‘Peanuts’ Movie Sequel Canceled by Disney Shutdowns

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Charlie Brown in A Boy Named Charlie Brown

Credit: Cinema Center Films

Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts is one of the most iconic comic strips in world history, following the adventures of the sad sack child Charlie Brown and his gang of buddies since 1950. The most recent feature film starring the characters, The Peanuts Movie (2015), was a critical and commercial success, but despite that, Disney has blocked the production of a sequel.

Charlie Brown and Lucy Van Pelt with a football in The Peanuts Movie
Credit: Fox

‘The Peanuts Movie’ (2015)

The Peanuts Movie was the first feature-length theatrical Charlie Brown movie in decades, featuring Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp as the voice of the central character as well as Hadley Belle Miller, Francesca Angelucci Capaldi, Kristin Chenoweth, and via archival audio, Bill Melendez as the voice of Snoopy and Woodstock.

It also took a risky move and, rather than emulating the hand-drawn style of iconic specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966), switched to a computer-animated style produced by Blue Sky Studios.

The gang in The Peanuts Movie
Credit: Fox

It paid off. The Peanuts Movie grossed $246 million at the box office against a $99 million budget and was widely praised; it currently holds an impressive 87% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Despite that, it does not appear that there will be a new Peanuts movie anytime soon, and Disney is largely to blame.

Related: Charlie Brown No Longer Star of ‘Peanuts’ in New Trailer

Disney and ‘Charlie Brown’

The 2015 CGI Peanuts Movie was produced by Fox and its 20th Century Fox Animation subsidiary, Blue Sky Studios. The Walt Disney Company acquired both in 2019 and, despite the studio’s solid track record with CGI franchises like Ice Age and Rio, shut down Blue Sky in 2021.

Officially, Blue Sky Studios was shut down due to the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it is difficult not to see it within the context of Disney’s increasingly brutal cost-cutting efforts. Given that Disney is cutting whole departments at Marvel, shutting down original IP at Pixar, and doing everything it can to make gambling a central part of the company, what chance did Charlie Brown have?

The Future of ‘Charlie Brown’

Craig Schulz, son of the creator of the strip, is eager to see the franchise revived despite Disney having shuttered the studio that made the last Peanuts movie.

Related: Disney CEO Bob Iger Attempts to Retcon “Evil” Hollywood Strike Criticism

In a recent interview with Screen Rant, Schulz said, “Nothing is off the table, we’re always exploring different ideas and different things in this co-view series that we’ve done, which touched upon the environment, the love for teachers, Mother’s Day, and how it interacts with enough people. All those subjects are just really fun, and as you know, the Peanuts universe is sort of endless. There are so many great characters to work with, there’s so many great themes to work with that we explore everything, and I don’t know that a movie is off the table. I would like to see one come back, but keep your fingers crossed, we will see.”

peanuts-special-marcie
Credit: Apple TV+/WildBrain

If a new Peanuts movie might happen, the chances of it being at Disney are small. Fox only had a license to make one Charlie Brown movie at the time, with an option to renew, but given that its new parent company shut things down hard, it is not promising for the future of Charlie Brown.

Should Disney make a new Peanuts movie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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