I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown Review

It’s tie to look at a more recent Peanuts special. This one stars Rerun as the main character and I believe it is the first time he was the lead. It’s interesting to have someone who isn’t Charlie Brown as the focus although it’s hardly the first time. I don’t think Rerun can hold his own adventure quite as well, but it’s a reasonable adventure. It’s not quite as solid as some of the ones that came before it, but I’d say that it checks off all of the usual boxes.

Rerun’s main dilemma is that he wants to have a dog. The problem here is the fact that he is still a little kid so realistically if his parents got one then they would have to do all of the work. A lot of kids want a pet, but very few of them are actually able to handle one. That’s why I’m actually on the Mom’s side with this one as she keeps telling him no. Rerun is just not ready and I’d say that you’ve got to be 13-14 before you’re actually ready for some of the responsibility. Even then I would have my doubts. A good chunk of the special is Rerun trying to at least hang out with Snoopy, but that dog will only come for snacks. Otherwise Rerun is on his own.

We also get some subplots like Lucy still trying to get together with the piano player. He really doesn’t have time to even entertain this though as he harshly shuts her down each time. He flipped her off the piano quite a bit and I’d say that she’s definitely getting on his last nerve by this point. He just really seemed like he wasn’t in the mood for their usual banter this time. The whole town seemed to be on edge though like with how Rerun was suspended from school pretty suddenly. I suppose going to France is a little dicey during Christmas season since the airplane fare would be a lot higher but it still seemed like a bit of a drastic measure.

I ended up missing Charlie Brown quite a bit because in his few scenes he looked so good. It was nice to see him turn the tables on Rerun by explaining what No meant since the kid kept bugging him at home. Rerun just needed to give up on trying to play with Snoopy by that point. At least Snoopy was nice enough to play with him once right? Snoopy was also busy dealing with all of the other pets. We saw through flashbacks that Snoopy’s family tried to come over so he tricked them into going to another person’s house and in a different instance he took them on one of his WW II fights. That scared em off pretty quick. As always Snoopy is definitely the best character. He’s always got a lot of confidence and is pretty low-key great at whatever he does. Snoopy is just a fierce opponent and someone that you definitely want to have on your side at all times.

Rerun isn’t my favorite lead, but he does have some good traits. I liked the scenes of him trying to act smart and talking about the future. Trying to write up his opinions and doing the math was pretty good since he was at least thinking of ways to get out from under everyone’s shadows. His plans were doomed from the start since he’s younger than the rest and can’t hold his own, but that’s why thinking outside the box was good. He did prevent Lucy from breaking his tower by mentioning things that could happen in 20 years. It’s a big bluff of course, but it paid off and that’s the right strategy for him at the moment.

The animation is about the same as with all of the other specials. Either you like the pencil style or you don’t. By this point I’m pretty well used to it. It’s certainly one of the weaker styles out there, but it’s not like the series is going for fight scenes or anything so it works well enough. At the very least the characters are pretty distinct so you won’t be mixing any of them up with other characters. Then you’ve got the same song that plays on loop for all of the specials which is fairly catchy. I would like to see some more change with the newer ones, but I imagine that it would be a pretty big risk since people want the series to stay consistent. Changing everything up could backfire, but I’d like to see them give it a try at some point.

Overall, The Charlie Brown specials are only as good as the main stories within. This story here is enjoyable even if Rerun doesn’t make for the most engaging lead. You’ll be entertained throughout the adventure and it’s not like it’s a super long one either so it goes by pretty quick. I don’t think it’ll have much replay value, but most of these specials are meant to be watched once and then you move on to the next one. One of these days I really want a special with the grownups taking center stage. Now that would be awesome, but definitely one of those big changes that would be controversial. Well, if you like the Charlie Brown specials then you’ll like this one.

Overall 6/10

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