Are you going to die?
Good grief, Charlie Brown, what kind of question is that?!
It's okay... I asked the doctors the same question.
A half-hour Peanuts
special that first aired on CBS
on March 16, 1990
. Some time before, the American Cancer Society
had approached Charles M. Schulz
and Bill Melendez
's production crew to make an animated short
for children and families suffering from leukemia
. They responded by creating one of the deepest specials in the franchise's history.
The plot is set into motion when Janice, a girl in Charlie Brown's class, starts noticing that she bruises easily, and comes down with a high fever in class one day. She ends up going to the hospital. Charlie Brown and Linus Van Pelt (who has the hots for Janice, in a puppy love sorta way) go to visit her, but when they find her in the hospital, they discover that she has cancer.
Snoopy saves the day with a bit of comic relief, continuing the world famous surgeon schtick he began to develop in Snoopy Come Home. But his moments pale in comparison to the rest of the gang's.
Through Janice, we learn about chemotherapy and bone marrow testing and all the other things that go on in cancer wards. When she comes home from the hospital and goes back to school, we learn that cancer doesn't have to kill. When Linus stands up to the bully making fun of her bald head, we learn that it doesn't have to end someone's life, either. At the end, when Janice gets her hair back, we learn that the fight with cancer can truly be won.
It is truly a film that every survivor, or anyone trying to survive, should see at least once.
The video was also made into a book with gorgeous watercolor illustrations and a foreword by Paul Newman.