Snoopy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Snuppy.
Snoopy
Peanuts character
First appearance October 4, 1950 (comic strip)
Last appearance February 13, 2000 (comic strip)
Voiced by Bill Melendez (1963–2008; vocal effects only)
Robert Towers (1985)
Cameron Clarke (1988-1989)
Daniel Davies (2008-2009)
Andy Beall (2011-present)
Information
Family Mother: Missy
Brothers: Spike, Andy, Olaf, Marbles
Sisters: Belle
Owner: Charlie Brown
Unknown Father
Lillian "Lila" Emmons Allcroft (previously)
Clara ("the annoying girl")
Peppermint Patty
Poochie (possibly before Lila)

Snoopy is a cartoon dog in the long-running comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. He is Charlie Brown's pet dog. The original drawings of Snoopy were inspired by Spike, one of Schulz's childhood dogs.[1][2]

Character[edit]

Snoopy, whose fictional birthday has been established as August 10, made his first appearance in the strip of October 4, 1950, two days after the strip premiered. He was first identified by name on November 10. Schulz was originally going to call him "Sniffy" (as described in the 25th anniversary book), until he discovered that name was used in a different comic strip. He changed it to "Snoopy" after remembering that his late mother Dena Schulz had commented that if their family were ever to acquire a third dog, it should be called Snoopy, an affectionate term in Norwegian (the actual term is "Snuppe").[3] There is an earlier reference to Snoopy's birthday which places the date as August 28 rather than August 10th; it can be seen in a cartoon strip dated August 28, 1951 where Charlie Brown and Violet are singing Happy Birthday to Snoopy and presenting him with a cake (The Complete Peanuts 1950-1954).

In earlier strips it is not clear to whom Snoopy belongs. For instance, in the February 2, 1951, strip, Charlie Brown accuses Snoopy of following him, only to be told by Patty that Snoopy isn't following Charlie Brown, but merely lives in the same direction.[4] Indeed many early strips show Snoopy interacting with Shermy (who is shown in one early strip running with Snoopy on his leash) and Patty without Charlie Brown, making Snoopy appear to belong to all of the neighborhood kids, similar to the dog Pete in the Our Gang comedies, who is everyone's dog. (Note: in days of yore, it was common for dogs to roam their local area and congregate with local children, and then return to their respective homes.) Later, Charlie Brown states that his parents bought Snoopy for him at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm, after another boy had dumped sand on him while playing in a sandbox.

Snoopy was a silent character for the first two years of his existence, but on March 16, 1952,[5] he verbalized his thoughts to readers for the first time in a thought balloon; Schulz would utilize this device for nearly all of the character's appearances in the strip thereafter. At first, Snoopy acted as a normal dog, and would only think in simple one-word phrases (such as "FOOD!"), but then became more articulate.

In addition to Snoopy's ability to "speak" his thoughts to the reader, many of the human characters in Peanuts have the uncanny knack of reading his thoughts and responding to them. In the animated Peanuts films and television specials, Snoopy's thoughts are not verbalized; his moods are instead conveyed through growls, sobs, laughter, and monosyllabic utterances such as "bleah," "hey," etc. as well as through pantomime. Unlike a regular dog, Snoopy is treated intelligently by other characters who incorporate him into the local baseball team, and so on despite his inability to speak (this anthropomorphic tendency increased as time went on).

The only exceptions are in the animated adaptations of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Snoopy!!! The Musical, in which Snoopy's thoughts are verbalized through voice overs (by Robert Towers and Cam Clarke, respectively). Animation producer Bill Meléndez voiced both Snoopy and (eventually) Woodstock in numerous television specials from 1965 to 2006. In Peanuts Motion Comics, Snoopy's thoughts appear onscreen as text in thought bubbles, without voice.

Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace

As the series progressed, Snoopy became a more human-like dog. His character is that of a dog who pretends to be a person (or who sometimes forgets he is a dog). In one Peanuts strip, Sally had to do a report on animals for school, and requested Snoopy's help. But Snoopy was reluctant. "How can I help?" he thought. "I don't know any animals."

For every time Snoopy vainly tries to write novels, his eternal opener on the typewriter "It was a dark and stormy night..." is taken from Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's 1830 novel Paul Clifford. Almost all his submissions are rejected by potential publishers, whose return letters get increasingly angrier until they eventually resort to rude dismissals and cruel jokes to attempt to prevent being bothered by Snoopy. The contrast between Snoopy's existence in a dream world and Charlie Brown's in the real world is part of the humor and philosophy of Peanuts (e.g., the Peanuts book title Life's a Dream, Charlie Brown).

