a Short Summer, Charlie Brown and The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show Episode 2: Snoopy - Team Manager as "bonus" episodes. There are no bonus features. The DVD is due out October 6, 2015, has a suggested retail price of $19.97 and is available for pre-order now.

(He's a Bully, Charlie Brown is also available on the You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown Deluxe Edition DVD; It's a Short Summer, Charlie Brown is available on the Peanuts 1960's Collection box set; and the Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show episode is available on the complete Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show DVD set. So if you have all those, you don't need this repackaging; and if you don't have them, it seems like they're better choices than this DVD.)