This is a big week for Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the “Peanuts” gang that was late Santa Rosa cartoonist Charles Schulz’s enduring gift to the world.
Postage stamps inspired by the 50-year-old TV special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” will be dedicated at the Schulz Museum on Thursday.
And at the museum on Saturday, makers of the new, full-length “Peanuts” movie will talk about the painstaking and thoroughly fascinating process of transforming Schulz’s two-dimensional drawings into 3-D animated film characters.
First, the stamps: The U.S. Postal Service has created 10 “Forever” stamps with scenes from “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which first aired on ABC in 1965 and remains a treasured holiday tradition. The 25-minute feature marked the first time the characters in the Peanuts comic strip appeared in an animated cartoon.
The new first-class stamps will go on sale at 8 a.m. at the Schulz Museum, located across Santa Rosa’s Hardies Lane from the ice arena that Sparky Schulz built. At about 9 a.m., the stamp will be officially dedicated in a first-day-of-issue ceremony.
All lovers of “Peanuts” are invited.
Lee Mendelson, who worked with Schulz to produce “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and the gang’s subsequent TV specials, has said he expects to be there. Also set to attend are Postmaster General Megan Brennan and Jeannie Schulz.
The timing of Thursday’s stamp dedication honors the debut of Sparky Schulz’s comic strip in seven newspapers on Oct. 2, 1950. The world’s foremost cartoonist had drawn “Peanuts” for 50 years when he died of cancer at his Santa Rosa home on February 12, 2000.
AS FOR THE MOVIE: Schulz’s son Craig and grandson Bryan, both Santa Rosans, wrote the script with Cornelius Uliano, who wasn’t long out of film school when he sold his first script to Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks.
“The Peanuts Movie,? which was produced by Blue Sky Studios and will be distributed by Twentieth Century Fox, will appear in theaters on Nov. 6.
At 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Schulz Museum, several of the key people in the project will speak about the creative challenges involved in faithfully converting Schulz’s simple ink-pen funnies characters to 3-D, computer-generated film characters.
Among the intricacies: In the comics, Snoopy’s eyes often appear on the same side of his face. And a close examination reveals that, in the strip, the positions of Charlie Brown’s eyes, nose and ears are quite different when he’s looking straight forward than when he’s in profile.
Animators at Blue Sky spent an enormous amount of time analyzing every pen stroke in Schulz’s drawings in order to then translate his characters and his artistic devices — how he communicated emotions — as truly as possible to the big screen.
Scheduled to speak at the museum on Saturday are the film’s director, Steve Martino, Producer Michael Travers, Animation Supervisor Nick Bruno, Vice President of Fox Animation Ralph Millero and storyboard artist Karen Disher.
Admission is free. If the seats fill up quickly, well, that’s show business.
Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @CJSPD.
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