Charlie Brown Is Canonically Blond
Here in the real world, have you ever seen an almost-bald eight-year-old child with a single, pube-like strand of dark black hair jutting out of his forehead like the world’s most melancholy unicorn? No? Then why the hell did we never second-guess Charlie Brown’s bizarro hairline in Peanuts?
As it turns out, legendary cartoonist Charles Monroe “Sparky” Schulz never intended for his iconic character Charlie Brown to be interpreted as an alopecia patient fruitlessly clinging to his last curly lock. When The Peanuts Movie premiered in 2015 after almost a decade in development, many audience members recoiled at the uncanny cranium of its sleekly animated protagonist, but no one stopped to wonder, “If Charlie Brown isn’t supposed to look like this, how the hell is he supposed to look?”
Then, yesterday morning, Dreamworks animator Michael Berardini dropped a black-and-white bombshell that changed our perception of the funny page’s most popular eight-year-old over seven decades after his monochromatic debut: Charlie Brown isn’t supposed to be bald, he’s supposed to have a full head of blond hair. The many interpretations of the character in many colorful, animated projects have maintained his perfectly round, flesh-toned head because it would be too jarring for us to rethink a design choice that was made long before most newspapers started printing in color. My only remaining question is this — what’s Caillou’s excuse?
Now that we understand the canonical constraints under which numerous generations of Peanuts animators have toiled, it’s easier to forgive some of those attempts to modernize a Cold War-era character that turned out to be more nightmare fuel than a dream come true. However, we can’t excuse all of them — you owe us too many hours of sleep, Al Roker.