To counter that last one, it’s time to look at one of the better Charlie Brown specials. I actually may put this one in the top 5 to be honest, but there are a lot of them so I’ve gotta think it through. For sure, the Christmas one, and the Olympics would make it. Flashbeagle as well. That leaves two empty spots and I’m fairly confident that this one would be able to grab one of them. It has everything that a good Peanuts special needs and the ending was also fairly fun even if one character had to be nerfed so that the moral would go smoothly. I suppose that it is the price to pay for having the side characters be a little stronger than the main one. Charlie Brown’s a nice kid, but he does tend to be a little out of his depth when up against Snoopy.
As the title suggests, this is another sport themed special. Charlie Brown is invited to the motorcycle event with the rest of the gang. He decides that while he is entering it, he may as well take home the gold trophy. The main opponents standing in his way are Peppermint Patty and the Masked Rider. They’re good, but Charlie has his own support crew ready in the form of Linus. They pooled their resources and got themselves a fairly decent vehicle so they’re ready. Patty is an old pro at this kind of event so she has a fairly top of the line bike of her own. Finally, the Masked Rider is also around and he has the best vehicle of them all. He only shows up for the biggest races apparently so the other characters are all on edge as soon as he shows up. Seeing as how he is Snoopy by day and a rider by night, this Masked Rider sure knows how to balance his time effectively.
One of the reasons why this special is a lot of fun is because I enjoy sports. I always like seeing a good sport themed cartoon or movie even if I don’t play that particular sport. I don’t think that I’ll ever be getting into Motorcross racing or any of the other forms, but it is still pretty interesting to look at. Furthermore, Charlie Brown and Snoopy both get rather large roles here which is the best of both roles. The bulk of the special is the long race so the pacing is great and it feels like a lot happens in this special. It’s interesting and engaging right from the start. The special should quickly remind you of the Tortoise and the Hare story. Regrettably, you’ll realize right from the start that Snoopy’s chances of winning are quite small. Despite the fact that he is an expert and a dog to be feared in all forms of sports, he never actually wins due to his overconfidence. He starts to pull ahead by such a long gap that he stops for a feast including cake and other such food items. Snoopy handles himself better than the Hare did, but not by a whole lot and ultimately this proved to be his downfall. I would have liked to have seen Charlie take the win here. That being said, seeing Charlie coast to victory was fun as well.
Charlie rarely ever gets to actually win so this was a fairly special event. It’s great to see his hard work and dedication pay off once in a while. It’s a running gag that he loses, but it can only be funny if he manages to win at least once. With that happy ending and the fun sports vibe throughout the special, this one was definitely a winner. Linus was a good supporting character here as well who helped Charlie out of a tough spot. Charlie’s definitely fortunate to have a good friend like Linus around. The animation and soundtrack are about the same as all of the other specials. They are good and hold up well. This is one of the older Charlie Brown specials and you can easily notice how the animation has improved over the years, but the core style is always the same. It’s easy on the eyes and hopefully the series never descends into dicey CGI or Flash animation, but well…that is the ultimate fate for most titles.
Overall, This was a great Charlie Brown special. Even before the actual race started up, the prelude to it was handled well as we got to see Snoopy’s serious tennis skills. Once again, he may have been the superior player, but he couldn’t take the win. As much as the running gag on always losing is focused on Charlie Brown, it tends to happen to Snoopy as well. The dog’s power level fluctuates rather rapidly and he could be dominating one second only to lose the next. Personally, I’d prefer it if Snoopy always defeated everyone at everything and it could be a great running gag in its own right, but Snoopy still looks good through and through. I highly recommend checking this special out and who knows, you may end up considering it as the best Charlie Brown special of them all, although you’d have to make a super strong case to even put it in the same conversation as the legendary Christmas special.