Persona 5: The Animation: Dark Sun… Review


After the show ended things off on a rather intense note, it was time for this special to continue the story along. It’s fair to say that the show’s ending was never going to stick but it was fun to entertain that notion in the meanwhile. This one brings things together to a pretty decent end although it’s fair to say that it’s still another cliffhanger, just a different one. It picks up right where the show left off so it’s nostalgic to see the whole cast here. Since we’re pretty deep into the adventure, there is no downtime and the heroes just get right to work. Naturally this post will have spoilers for the show so proceed with that in mind.

After Akechi murdered Joker he played it up as a suicide and went about his way. It turns out that he’s been working for Shido this whole time and all of the incidents have helped get Shido up to the world stage. The guy is very close to becoming the prime minister now and naturally needed everyone out of the picture. Well, it turns out that Joker faked his death through a clever trick involving switching the two worlds so that Akechi murdered a virtual version of him. Now the team has to saddle up and take Shido down but can they really keep Akechi off their backs long enough to pull this off?

The special goes pretty fast from this point. The intro where they have to explain how the trick worked take some time but then it’s off to the races. I thought the trick was pretty solid although I have my doubts on how well this would work. It really all comes down to two things I have an issue with. The first being that when you switch worlds there is no indication of this happening. Can it really be so smooth? Usually there is an effect where the world itself distorts and the characters all seem to notice this so how is it possible that it didn’t alert Akechi?

The best thing I can think of is they opened it up as such a large territory that he was not in the blast radius but that doesn’t seem to have been something they could really do. My other issue is with the virtual bodies themselves. So we know that a virtual body will die in the same way as a real one based on the previous castles only the body will then disintegrate into a pile of black smoke. How did they prevent Joker’s body from vanishing until after Akechi left? Furthermore, how did the security guard’s body not vanish after Akechi took him down? Akechi monologued for quite a bit so the guy should have been long gone.

In short, I don’t think their plan actually should/could have worked here. At least not with the info we get here, perhaps the video game was more detailed about it. Ah well, then we cut to the heart of the adventure which is to try and take Shido down but of course Akechi will still try to stand in their way. He gets a lot of props here as he was taking on the whole team at once. At one point they ask how he can use more than one persona but Joker’s been doing that since the very start of the show so they should be asking him that. I suppose Akechi is just super talented since he never actually explains how it’s possible.

The various mysteries throughout the show are all wrapped up pretty well here. Akechi does start to go off the deep end a bit but all in all the guy’s still my favorite character. He was usually one step ahead of everyone else and his plans were really on point. The guy was certainly crazy and a total villain but he executed this well. He’s the kind of villain you enjoy watching because his goals make sense and he’s just charismatic.

Shido is a little less interesting in that respect but he makes for a good final boss here. The guy actually knows a little bit about the mental abilities and alternate world. While this is something unknown to most, it makes sense that the big boss should be in on the loop. It even opens the door to some interesting storylines like if they trained a bunch of government assassins to pull this off as well. Perhaps in a sequel or something like that.

The animation is good here. It’s still nothing top notch or anything but works well enough for the fights. Persona isn’t always a very action packed title but this one had a good amount of fighting. With Akechi here that makes sense since the whole show was building up to this and you wouldn’t want to have an underwhelming climax at the end of the road. For the soundtrack we don’t get the big lyrical songs this time around but the beats still work. I’ve always liked the Persona soundtrack and this one’s no exception.

For the main characters they all get their chance to help out. Joker takes most of the credit here as he was strong enough to go up against Akechi and also took most of the risks in the plan. It’s just clear from the start that he’s the most powerful. The rest of the gang helps out as best they can as well. Without them Joker would have definitely been doomed either way. Even Sae gets to help out quite a bit and her role as a cop/investigator is always coming in handy.

If this did end up being the ending to Persona 5 I dare say that it would still work out pretty well. Sure, the heroes are still in a dangerous spot and not all of the villains are down for the count but for the most part things would be going well. It would also be open ended just enough where there could be a sequel. Of course there was a sequel and I’ll be reviewing it pretty soon. I would have liked Akechi to have done more but I am still satisfied in the end and I can see why he’s a fan favorite.

Overall, Dark Sun is a solid follow up to the main show. We get to see the updated version of the opening song here which is fittingly called Dark Sun so that’s nice. If you liked the show then you should definitely like the special. In some ways the special even beats the show as it’s able to focus on just one case and give it the full attention of around an hour. It does a lot within that time and it’s nice to just see the gang back in action. It might not make a whole lot of sense if you haven’t seen the show though so you won’t want to check this out as a stand alone title.

Overall 7/10

Arthur’s Perfect Christmas Review


It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen this Arthur Christmas special that’s for sure. It’s definitely a very well made special that’s for sure. It’s nice to see all of the celebrations and the nostalgic Arthur characters running around. This special has aged very well and will continue to be a solid watch each year. It’s definitely rough when a gift doesn’t go the way you think it will so you can understand Arthur’s plight.

The film starts us off a few days before Christmas. Each of the characters are getting ready for the day in their own way. Arthur is determined for this to be the best Christmas yet. I understand the feeling as I always go in expecting each year’s Christmas to surpass the last one and this year will be no different. Arthur is thrown a lot of curveballs though as the tree doesn’t tur out the way he had hoped and the menu is also a lot different. Still, Arthur is willing to give these changes a chance. The only thing that could ruin the day for him now would be if his Christmas present for his Mom were to break…

Then we’ve also got subplots for most of the other members of the cast. Binky is going to be cooking dessert for a soup kitchen he is volunteering at during Christmas and is testing out his recipes on everyone. It’s a pretty noble gesture but his cooking needs a lot of work. He makes rather basic mistakes in each of his dishes. It’s good that he’s trying but the first step of cooking is to try the food out yourself and it seems like Binky is not doing that. That doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in trying out his dishes now does it?

Muffy’s plot is about how she has scheduled a party while Francine will be observing Hanukkah with her family. Francine told her many times that attending the party would be impossible but Muffy wouldn’t hear about it. In a lot of these cases usually the mix up is because the character was unable to work up the courage to explain this. There is no such issue here as Francine told Muffy over 20 times. I liked how direct she was so the fault is entirely with Muffy this time around. There was no way that Francine could have been any clearer. So Muffy’s got to take the loss here.

Then you’ve got Buster who’s mother has been traumatized by Christmas and always celebrates it a few days early each year. It’s definitely a rather odd situation but at the end of the day she just wants to make sure that the day is a success for Buster. She is clearly trying pretty hard even if the whole thing is pretty exaggerated. Even the fancy restaurant food doesn’t look as good as what Buster would usually get at the Sugar Bowl. There are a few other characters having their own adventures like George, The Brain, and Mr. Ratburn but I wouldn’t consider those subplots so much as quick scenes to show us what they’re doing. They didn’t have any trail to go through which makes sense since the film can only squeeze in so many plots during its run time.

The movie is a little under an hour so there’s only so much it can do. The animation is pretty solid and consistent as always. The character designs are on point and the whole thing is nice to look at. This is the kind of hand drawn animation that will always age well. You can just feel the effort that was put into this. As this is a musical there are also a number of songs included. I wouldn’t say that any of them are all that solid though. It’s not really my style of music but it does still help to get the Christmas vibes in there.

Arthur’s Perfect Christmas also separates itself form other Christmas specials in that it does include some pretty key details like having the group go to Church in one scene and even having the Dad come up with the idea of having an authentic Christmas dinner like what they would have served in Bethlehem. While the dishes naturally may not sound the best next to some classic staples like Mac and Cheese, I like that the topic was broached. The film was clearly acknowledging the history of celebrating Christmas due to Jesus Christ’s birth. It’s always great to see that.

The special is high energy throughout and coupled with the solid writing that naturally makes for a fun adventure. Arthur tends to dream about the worst case scenarios as always. He really lets his imagination run wild even when it’s a positive event. Then you have DW who still panics quite a lot. At least she tried to be happy about the Duck at first even if she wasn’t able to stay strong in the end. I suppose if you’re hoping for a cool toy and get something else that can be tough. She was nice enough to think about Santa by leaving the cookies out which was neat. All of the characters are pretty solid at the end of the day.

Overall, Arthur’s Perfect Christmas is a pretty fun special. It’s definitely a fitting one to check out as Christmas quickly approaches and I’d recommend it. I’ll give Arthur points for being pretty tolerant of all the different things that could have sabotaged his Christmas. He was okay with the menu change, the Christmas tree change, and even handled the songs decently even if they did set him off pretty quick. He definitely doesn’t seem to like any of the fast paced music tracks that DW tends to enjoy which is unfortunate. Who knows, maybe one day he will get on board with these although I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Overall 7/10

Lego Marvel Superheroes: Guardians of the Galaxy: The Thanos Threat Review


There have definitely been a lot of LEGO specials over the years. It makes sense as you can never run out of ideas with those little toys. That’s why they’re so popular in the first place. What you build is limited only by your imagination and your budget. The LEGO specials are usually pretty enjoyable and most of them are fairly short as well so it’s not as if they last too long either. This Guardians special is pretty good as well and goes by very fast so I’d say that it holds its own against the other Marvel ones.

The plot is that Thanos wants to create a BLT so he needs to find the Builder Stone which will let him create anything. I would have advised him to just go to Subways but I suppose they may have run out of tomatoes again. The Guardians decide to stop him but first they will have to out fly the Ravagers as well as Ronan. Does the team have what it takes for this mission or are they doomed again?

The LEGO animation is definitely something that you either like or you don’t. I don’t really consider it as good animation as it just seems really easy and nothing particularly stands out visually. As long as the animation isn’t bad it’s not a problem though and I wouldn’t call this bad animation. These specials are more about the dialogue than anything else as the one liners have to try and use the Lego’s advantage of many things being possible to its benefit.

On that note, the writing is pretty solid. I’m not the biggest fan of the Guardians team when it comes to their personalities but the special did a good job of keeping them in check. For example, Drax can overuse his gimmick of taking things literally but I believe they only use that joke once here as opposed to spamming it in every other scene. That was pretty good and seeing him get wrecked by Thanos is a better gag. I think that’s how their fight should always go but I have a nagging feeling that he is going to be able to score the final blow against Thanos in the movie somehow or even defeat him to close his character arc. I’ll give the film extra kudos if they go the LEGO route instead.

The rest of the characters do a good job of being decent as well. Star Lord’s still a fun leader who always has a plan and the voice helps the character out even further. Gamora doesn’t get much of a role in this special but she is certainly in character as she doubts Star Lord the whole time. The team always bets against him and they are probably right to do so since he will come through when it counts but not in any other situation. Ronan and Thanos make for good villains as well. They may be fairly overused in Guardian plots at this point but it’s not as if the team has too many enemies which is why they have to keep showing up. At least it’s not a C rank villain who keeps reappearing or anything like that.

The only bad character as always is Groot. He actively tries to sabotage the team as always and the saying his name not got old years ago. He doesn’t add anything to the dynamic and only serves to take time away from the characters who could use more. At this point I’m unlikely to ever become a fan of his but you never know I suppose. Maybe all he needs is a radical change in character and design although it would basically be a different character at that point.

Overall, this special was pretty fun. It’s the length of a normal episode and has appropriate pacing. There’s never a moment where the film drags on and there aren’t a bunch of subplots to take away from the main adventure. The team fighting Thanos is already enough of a plot to hold its own special after all so it’s not like you need much more than that. Thor has a nice little cameo for his fans as well. If you haven’t checked this film out yet then you should go ahead and do so. It’s only 20 minutes so even if you don’t like it then you won’t be losing much time. The film doesn’t make any big mistakes though so at least for me there wasn’t much chance of not liking it. LEGO specials aren’t always a solid 7 but they are rarely, if ever bad.

Overall 7/10

Kino’s Journey: Country of Illness -For You Review


It’s time for another Kino special. I’ve never been much of a Kino fan but the concept isn’t bad. Because the whole series is about watching her go to various lands and experiencing their traditions and customs, it means that there is always the chance you will enjoy the adventure or also dislike it by the same token. Effectively the franchise gets a blank slate each time. I’d say this one was the best yet mainly thanks to the Moped not getting to do much and Kino being a little less deadpan this time around. It’s short so the special doesn’t drag on or anything either.

In this adventure, Kino heads to a futuristic city. The inhabitants are worried about germs because they may prove to be fatal. Their way of society seems rather flipped from the usual norm. The wealthy and influential people live outside in the rugged desert as they make a home and defeat the outside elements. The poor and middle class live in the city where they can do whatever they want thanks to the tech. It seems like a paradise for them and an endurance test for the wealthy, but why is this? Kino becomes friends with a girl who is sick at the hospital and agrees to deliver her letter to a boy who lives on the outside. Is Kino ready for what she may discover there?

It’s not a Kino adventure without a few twists and the adventure should keep you guessing for a little while. You can probably imagine that things didn’t go very well for the boy when the girl explains that she hasn’t seen him in over a year. That’s always a bad sign and when Kino sees how desolate the outside world looks, it brings a few questions to mind as well. People rarely tell the actual truth to outsiders in these things so at least Kino is ready. It’s also fortunate that she always has her gun at the ready as well. You really can’t trust these guys.

