Charles Schultz’ Peanuts are hitting the web with a 20-episode original series from Warner Brothers released exclusively through iTunes. The series is releasing episodes two at a time, with the first two episodes available for free as a little hook to lure fans into the $7.99 season pass. (Two-episode bundles can be snatched up for $.99 a piece.) A day before Election Day, the series kicks off with few political comics — like a Linus/Charlie Brown campaign for class president where despite a sure lock on the election, the ticket collapses due to a fateful final speech.
Produced by Warner Premiere, the studio’s digital production company, the series is being released through Warner Bros. Digital Distribution and is being billed as the first fully animated series in the company’s Motion Comics digital content category. This summer the company rolled out motion comics of Superman, Batman: Mad Love and Watchmen also through iTunes, though none of them in fully animated form. Flash animation was handled by the award-winning Canadian animation outfit Studio B Productions, known for their animated series George of the Jungle and What About Mimi?
While all of the three to four minute episodes are original works, the story lines are pulled right from the old Peanuts comic strip which dates back to 1964 from the late Charles Schulz, who passed away in 2000. We’re told to expect short-from versions of the Great Pumpkin, A Christmas story, Charlie Brown’s baseball team, Charlie Brown’s first crush, Valentine’s Day, Snoopy survives a flood along with others.
The whole project is being overseen by the Schulz estate, and has the blessing of the family. “Our Motion Comics lineup continues to expand with the addition of the highly entertaining Peanuts series to our slate,” said Diane Nelson, President of Warner Premiere. “We’re proud to be the Studio selected by the Schulz family to take these classic strips and create all-new content for the next generation of Peanuts fans.”
This incarnation of the gang means new children’s voices for the timeless characters and even a fresh score from jazz composer Randall Crissman (Ozzy & Drix, Fatherhood).