Schulz summed up Snoopy's character in a 1997 interview: "He has to retreat into his fanciful world in order to survive. Otherwise, he leads kind of a dull, miserable life. I don't envy dogs the lives they have to live."[6]

His earliest impersonation was of a bird on August 9, 1951. Later (starting November 17, 1956), Snoopy engaged in dead-on imitations of Violet, a pelican, Lucy, a moose, Beethoven and Mickey Mouse (to which Charlie Brown responded, "Frightening, isn't it?"). He would also pretend to be other animals, including a snake, rhinoceros, lion, and vulture. But his eccentricities did not stop there.

The "normal" Snoopy

On June 28, 1957, Snoopy walked on his two hind legs like a human, for the first time. Snoopy also imagined himself within Walter Mitty-esque fantasy roles. Snoopy's fantasy roles are essentially the same, with Snoopy trying to perform the respective role of each one, and always failing in the end.

Siblings[edit]

Main article: Snoopy's siblings

Snoopy is usually depicted as having seven siblings, five of whom appear at some point in the strip: Andy, Belle, Marbles, Olaf, and Spike. Most often seen is Spike, who lives in the desert (near the real-life locale of Needles, California). Sharing Snoopy's penchant for a fantasy life, he is friends with saguaro cacti. Spike is very thin, wears a fedora and has long whiskers. (Spike was the name of one of Schulz's childhood pet dogs.)

Andy looks like a disheveled version of Snoopy. Olaf, who wears a fur cap, is round in both body and face. Marbles is the smartest in the group. He has spots on his fur (making him look somewhat like a Dalmatian), wears shoes, and considers some of Snoopy's behavior very odd. Belle, who looks like Snoopy with long eyelashes, is most notable in that there was a Belle stuffed animal available for many years.

Although Snoopy often mentions that he was one of eight puppies, the two other siblings never appeared in the comic strip. According to the animated special Snoopy's Reunion, they are named Molly and Rover. As mentioned above, they all played in a country/bluegrass band in that special, with Snoopy on the acoustic guitar.

Many years before his siblings appeared, Snoopy referred to himself as an "only dog" who had no brothers or sisters.

Like Snoopy, his siblings' thoughts are communicated via thought balloon.

Owner[edit]

Main article: Charlie Brown

Despite his history of conflicted loyalties and his occasionally disdainful attitude toward Charlie Brown (he can never remember Charlie Brown's name and thinks of him as "that round-headed kid"), Snoopy has shown himself steadfastly loyal to his current owner. He joined Charlie Brown in walking out of a game of Ha-Ha Herman when Peppermint Patty crudely insulted Charlie Brown (though she was unaware that Charlie Brown was within earshot). He also helped Charlie Brown recover his autographed baseball when a bully had taken it and was challenging Charlie Brown to fight him for it. In He's a Bully, Charlie Brown, he teaches Charlie Brown to play marbles so Charlie Brown can win back the marbles Rerun lost to a bully at camp, Joe Agate, who cheated him. When Charlie Brown has to stop dedicating himself to making Snoopy happy, Snoopy replies, "Don't worry about it. I was already happy."

Doghouse[edit]

In the early years of the strip, Snoopy's doghouse was typically seen from the front or front plus one side, with the standard arched doorway of a doghouse, and Snoopy's name arched over the door. Snoopy would sleep in the doorway.

On December 12, 1958, Snoopy slept on top of his doghouse, rather than inside it, for the first time. Thereafter, Snoopy was seldom seen to venture inside the doghouse, except to retrieve something, instead spending the bulk of his time sitting or lying on its gable roof. One strip ascribed Snoopy's ability to sleep there to his ears, which—like the feet of a perching bird – "lock" him to the top so that he doesn't fall. How his typewriter balances there (let alone other neighbourhood kids) is never explained.

At this point, the side view of the doghouse became standard in the strip, which allowed the imagination of Schulz to give additional uses to this element.

