Dallas Children's Theater Blog

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DCT Did You Know? All About the Peanuts Gang and the timeless Nutcracker

How many people can say that they know as much about the Peanuts Gang as Charles Schulz? Have you ever been stifled about a question where the answer should seem obvious like the origins of The Nutcracker?  Who deserves to be the person in the know about these things?  You! That’s who! Well…matching up to the iconic creators, Charles Schulz or Peter Tchaikovsky, might be a stretch, but with these deets, you’ll be sitting pretty at a Peanuts- or nutcracker-themed trivia night for sure! Read on to learn eight random things about the Peanuts Gang and six need-to-know facts about the Nutcracker.

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All about A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS:

  • In all the comic strips (17,897 total), Charlie Brown only successfully kicks the football once. Charlie Brown loves to kick a football, but Lucy is always playing jokes on him. She generously offers to hold the football for him and then pulls it away at the last second every time! Once—just once—Charlie Brown manages to kick a ball that Schroeder held for him.1, 2
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas is the second longest-running Christmas special on US network television? The special first aired on December 9, 1965, one year after Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.3

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  • Linus’s blanket is a great toy and source of exercise for Snoopy. He likes to grab on to one of the corners of the blanket—and start running while poor Linus is holding on to the other end for dear life.2
  • Linus didn’t speak in the early years of the cartoon. He first appeared as Lucy’s blanket-wielding brother in 1952. Even though he didn’t speak until 1954, he still emerged as one of the more complex characters in the Peanuts Gang.4, 5
  • Charles Schulz’s lifelong ambition was to be a cartoonist. When he was 15, he published his first drawing: a picture of his dog. His black and white dog, Spike, was later the inspiration for Snoopy.6

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  • While it’s widely known that Beethoven is his idol, you may not believe that Schroeder thinks Beethoven was the first U.S. President. And that Beethoven’s birthday should be a national holiday.2
  • CBS executives didn’t love “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at first. They didn’t like that real children voiced the characters, or that religion was a major theme. The special went on to win an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program in 1966.1, 7
  • One day before his final Sunday comic strip aired, Charles Schulz passed away. It was his wish that no one else could take over the comic strip he’d drawn for nearly half a century. In all, there were 17,897 comic strips: 15,391 dailies and 2,506 Sunday strips.6
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All about THE NUTCRACKER:

  • The earliest known nutcrackers have been identified by archaeologists as pitted stones used to crack nuts between 4,000 and 8,000 years ago.8
  • According to Guinness World Records, the largest nutcracker measures 33 feet 1 inch high, and was made in Germany in 2008.8

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  • German legend states that nutcrackers bring good luck to your family and protect your home.8
  • Many GI’s who were stationed in Germany during World War II visited open air markets called “Kristkrinä!e Marktets.” They brought home nutcrackers as figures of power and protection to their families and loved ones.9, 10

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  • The first American production of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 1892 ballet The Nutcracker premiered in 1940. Its popularity was due in part to those same GI’s returning from the war with souvenirs in hand.10
  • In Leavenworth, Washington there is a Nutcracker Museum, which has more than 4,000 nutcracker figurines on display!11

So if you know any trivia aficionados, share this blog! And hey—maybe the two of you can make two dates: one for a trivia party and one to see these shows at DCT.

 

This holiday season, we are thankful that so many patrons have already purchased their tickets to see A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS and THE NUTCRACKER. In fact, so many have bought tickets that we are SOLD OUT! Stay tuned to our social media channels and subscribe to our e-newsletter so that you can be among the first to hear about next year’s holiday shows!

 

Charlie Brown Sources
1 – 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Charlie Brown on Huffington Post
2 – Meet the Peanuts Gang! With fun facts, trivia, comics, and more! by Charles M. Schulz
3 – A Charlie Brown Christmas Trivia on IMDb
4 – Good Grief! 18 Beloved Facts About ‘Peanuts’ on Mental Floss
5 – The Complete Peanuts 1953-1954 on Fantagraphics
6 – 9 Things You Might Not Know About “Peanuts” on History
7 – Emmys website

Nutcracker Sources
8 – Top 10 facts about The Nutcracker on The Daily Express
9 – The History of Nutcrackers on Magic of Nutcrackers
10 – Why Fancy Nutcrackers Don’t Actually Crack Nuts on National Geographic
11 – In a Nutshell A brief history of nutcrackers. On Slate

 

 

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