First Black ‘Peanuts’ Character Franklin Gets His Own Movie and a New Seat at the Table

Snoopy Presents: Welcome Home, Franklin (Credit: Apple TV+)

Franklin is moving on up in the “Peanuts” world.

The comic strip’s first Black character steps into the spotlight with his first-ever TV special, premiering Feb. 16 on Apple TV+.

The special titled Snoopy Presents: Welcome Home, Franklin introduces audiences to Franklin’s origin story, as he moves to a new town.

With his military family always on the move, Franklin admits he sometimes struggles to fit in.

“Making new friends can be hard,” he says in the trailer.

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When he meets Charlie Brown, things start to look up. The two work together to build a car for the neighborhood soap box derby competition, and they develop a close bond.

Asked what kind of music he likes, Franklin expresses his love for “the godfather of soul, James Brown.”

“Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz added Franklin to the comic strip in July 1968, following the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Schulz made the decision to bring more diversity to “Peanuts” after a Los Angeles teacher wrote him a letter asking that he add a Black character, according to the Charles M. Schultz Museum.

Franklin proved popular with fans. But he landed in the center of controversy with the 1973 animated special, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, when he was seated across the table away from the rest of the gang. The scene sparked complaints about Franklin being segregated from the other “Peanuts” characters.

In this new special, he gets invited to take a seat on the other side of the table next to his friends.

“Hey Franklin, we saved you a seat over here,” Charlie Brown tells him.

The special is directed by Raymond S. Persi (The Simpsons, Wreck-It-Ralph) and co-written by Robb Armstrong (Jump Start) along with Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz and Cornelius Uliano, from an original story by Armstrong and Scott Montgomery.

Snoopy Presents: Welcome Home, Franklin premieres Friday, Feb. 16 on Apple TV+

Watch the trailer for the special below: