AskDefine | Define Marcie

Extensive Definition

Marcie is a bespectacled fictional character featured in Charles M. Schulz's comic strip Peanuts. She serves as comedic foil and best friend to tomboy Peppermint Patty, plays a supporting role in some of Snoopy's heroic fantasies, and displays a romantic interest in Charlie Brown.

History of the character

Marcie probably first made her appearance on the strip on June 18, 1968, even though she was not mentioned by name until October 11, 1971. Schulz refers to a bespectacled girl who was introduced on the earlier date as Clara, but she bore so much similarity with Marcie that it is believed he later merged the two personalities together. (However, Clara re-appeared in the strip in 1987, this time without glasses, possibly to avoid being confused with Marcie.)
Marcie's animated debut was on the 1973 special There's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown.
In the animated special You're In the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown, Marcie's surname is given as "Johnson", but Schulz never gave her a surname in the comic strip; therefore, Johnson is not considered to be her official name.http://www.peanutscollectorclub.com/peantfaq.txt
Originally, Marcie was portrayed as a bit dim-witted. For example, in It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown she makes several unsuccessful attempts at boiling eggs to make Easter eggs and then eats one without removing the shell first, to Peppermint Patty's great consternation. Later, she was portrayed as an overachiever (she once quipped that she had already chosen her college and enrolled her three children in preschool) and academically the brightest of the Peanuts cast. Even so, she is possibly the most believing and naïve of the gang. She apparently is under a great deal of pressure from her parents to excel in school, and in a story in 1990 sought refuge from her demanding parents at Charlie Brown's house and fell asleep on his couch.
Marcie may have been "aged" over the course of the strip. She first appeared as a named character in a sequence with Peppermint Patty at sleepaway camp; in that sequence, she first calls Peppermint Patty "sir" as a mark of respect for Patty's age and life experience. However, as Marcie joined the regular cast, she often appeared in the same class as Peppermint Patty, sitting in the desk behind her. This isn't necessarily a sign of Marcie's age - Charlie Brown also appeared in the same class as Linus, who is clearly younger. Marcie is smart, and she may have skipped a grade - or the academically troubled Peppermint Patty may have been left back a grade. Socially, she appears to be consistently younger than the more confident Peppermint Patty.
The first actor to do Marcie's voice in the TV specials was a boy, James Ahrens (son of lyricist Lynn Ahrens), from 1973 to 1977. Various others have played Marcie ever since. As with all of the Peanuts performers who were too young to read a script, director Bill Melendez sometimes had to speak the children's lines to them. Melendez (who has a distinct Mexican accent) has noted with amusement that some of the performers for Marcie imitated his reading so closely, they repeated his accented "Charlce" instead of "Charles."

Relationships with other characters

She is a close friend of Peppermint Patty (whom she always addresses as "Sir"), and, like Peppermint Patty, has an unrequited crush on Charlie Brown (whom she usually calls "Charles"), whom she once said that she loved and would be willing to marry if he asked her. Whereas Patty is more likely to flirt with Charlie Brown and play mind games with him, Marcie is more frank in her admissions of her feelings, and often asks Charlie Brown in plain language if he likes her. As he does with Patty, Charlie Brown often responds to Marcie's inquiries by trying to evade the issue, which more than once has made Marcie so angry that she kicked him in the shins in frustration. Marcie and Peppermint Patty also shared a crush on a boy named Pierre in the animated movie Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!). While she is typically unskilled at sports, she often acts as Patty's voice of reason, whom Patty typically ignores at her own risk. However, in It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown, she is not able to convince Peppermint Patty to keep reading A Tale of Two Cities. Instead, Peppermint Patty watches the movie, which she does not understand because of the commercials. Later, Marcie and Peppermint Patty see Handel's Messiah, where Marcie stands up on her chair to get a good view of the chorus, and her chair, which automatically goes up without anything on it, knocks her down. Peppermint Patty talks about how often Marcie embarrasses her.
Marcie also "dated" Snoopy when he was in character as World War I ace fighter pilot Roy Brown, and when he suffered the flu, she nursed him back to health - right around November 11, 1918, the date of the signing of the armistice that ended the War. In the later years of the strip, it was established that the "small French cafe" in which Snoopy the Flying Ace drinks root beer is in fact Marcie's house, and Marcie serves as waitress, serving Snoopy his root beers and doling out words of comfort and encouragement when needed. In a story in which Snoopy was an airline pilot, she served as flight attendant. This storyline, involving Schroeder as a passenger on "Ace Air Lines" on a flight to music camp, blurred the line of "fantasy" and "reality" within the strip and may or may not be considered "real".

Legacy

Marcie also bears a strong resemblance to tennis star Billie Jean King, a fact reinforced when Peppermint Patty, in a moment of exasperation, refers to Marcie's "Billie Jean King glasses". Also, the sport of tennis was an occasional theme in the Peanuts strip and King was a close personal friend of Schulz.
Because of the close friendship between Marcie and Peppermint Patty, some have inferred a relationship between them. However, the comic strip's content does not lend support to this conclusion. For example, Marcie's only explicitly depicted romantic interests were (as noted above) male characters.

Notes

External links

Marcie in Bulgarian: Марси
Marcie in Croatian: Marcie (Peanuts)
Marcie in Italian: Marcie Johnson
Marcie in Portuguese: Marcie
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