Peanuts Characters Series – Lucy van Pelt
LUCY VAN PELT
Oh, Charlie Browwwwn. I’ll hold the football and you kick it…
For years, that sing-songy lilt in Lucy’s voice as she tossed a football in the air, taunting our hero, has pretty much defined her character. Charlie Brown’s ultimate foil, Lucille “Lucy” Van Pelt made her first appearance as a toddler on March 3, 1952. By 1954, however, Schulz had aged her to be Charlie Brown’s contemporary and the two have been going at it ever since. Lucy plays right field on Charlie Brown’s baseball team. She has never caught a fly ball. Despite her brash, overbearing and sometimes all-too-honest observations, she does have a softer side. It was Lucy who actually said the now familiar phrase “Happiness is a warm puppy” in the April 4, 1960 comic strip.
“She genuinely likes Charlie Brown and cares about him,” observes director Steve Martino. “When she gives him advice at her psychiatric booth, she may do so in a funny way, but it’s coming from a place where she’s really trying to help him. She sees the world through her own filter and fully believes that is the only way to see the world.”
Lucy’s unique point of view, sense of humour and ability to cut to the chase are front and center in the film, and for some, it was a chance to rediscover just how funny she can be. “In researching the strip and exploring the characters, I had forgotten just how funny Lucy as a character really is,” says producer Michael Travers. “Her certainty that she’s always right and her ‘my way or the highway’ attitude, while being completely wrong, end up being some of the funniest moments in the film – Lucy just being Lucy.”
Charlie Brown and Snoopy aside, perhaps one of the most recognisable silhouettes of all the characters is the shape language Lucy’s hair. But keeping her iconic bob on model was a challenge.
The bob is always dominant on the opposite side to where she looks,” Martino explains.” We designed the objects of her hair so that when she goes from one Sparky view pose to another, the objects will move and snap in place to follow her eyeliner.”
Because of the sheer volume of hair on Lucy (and other characters such as Schroeder, Marcie and Peppermint Patty), the crew wanted to avoid the dreaded “helmet hair” look. Explains Job Campbell, fur supervisor, “We purposely added flyaway hairs on Lucy and other characters to not only avoid helmet hair, but to emphasize the Sparky line. These are messy kids.”