We aren’t sure whether Charlie Brown is scratching his round, bewildered head over this one, but that’s OK. As the hapless one might say in a moment of Shakespeare-quoting reflection, there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Japanese debut of Charles Schulz’s iconic cartoon gang, Sony Music Entertainment has just bought up a partial ownership share of the Peanuts brand. Per a report at Variety, the move gives Sony a 39 percent share, dropping the share of its majority owner — DHX Media — down to 41 percent. The Schulz family will continue to own 20 percent, according to the report.
Sony evidently has big plans for Peanuts as Japan gets set to mark a half century of the low-key adventures of Snoopy, Woodstock, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Schroeder, and all the rest. In the eight years since Sony Creative Products has represented Peanuts in the Japanese market, it’s already grown the franchise by a reported 200 percent.
The new deal will extend that current licensing and syndication partnership between the two majority owners while giving Sony a bigger piece of the pie as it preps new licensing deals to promote the 50th anniversary to Japanese Peanuts fans.
What it all means for Peanuts across the rest of the world, we aren’t sure, but as Sony rolls out any freshly packaged content, we’ll definitely keep you posted. All we ask is that the Little Red-Haired Girl remains mysteriously unnamed... and that nobody ever, ever messes with Miss Othmar’s classic wah-wah teacher voice.