While it’s a pretty somber special, it doesn’t go overboard. It’s sad, but not over the top with big time human experimentation or anything. People were effectively sacrificed though and the government looks shady as always. We don’t really get any fights in this special although Kino does get to fire a shot. Her recommendation to the girl to go check the outside world out when she is better is probably not the greatest advice though. The girl is certainly going to be in for a very rude awakening.

As far as Kino herself goes, the character wasn’t all that bad this time. She’s still not very interesting, but at least she tried to keep the girl’s spirits up and didn’t stand by as a bunch of people were murdered for a change. Her “no interference” policy still ensures that she’ll never be a hero though. At best she will always be a person who looks out for herself first and foremost. The Moped still tries to be funny in all of his scenes, but they never really work. I’ll give him some credit for the constant attempts though. He certainly never gives up.

The other characters in the special were okay although none of them got a particularly large role. They’re meant to be background elements as you focus on just taking in the land and how it works. The sick girl was reasonable although it’s unfortunate that she has to go along with all of the tests. I opt out of just about every shot at the doctor because most of them just seem so pointless. That’s definitely what she should have done here. The boy from the flashbacks was all right I guess, but he was a little generic and nothing really happened with his plot. The night guard may have tried to justify his actions with every other line, but they weren’t very convincing. He makes for a decent antagonist though.

One thing Kino’s Journey always does well is keeping everything very quiet. The towns always seem desolate as Kino walks around even when people are there. There’s something about the series that always makes everything seem hollow and fake even if the people are being jolly. It’s that elusive Twilight Zone effect and it certainly gives the series an air of mystery.

The soundtrack is really nothing special as it’s the same tunes that we have been hearing over and over again. I can’t even say that it’s all that memorable. I suppose the laid back feel of the music is supposed to go hand in hand with how mellow the special is in general, but I wouldn’t mind some fast tunes once in a while. The animation isn’t bad either. It’s below average as it definitely hasn’t aged well and much older shows look more impressive. There is no way that you’d guess this film came out in 2007 as it looks like something closer to the 90’s or very late 80’s. However, if you look at it in a vacuum without comparing it to anything else, then Kino’s Journey still looks fine.

Overall, This was the most enjoyable Kino’s Journey feature. It’s still held back by a number of issues like the underwhelming technical aspects and the lackluster main characters. The plot is still interesting though and it doesn’t drag on. At it’s core, Kino’s Journey is like a nice breeze that is fun while it lasts and is then forgotten. There’s nothing there to call it a bad film, but there isn’t much to make it memorable either. It’s a good film because it doesn’t make any mistakes is the best way to think about it. Hopefully the series can get a reboot/sequel nostalgia film which will energize the franchise. I think that’s what it needs the most, some energy. It’ll be difficult balancing that and the eerily quiet scenes, but I’m sure it can manage. I think this is it for the franchise at the moment though so it feels pretty good to be caught up. At least as far as the animated content goes.

Overall 6/10

Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown Review


It’s time for another one of the Peanut films. This one introduces the bullies into the equation so the stakes are a lot higher than usual for Charlie and the gang. Unfortunately, they are what bring the special down quite a bit. It just doesn’t mesh well with the usual gimmicks like Charlie always losing because losing to a bully is a lot worse than just losing to yourself. It was fun seeing the gang in a new environment though and a change in scenery was definitely a smart move.

So, Charlie and friends head on over to camp to have a good time. Unfortunately, the other kids are all really mean so Charlie must stop them in the big events. He gets the help of the other kids, but it all comes down to the final water race anyway. With no supervision and a multiple day’s journey, it will be tough to stop the bullies. Charlie Brown will have to come up with an idea fast or face total and utter defeat. Ah well, nothing that he is not used to at this point.

Unfortunately, most of Charlie’s friends aren’t all that tough. Linus is the only one who would stand up to the bullies at all. It was definitely nice to see him chase them off with his blanket whip a few times, but the rest of the friends were just annoying. It’s fine when they’re messing with each other since they’re all friends, but it’s not quite as fun when it is t he bullies intimidating them. Charlie Brown and the others just aren’t brave enough for this kind of situation and they aren’t even athletic enough to do much in the competitions. True, the kids were cheating, but the heroes had about 3 days to win anyway while on the raft. Considering that they were up against the bullies, they shouldn’t have left their raft unsupervised either. It was just not a smart move on their part.