Despite Snoopy's tendency to stay outside in all weather (in some cases even allowing snow to accumulate on his supine body, or wearing a snorkel when it rains), a running gag established that the interior of Snoopy's doghouse was something extraordinary. It defied physics, being dramatically larger on the inside than the outside. Snoopy's doghouse had a carpeted foyer, a den, a library, a guest room, a stairway, a basement, a television, a bed (although he sleeps on the roof), a pool table, a ping-pong table, a shower, and an original Van Gogh. The first indication of the doghouse's unique layout occurred on January 31, 1954, when Charlie Brown was puzzled to see all his neighborhood friends crawling into it for a visit. The doghouse was destroyed several times over the years, being hit by a tree due to a chase over Linus's blanket (July 26, 1959), crushed by a large icicle (February 13, 1960), and finally, destroyed by fire (September 19, 1966; at the beginning of that year a fire damaged Schulz's studio). The doghouse also suffered damage from the particularly violent cat next door, World War II, who would swipe off a large portion of the doghouse, leaving a frightened Snoopy standing on the remaining strip on one foot (The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show). In each case the doghouse was soon rebuilt. Although individual items were lost in the fire, each replacement doghouse appears to have retained the spaciousness and opulence of its predecessor.

The interior was decorated with several pricey acquisitions including a painting by Van Gogh, first mentioned on February 29, 1964. After the fire destroyed the Van Gogh, it was replaced by an Andrew Wyeth. At various times the interior of Snoopy's doghouse also held a table tennis table, a mural (painted by Linus), a shower, a cedar closet, a grandfather clock, a postage meter and a whirlpool bath.

Features established in the television specials include a fine kitchen (A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving), and sound equipment (A Boy Named Charlie Brown). In It's Magic, Charlie Brown, Snoopy enters his dog house and the underground interior is depicted as spacious and well equipped for anything he needs.

The doghouse also serves as a prop for Snoopy, often imagined as a World War I "Sopwith Camel" fighter plane in one of his fantasies

In aviation and space[edit]

Statue at Kennedy Space Center. Now located in the Apollo/Saturn V building.
  • 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 named 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, as seen here[7] and here. Schulz also drew some special mission-related artwork for NASA , and several regular strips related to the mission; one showing Snoopy en route to the moon atop his doghouse with a fishbowl on his head for a space helmet; one where Snoopy is on the moon beating everyone else there, including "that stupid cat that lives next door"; one where Snoopy is returning to Earth, and explains to the audience, "You can tell I'm headed back because I'm pointed the other way"; and one where Charlie Brown consoles Snoopy about how the spacecraft named after him was left in lunar orbit. The strip that ran on July 21, 1969 – one day after the Apollo 11 lunar module Eagle landed on the moon – included a full moon in the background, with a black mark on it representing the module.[1]
  • 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.[8]
  • 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 United States 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 United States Air Force B-58 Hustler bomber, serial number 55-0665, which was modified to test a radar system.[9]
  • 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.
  • American insurance company MetLife has used Snoopy as their corporate mascot since the 1980s. Snoopy One, Snoopy Two and Snoopy J are three airships owned and operated by MetLife that provide aerial coverage of sporting events, and feature Snoopy as the World War I flying ace on their fuselage.[10]
  • Snoopy was the name of the Hercules W.2 used by the RAF's Meteorogical Research Flight.

Namesakes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schulz, Charles M. (1994). Around the world in 50 years: Charlie Brown's anniversary celebration. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-8362-1766-7. 
  2. ^ Snoopy, Charlie Brown et les autres. L'album de famille de Schulz. ISBN 978-2-7324-2681-5. 
  3. ^ Michaelis, David (2007). Schulz and Peanuts: a Biography. Harper. p. 220. 
  4. ^ The Complete Peanuts Volume 1
  5. ^ [source:http://www.gocomics.com/peanuts/1952/03/16 "March 16, 1952"]. 
  6. ^ Groth, Gary (December 1997). "Charles Schulz at 3 o'clock in the morning". The Comics Journal: 27 (flip). 
  7. ^ "Picture of Charlie Brown and Snoopy on Apollo 10". Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  8. ^ "Space Flight Awareness Awards: SFA Silver Snoopy". Space Flight Awareness, NASA website. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  9. ^ B-52s in the Desert
  10. ^ Airship Operations information for MetLife blimp
  11. ^ Frommer's Arizona and the Grand Canyon 2012 by Karl Samson, John Wiley & Sons, 2011, page 249, "...between uptown Sedona and the "Y". Although there's a bit of traffic noise here, the view of Snoopy Rock is hard to beat."
  12. ^ Black Wind by Clive Cussler, Penguin, 2006 edition, page 259, "Like its beagle namesake, Snoopy sniffed along..."
  13. ^ "Chapter 1: Into Snoopy's Nose", Prodigals: A Vietnam Story by Richard Taylor, Casemate Publishers, 2003, page 11, "He spat out the words, "Snoopy's Nose!" The reference was to a bend in a tributary that made a 280-degree loop resembling the comic-strip character Snoopy's nose. Everyone, Vietnamese and Americans, knew this hostile place by its lovable namesake."

External links[edit]