AUSTIN (KXAN) — Even though the 1965 animated TV special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” features the beloved Charlie Brown learning that the true meaning of Christmas isn’t about consumerism, did you know the iconic short was created by a corporation?
In light of the huge popularity of the “Peanuts” comic strip in the 1960s, soda giant Coca-Cola commissioned and sponsored the special, HuffPo reports. And it originally featured some nods to the company.
The footage, previously lost to time, resurfaced in recent years and features an extended scene at the beginning and a graphic at the end, where the screen reads: “Merry Christmas from the people who bottle Coca-Cola.”
Take a look below:
During the 50s and 60s, corporations commonly sponsored TV programs. Cigarette company Philip Morris was prominently featured in “I Love Lucy” — Winston cigarettes also made their way into “The Flintstones!”
The Coca-Cola inclusions are now removed from the special — which has aired every year since it debuted. One scene near the beginning shows the thumb-sucking Linus being launched into the air and into a Coca-Cola sponsored sign.
The scene is now cut short and viewers are left to wonder where Linus went. Check it out below.
Over 50 years since its debut, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is now considered a holiday classic. In 1966, it won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program and a Peabody. Its success was followed by numerous other Christmas-themed specials hoping to capitalize on similar magic.