Thursday, December 09, 2021

Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne

Like a lot of people, Lucy had a Charlie Brown kind of New Year’s last year. This year, her Christmas is not panning out either. Lucy Van Pelt is not the sort of person you want to disappoint, so Linus and Charlie Brown agree to help make her New Year’s Eve party an unforgettable bash. Yet, her bossiness keeps getting in the way in Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne (directed by Clay Kaytis), the first new Peanuts holiday special in ten years, which premieres tomorrow on Apple TV+.

It is December, but we end up skipping over Christmas, after Grandma Van Pelt calls to say she can’t come this year. Linus is a little relieved, but Lucy is very disappointed. To cheer herself up, she decides to throw herself a New Year’s party. Naturally, she assigns everyone a job to do, but they wouldn’t mind, if she would just let them do things their ways.

Meanwhile, Snoopy’s entire litter is visiting for the holidays, including big lovable Olaf and his sister Belle. Crusty Spike wants to finally get a picture of them all together, but his efforts are constantly frustrated.

Evidently, Apple’s
Peanuts originals must all use Snoopy rather than Charlie Brown in the title. The “Snoopy Presents” makes him sound like a celebrity executive producer, but this is probably the best of the Apple-produced Peanuts programming to date. Kaytis and co-writers Alex Galatis and Scott Montgomery rekindle the spirit of the eternal Peanuts classics, even though they give Lucy some vulnerability and sentimentality that we have never seen from her before. (Seriously, she is the girl with the football, remember?)

Regardless, Linus and Charlie Brown express wisdom beyond their years, while Snoopy and his siblings are quite an unruly handful. Maybe Woodstock gets a bit short-changed for screen-time in this special, but you can’t have everything. Jeff Morrow’s score still has a nice upbeat swing to it, but it still isn’t Vince Guaraldi (a totally unfair comparison fans will automatically make anyway).

In fact, for a
Peanuts special, For Auld Lang Syne hits all the right notes. It is soothing and endearing in all the right ways. It actually runs slightly over half-an-hour, a tight-feeling thirty-nine minutes, which rather shows the advantage of producing for streaming services. Highly recommended for fans and families, Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne premieres tomorrow (12/10) on Apple TV+.