CHICAGO (CBS) — The coal mine and the U-505 have some new competition at the Museum of Science and Industry, which is now also hosting “Charlie Brown and The Great Exhibit.”
WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Woodstock and the rest of the gang from Charles Schulz’s revolutionary comic strip “Peanuts” star in the new exhibit that opened Thursday.
Museum CEO David Mosena said the ultimate goal of the Charlie Brown exhibit – besides increasing Christmas visits – is to teach creativity and show where Schulz got his ideas for his iconic comic strip.
“It draws people during the holidays, but the most important thing is the ideas, and the creative process,” he said. “It doesn’t matter whether that’s applied to music, to drawing, to story-telling. It all relates back to invention and innovation.”
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody Reports
The exhibit features a giant piano, which kids play with their feet; a tour inside Snoopy’s dog house; a giant Charlie Brown statue; and a replica of the home office, where Schulz created more than 17,000 “Peanuts” strips in 50 years, until his death in 2000.
There are buttons to push, and noises to be made, arranged by temporary exhibits director Anne Rashford.
“You can play the piano, you can learn how a zoetrope works, you can play in Snoopy’s doghouse, you can dress up like Snoopy,” she said.
Newberry Math & Science Academy student Jacob said the 60-year-old cartoons remain relevant today.
“He did really good at illustrating it, making the people look of how they look right now, making it more realistic,” Jacob said.
Jacob said his favorite character is Woodstock, “because I like how he’s friends with Snoopy. I like how he flies. I’ve always dreamed to fly.”
His classmate Rodarius said his favorite character is Snoopy.
“I like how he runs, and I like how, when he gets stuff, he starts dancing,” Rodarius said.
The background sound at one part of the exhibit is Charlie Brown’s recurring agony as Lucy again removes the football before he can kick it.
The exhibit costs $5 for adults and $3 for kids, in addition to the Museum attendance fee.