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The cover to the VHS release by Paramount Home Video.

It's the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie Brown is the thirty-second television special based on the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. It originally aired on CBS on September 27, 1988. It is an unusual Peanuts special because it features a mixture of animation and live action and the main character is Snoopy's brother, Spike. There are brief appearances by Charlie Brown and Snoopy at the beginning of the special but no other characters from the Peanuts comic strip appear. The other main characters in the program are human adults.

The show is very much a Schulz family production. The script was co-written by Charles M. Schulz and his son, Monte. The title role of the young woman who drives a red truck was played by Schulz's daughter, Jill. Universal Pictures sound studio was used for dubbing.


A brief animated introduction shows Charlie Brown finding a letter for Snoopy in the mailbox. He tells him that it's from his brother, Spike, and proceeds to read it to him.

Spike describes his daily life in the desert, going for walks and learning French from his cassette. One day he sees a young woman driving an red truck. He waves at her. He thinks that she waves back but he is not sure. He waits in the same spot all day for her to return. When she does in the evening he waves again and this time he is certain that she waves back. This makes him very happy.

The next day. Spike waits in the same place to wave at the young woman. Her truck breaks down, She asks him if he can help and notices his on his cassette player. When she gets her truck started again she takes him with her.

It is revealed that the woman's name is Jenny. She works as an aerobics instructor but dreams of being a professional jazz dancer. She takes Spike to a diner, where the owner, Molly, already knows him because he often comes in for root beer, before taking him home.

TV Guide advertisement for the special.

Jenny's boyfriend Jeff, who works in the recording industry in Los Angeles, arrives at her house. Both he and Spike appear to be somewhat jealous of each other. He announces to her that he has arranged for an audition for her. She is not happy about it because it clashes with the aerobics class she is teaching and he has organized it without consulting her first.

Spike, Jenny, Jeff, and Molly go to a roller rink together. Jenny skates with Spike but accidentally throws him out the back door. Finding himself locked out, he heads back into the desert and finds himself dodging gunshots by some men hunting coyotes.

Jenny and Jeff drive into the desert looking for Spike. They hear gunfire and manage to rescue him from the coyote hunters. They ask him to come home with them but he prefers to stay in the desert instead.

Jeff agrees that he was wrong to arrange an audition for Jenny without telling her about it beforehand and decides he will let her pursue her career in her own way.

Critical reaction

The show was not well received, largely because it was unfavorably compared to the recently released Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which also mixed animation with live action. Schulz was worried that people would think he had copied the idea from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He asked his daughter, Jill, to stress during publicity for the show that he had come up with the idea long before Who Framed Roger Rabbit was released.

A review by John J. O'Connor from the New York Times on September 27 1988, the day the special was first shown, says that the comparison to Who Framed Roger Rabbit is superficial because; "the interaction between the actors and the characters is not terribly convincing, and the superimposing of the cartoon figures on real settings is generally clumsy." Of the show's plot, O'Connor says, "The problem with 'Red Truck' is that the story goes nowhere."


Snoopy appears in the animated introduction but is silent.


It's the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie Brown and What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown are the only Peanuts TV specials in which Linus does not appear. The only regular cast members who appear in both It's the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie Brown and What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown are Charlie Brown and Snoopy

External links

Peanuts Animated Features
TV Specials A Charlie Brown ChristmasCharlie Brown's All-StarsIt's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie BrownYou're in Love, Charlie BrownHe's Your Dog, Charlie BrownIt Was a Short Summer, Charlie BrownPlay It Again, Charlie BrownYou're Not Elected, Charlie BrownThere's No Time for Love, Charlie BrownA Charlie Brown ThanksgivingIt's a Mystery, Charlie BrownIt's the Easter Beagle, Charlie BrownBe My Valentine, Charlie BrownYou're a Good Sport, Charlie BrownIt's Arbor Day, Charlie BrownIt's Your First Kiss, Charlie BrownWhat a Nightmare, Charlie BrownYou're the Greatest, Charlie BrownShe's a Good Skate, Charlie BrownLife Is a Circus, Charlie BrownIt's Magic, Charlie BrownSomeday You'll Find Her, Charlie BrownA Charlie Brown CelebrationIs This Goodbye, Charlie Brown?It's an Adventure, Charlie BrownWhat Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?It's Flashbeagle, Charlie BrownSnoopy's Getting Married, Charlie BrownYou're a Good Man, Charlie BrownHappy New Year, Charlie Brown!Snoopy!!! The MusicalIt's the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie BrownWhy, Charlie Brown, Why?Snoopy's ReunionIt's Spring Training, Charlie BrownIt's Christmastime Again, Charlie BrownYou're in the Super Bowl, Charlie BrownIt Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie BrownIt's the Pied Piper, Charlie BrownA Charlie Brown ValentineCharlie Brown's Christmas TalesLucy Must Be Traded, Charlie BrownI Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie BrownHe's a Bully, Charlie BrownHappiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie BrownSnoopy Presents: For Auld Lang SyneSnoopy Presents: It's the Small Things, Charlie BrownSnoopy Presents: To Mom (and Dad), With LoveSnoopy Presents: Lucy's School
Movies A Boy Named Charlie BrownSnoopy, Come HomeRace for Your Life, Charlie BrownBon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!)The Peanuts Movie
The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show "Snoopy's Cat Fight" • "Snoopy: Team Manager" • "Linus and Lucy" • "Lucy vs. the World" • "Linus' Security Blanket" • "Snoopy: Man's Best Friend" • "Snoopy the Psychiatrist" • "You Can't Win, Charlie Brown" • "The Lost Ballpark" • "Snoopy's Football Career" • "Chaos in the Classroom" • "It's That Team Spirit, Charlie Brown" • "Lucy Loves Schroeder" • "Snoopy and the Giant" • "Snoopy's Brother Spike" • "Snoopy's Robot" • "Peppermint Patty's School Days" • "Sally's Sweet Babboo"
This Is America, Charlie Brown "The Mayflower Voyagers" • "The Birth of the Constitution" • "The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk" • "The NASA Space Station" • "The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad" • "The Great Inventors" • "The Smithsonian and the Presidency" • "The Music and Heroes of America"
Snoopy in Space "The Application" • "Training" • "The Graduation" • "Welcome to the ISS" • "I Never Promised You a Space Garden" • "Space Sleepwalking" • "The Journey on Orion" • "Crater Crash" • "Searching for Moon Rocks" • "You're a Good Moon, Charlie Brown" • "The Next Mission" • "Mars or Bust"
Others Peanuts (2014 TV series) • Peanuts Motion ComicsThe Snoopy Show