Peanut’s Character Franklin Get’s Long Overdue Spotlight in New Special

It's been too long!

A new animated special puts a spotlight on Franklin Armstrong, the first Black character in the Peanuts comic strip, more than 50 years after he made his debut.

The Apple TV+ special “Snoopy Presents: Welcome Home, Franklin” explores the character’s origin as a young boy from a military family who likes baseball, space and listening to Stevie Wonder.

Franklin first appeared in a Peanuts comic in the summer of 1968, after Los Angeles school teacher Harriet Glickman wrote to Charles Schulz and urged him to integrate his comics. According to correspondence shared by the Schulz museum, Glickman believed Peanuts comics could help shape attitudes about race in America after the death of Martin Luther King Jr.  

In Franklin’s comic debut, he and Charlie Brown were shown playing on the beach together during a time when many beaches were still segregated. The new special nods to that scene and others in Franklin’s history.

In the new special, Franklin at first struggles to make friends with the Peanuts kids as the new kid in town, but over the course of the special he connects with Charlie Brown through a soap box derby.

“Snoopy Presents: Welcome Home, Franklin” is currently streaming on Apple TV+.