Earlier this year, Apple snuck out its first Apple TV+ original in the form of Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10, a nine-minute animated short that was produced to commemorate the 1969 Apollo 10 recon mission to the moon.
The early-release short film was the result of a collaboration between NASA and Apple, both of which had partnered with DHX Media last year for the rights to produce new educational Peanuts specials to build enthusiasm for science and technology among a new generation of kids. The film was a light-hearted spoof of the Apollo 10 mission that imagined a secret life for the ever-adventurous Snoopy as a world-famous astronaut — a natural extension of his training as a World War I flying ace.
Unsurprisingly, it seems that this initial project was merely a teaser for a much bigger endeavour that will see the three organizations continuing their partnerships to produce an entire Snoopy in Space animated series — to be featured exclusively on Apple TV+. A one-minute trailer posted today on the official Snoopy YouTube channel provides a first look at the new series, while proudly announcing that it’s “Coming this fall to Apple TV+” — complete with an Apple logo at the end.
The timing for the release of the new trailer is undoubtedly connected to the upcoming anniversary of the famous Apollo 11 moon landing, and although Apple hasn’t posted the new Snoopy trailer on its own YouTube channel, it’s been promoting its other upcoming series, For All Mankind, with a new trailer and series of interviews that are directly tied to the Apollo 11 mission.
As Deadline reports, the series will follow Snoopy as he and the rest of the Peanuts gang go on a field trip to NASA, where the famous beagle and his sidekick Woodstock will be chosen for an elite mission into space, undergoing astronaut training and space travel while Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang handle things in mission control.
Apple, NASA, and Peanuts
Apple is actually the new kid on the block here; NASA has a long history with the Peanuts gang, going right back to even before the Apollo 10 mission in 1969. Following the popularity of A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965, NASA approached Peanuts creator Charles Schultz for permission to use Snoopy on the Agency’s safety materials, and in 1968 NASA even named an award after the legendary beagle; the “Silver Snoopy” was given to employees and contractors who demonstrated outstanding achievements in safety and mission success.
Further, when the Apollo 10 mission was being planned, the team of astronauts chose to name the lunar module “Snoopy,” as it was expected to “snoop around” the lunar surface, and so also dubbed the command module “Charlie Brown.”
Charles Schultz, the legendary creator of the Peanuts gang, considered it a huge honour for his characters to be featured by NASA, and although Canadian production house DHX Media acquired the controlling stake in the Peanuts franchise following Schultz’s death, alongside the Schultz family and Sony Music Entertainment, the company has remained true to Schultz’s vision. Last year, DHX Media and NASA signed a “Space Act Agreement,” renewing the relationship between the Space Agency and the Schultz wunderkinds to promote a passion for space exploration and science and technology subjects (STEM) among kids.
With Apple its own very strong focus on STEM subjects, it’s fair to say that its arrival as the third leg of the partnership was inevitable. Not only is this content a perfect fit for Apple’s slate of Apple TV+ children’s programming, but Apple also shares the same priorities and vision as both DHX Media and NASA.
Although the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing makes this the most timely topic for now, it seems very likely that Apple plans to extend its Peanuts partnership with DHX Media beyond astronaut Snoopy, with even more big things planned for the Peanuts gang.