Time for the next Charlie Brown special! In this one, Linus has to move away because his father has moved on to a new job. This means that he will be leaving the old cast for good now. It’s been a fun ride, but every status quo must end someday. I don’t think anyone actually believed that he would be gone by the time that the special ended, but I won’t say whether or not he actually goes through with it. Regardless, it’s a solid Charlie Brown special and even his fight with Snoopy is handled a lot better than the movie. That being said, I can’t say that Linus is particularly likable in this one.
Linus is just a little more aggressive and mean in this film. He threatens Snoopy when the Beagle tries to take away his blanket. They don’t actually fight like in the film which is good, but he still takes it in the end. He gives it to Snoopy when he leaves town for a while so that was good. He even writes post cards, but in this film, I’ll take the other supporting characters for the most part. Sally doesn’t do much except make her own promises. We actually get two parallels of the same subplot so see the contrast. Peppermint Patty handles being stood up a whole lot better than Sally does at least. She may not have been all that smart this time as she ignored Charlie the whole time, but she’ll learn how to do that quite well in the coming specials. This is a bit of a prequel in the sense that this is where Patty’s daily phone calls to Charlie Brown started.
Charlie Brown is the best human character by far this time. He was sad when Linus left, but he handled it well and even got a good night’s sleep until the phone rang. He even decided not to pay Snoopy the 50 cents for a meet up so he’s wizened up a little over the years. The Charlie Brown specials just wouldn’t be the same without the main character at the helm. Snoopy also steals the show as expected. It makes sense that he would be the guy in charge of the food at the party and he even replaced Lucy as the advice giving doctor. Snoopy may charge more since his time is so valuable, but that’s just how he roles. Snoopy was also nice enough to give Linus his blanket back, which was actually a little unexpected. Snoopy is not averse to being the bigger man once in a while.
Having 3 different romance running gags in the special was a little much though. Especially since two of them were ultimately the same exact plot. They aren’t around all that much though and the 3 respective guys all take it in stride by pretending not to know what is happening or gently rejecting the offer. After all, they’re too busy. The party was definitely fun although it is a little surprising that Snoopy didn’t have a proper feast for the heroes. I will assume that he was just trolling them all for the fun of it. He couldn’t have actually just not thought this through right? He’s Snoopy after all!
The animation and soundtrack are par for the course with these specials. Nothing has really changed and the animation style is iconic for the series so they’ll want to keep it around for as long as possible. The characters all look well drawn and the style is certainly better than other animated features. For its time, this animation was fairly good. There is really no music this time around so there’s nothing to really say about that angle.
Overall, I enjoyed this special. It was a solid one that didn’t rely on any gimmicks and just had good dialogue between the characters. It felt like more of an ordinary day for the group and how they handled the loss of Linus. The ending is very predictable, but it really had to end that way because a big change to the status quo would be like taking an unnecessary risk at this point. Especially to a fan favorite character. Unless that is what the special did in the end..heh heh. If you enjoy the other Charlie Brown specials or just feel like watching a relaxing special with the characters all having a good time, this one’s for you. Just be warned if you’re a Linus fan as this isn’t his best moment.