The best scene was definitely the climax when Snoopy got involved though. One thing that I miss about the 80’s, 90’s and earlier is that the heroes used to set the villain up for the punch. He/She would lift the chin up with one arm and then punch with the other. It made for a really clean hit with a lot of power behind it. Snoopy needed his revenge since he hadn’t done so well early on and the final punch was definitely epic. There is another gimmick that doesn’t work too well for me to be honest. Snoopy is always very scared at the beginning and only gets brave towards the end. I’d like to see Snoopy clean shop right from the start.

The animation and soundtrack are fairly standard for a Charlie Brown movie. If you like the animation of the others, then you’ll like this one as well. It certainly has a very retro vibe to it and works well enough for this style. I’d like to see a Charlie Brown special done by the animators of One Punch Man someday, but that probably won’t happen anytime soon. Ah well, it’s a fun idea to think about though, it’s got a lot of potential.

The main subplot here involves Peppermint Patty as she tries to get her group to stay democratic the whole time. This naturally gets a little dicey, but Patty has the overriding vote if need be so the rigged system can work to her advantage. It’s a cool subplot to have and I’m always up for adding some political elements to the movie. Patty’s group is forced to swallow their pride and have some of Charlie Brown’s food once things get desperate. Trust me, things are desperate when you have to go to Charlie Brown for help.

Charlie does a pretty good job here for the most part. He helps the team out a lot in the race and doesn’t panic too much when Snoopy is at the wheel. Charlie doesn’t take it very well either, but at least he was willing to get back on the motorcycle the second time. He may never get to win in the end or have a super happy ending, but at least he keeps his friends from being in last. The Peanut specials definitely aren’t the same without good ole Charlie.

Overall, This is still one of the weaker Charlie Brown movies, but it’s not bad. I’d just like to see the cast get a nice confidence boost so they can hold their own a little better. This film went a little overboard since the bullies could get away with excessive cheating the entire time and there was a lot of plot hax as well. They should have won since they had almost a full day’s lead at some point. I guess you could make the case that everyone was going the wrong way for a while though so nobody would really get any farther. Doesn’t make too much sense, but then again, the race doesn’t make a lot of sense if you think about it. This is the final Charlie Brown special that I’ve seen so far so it could be a while before the next one. I look forward to seeing what the gang has in store for me at that point.

Overall 5/10

Life Is a Circus, Charlie Brown Review

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The Peanuts marathon continues although the speed at which I have been watching them may slow down a little after this. Unfortunately, Life Is a Circus ends up being one of the weaker Peanut specials. Snoopy’s the main character so you’d think that this wouldn’t be the case, but unfortunately he didn’t have much of a plot to work with this time around. After watching a few Snoopy centered videos, I have to admit that the specials may just work a little better with the human characters getting a bigger role. I still believe that Snoopy can hold his own special if necessary though.

A new circus is in town and Snoopy sees one dog who catches his eye. The problem is that he has to join the circus if he wants to keep talking to the dog. This circus is hard work and the dogs have to perform unreasonable stunts, but this isn’t enough to deter a dog as tough as Snoopy. Snoopy masters all of the tricks, but eventually realizes that the life of a circus has too many sacrifices and hardships for it to all be worth it. Time to head back to his life with Charlie.

Snoopy handles the whole thing very well though. He goes home and has a lot to eat before taking a nap. It’s one of the best strategies to have when something tricky happens and I totally recommend it. I’m looking forward to having a nice bowl of Mac n Cheese relatively soon myself. Snoopy also didn’t turn back when he realized that the other dog wasn’t stopping. He was decisive and knew what had to be done this time around.

Charlie Brown was pretty upset the whole special, but it’s hard to blame him. His Cotton Candy was wrecked when Patty threw some popcorn on it and then he had to watch as Snoopy was dognapped by the Circus. He probably should have tried a little harder to get Snoopy back though, considering the fact that the circus went pretty far away. His friends weren’t very understanding either and they seemed to just enjoy the fact that Snoopy had finally found a place where he could be happy.

The main thing that draws this special down is the fact that the romance is fairly boring. We all know that Snoopy will end up leaving at some point anyway since the status quo would be changed a little too drastically if she had gone back to Charlie’s with him. The dog also seemed a little odd as she also didn’t want to be colored pink, but ultimately decided to go back to the show. Considering that the show had them do crazy stunts with no safety nets in place, it seemed like an odd choice. Well, I guess that’s how far their bonds of friendship ended up taking them in the end.

