Next Friday (Nov. 5), The Peanuts Movie hits theaters—with famous jazz musician Trombone Shorty in an unusual cameo role. He’s not on the soundtrack for the album: he actually plays the voices for the adult characters in the movie. The “wah wah” that’s heard whenever the young characters encounter an adult will be replaced by Trombone Shorty’s, well, trombone.
Fans of the movie can even translate their own text into the famous Peanuts “adult” voice thanks to a “Wah Wah Machine” created by Fox. Type a message, and the tones of Trombone Shorty will take you back to what it felt like to be a kid stuck in a classroom when it’s nice out.
Charles M. Schulz, creator of the original Peanuts comic strip that ran for almost 50 years, grew up in St. Paul, which helped inspire the setting of his famous comic. Mayor Chris Coleman recently proclaimed Oct. 20 Charles Schulz Day in the City of St. Paul; Schulz’s son Craig, a writer and producer for The Peanuts Movie, was there with Coleman for the proclamation.
The distinctive muted trombone sound, which has represented adults’ voices in animated Peanuts cartoons since the first holiday specials, was the result of producer Lee Mendelson asking composer Vince Guaraldi what musical instrument could fill in for the sound of a person talking. Guaraldi suggested the trombone, and Dean Hubbard became the first “voice” of the adults in Peanuts.
Mackenzie Martin is a podcast enthusiast and senior at Macalester College, where she majors in media & cultural studies.