‘My dad always said Snoopy could take over’

The Peanuts gang is back with a new special focusing on Marcie, otherwise known as tomboyish Peppermint Patty’s quiet sidekick.

“Snoopy Presents: One-of-a-Kind Marcie,” premiering Aug. 18 on AppleTV+, a 40-minute animated special, trains the spotlight, for the first time, directly on Marcie (Arianna McDonald), who famously refers to Peppermint Patty (Lexi Perry) as “sir.”

“We liked the idea of exploring different characters,” executive producer Craig Schulz, 70, the son of the late Peanuts creator Charles M. Schultz, told The Post. 

“We thought the fan base would want to know more about them. Marcie came up, and we thought ‘What would be the story for Marcie?’ I threw out the movie, ‘Hidden Figures,’” he said. “Marcie is a classic example of a hidden figure. The movie was about people beyond the Apollo program. In Marcie’s case, she’s the hidden figure behind the success of Peppermint Patty.

“Marcie has all sorts of great attributes — she just doesn’t want to be recognized for them, and wants to stay out of the spotlight.” 

Peppermint Patty golfing with Marcie as her caddie.
Courtesy of Apple

Charlie Brown and Marcie in a classroom.
Marcie with Charlie Brown.
Courtesy of Apple

Marcie is seen in the special assisting Peppermint Patty as her caddie during a golf championship. At school, Marcie unexpectedly gets nominated for class president, and starts to help with preventing traffic jams in the hallways — and making sure that everybody gets more slices of pizza at lunch. 

As an introvert, however, she struggles with the new attention … but eventually figures out how to be a leader in her own way. 

“We feel we’ve locked the characters in the timeframe between the late 1960s and the 1980s,” Schulz said. “And so we never let them get out of that universe, with cell phones or iPads or any of that stuff.

“Other than that, my objective has always been to honor my dad’s legacy,” he said. “I consider myself the gatekeeper of the Peanuts universe, and my son [fellow producer Bryan Schulz] has followed that path.” 

Marcie sitting at Lucy's psychiatric booth.
Marcie getting advice from Lucy.
Courtesy of Apple

Marcie  the cartoon floating above a crowd at school.
Marcie getting overwhelmed by the spotlight.
Courtesy of Apple

Violet, Marcie, and Patty.
Marcie (center) with her friends Violet and Patty.
Courtesy of Apple

Although the special is focused on Marcie, Snoopy and Charlie Brown (Etienne Kellici) still make appearances. 

“Snoopy is great comic relief,” director Raymond Persi told The Post. 

“So if you find the  right balance of when you sprinkle him in, it helps keep things from getting too melodramatic. You bring the levity at just the right time. And one of the things about Charlie Brown is that he’s kind of this moral compass for a lot of these characters. Marcie turns to him for advice and thoughts.” 

Director Raymond Persi smiling.
Director Raymond Persi.
Getty Images for Disney

The cartoon Marcie smiling.
Marcie gets the spotlight this time.
Courtesy of Apple

“My dad always said that Snoopy could take over the comic strip,” said Schulz. 

“That was in the back of our minds — everybody loves Snoopy, and wants to see Snoopy. So the key is, how do you balance it? We felt that each of these stories have a specific message to tell, and something you can learn from watching them with your children. We didn’t want Snoopy to ruin that messaging. So it was a matter of how do you balance the humor of Snoopy with the messages we want to convey?

“There were a lot of discussions of how to reign in Snoopy.”

Snoopy golfing.
Snoopy golfing with help from Woodstock.
Courtesy of Apple

Schulz said that there are more Peanuts specials coming down the pike that will focus on various other characters. 

“We’ve already come up with stories … we have a story for Pigpen, a story for Schroeder, a story for Sally,” said Schulz. 

“Whether those stories will hit the TV set, we don’t know. Franklin is coming out next year [and] it’s a great story. You’ll see that in 2024.” 

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