There were some classic Peanut themes here. Nothing really out of the ordinary, but they work for the setting. The animation was also traditional Peanuts style so there is not a whole lot to say about it on that front. If you’ve enjoyed the Peanuts style throughout the specials, then you’ll enjoy it. If you’ve never seen one of these before, then just picture a retro hand drawn style. This came out a while ago so don’t expect Justice League action here, but more like an older version of the Super Friends.

Overall, This special dragged a little and it wasn’t as interesting as the usual Charlie Brown adventure. It had its moments and I suppose that it’s a good special overall, but I just needed Snoopy to be a little more in character. I like to see him take charge and just do whatever he wants. Seeing him in this kind of role just isn’t the same. Charlie Brown was in character though so you can always count on him to see the cup half empty. I’m ready for the eventual Peanuts election. That one definitely sounds promising! As for another Snoopy centered special, I could see that one easily surpassing this one.

Overall 5/10

Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown? Review

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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.

Overall 7/10

It’s Magic, Charlie Brown Review

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Time to look at the next Charlie Brown special. As the title suggests, this one heads into the realm of magic as Snoopy gains supernatural abilities. He was already a dog who could defy the natural order of things and physics, but now he can take it to the next level. He decides to put on a magic show, but in the process he turns Charlie Brown invisible. The kid’s in quite the predicament now and he’ll have to think of something very quickly. Luckily Charlie is among friends..right?

Charlie and Snoopy are really the only characters with big roles this time around. Lucy appears and Charlie quickly takes advantage of his new powers to mess with her and the Football. Lucy doesn’t like this, but she can’t figure out how to stop him so she gives Snoopy some more (violent) incentive to fix what he has done. The animators definitely had fun with Charlie’s facial expressions this time around. When he turns visible again, we see just how intensely Charlie is taking the situation. He looks rather deranged and sinister, but Lucy puts him back in his place. He temporarily got to have his fun though.

As for Snoopy, he takes everything in stride as expected. The fame of being a magician certainly got to his head, but once the show was over, he just forgot about the whole thing. It simply didn’t matter all that much to him anymore. It’s part of Snoopy’s charm. Everything is always over in a flash for him, but it also means that an enemy that he was scared of 5 minutes ago will turn the other in another 5 minutes. Snoopy’s a class act and he is easily the best character in the Peanuts franchise. What would we do without him?

That being said, the friends should definitely realize the dangers of being Snoopy’s volunteers. Their lives will always be put in jeopardy, or at least their appetites from being made very dizzy. I suppose that they handled it decently well though and at the very least they can’t doubt Snoopy’s ability anymore. I was glad that it turned out to be real by the end since I was a little worried for a second there. It was cool to just see him firing the lasers all over the place. Snoopy came a long way from his original skills.

There isn’t much in the way of songs here so the soundtrack is nonexistent. The visuals hold up as well as any other Peanuts special. It may not be anything super amazing, but they’ll do. I do like the art style here and prefer it to most Flash titles and the Lego artstyle. Modern day CGI probably takes the win, but CGI from this period would likely get crushed. Hand drawn is still the way to go and it always feels like a lot of effort was put into it.

If there is anything holding this special back a little, it’s the fact that it gets off to a bit of a silent start. It was cool to see Snoopy checking out a book with his library card, but the adventure didn’t really start until Charlie turned invisible. As a result, I’d say that “She Can Skate Charlie Brown” is a better special as it got right to the point. Still, this is one of the stronger Charlie Brown specials in the end.

Overall, It’s Magic Charlie Brown is a solid special. It may not have been quite as engaging as some of the others, but I do think that Charlie being turned invisible made for a good plot point. It’s always good to see something new in the Peanuts and this made for some original scenarios. Charlie deciding to have his vengeance after so long definitely shows that he has been taking the football gag rather personally all these years so he lets out a lot of steam there. It’s also why he ends up tripping yet again so he really got his just deserts there. I recommend this to all Peanuts fans and as always, it is quite short. It’s not as if you will lose a lot of time while watching this one. Finally, just imagine Snoopy shooting laser blasts. You don’t want to miss this!

Overall 7/10

You’re the Greatest Charlie Brown Review

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Looks like it’s time for the next Charlie Brown special. I’m slowly building up my resume as far as these are concerned. One day, I will have seen them all! This one focuses on the school’s Olympic meet so it makes sense that this was one of the better ones. I’m always up for some sports and the special actually doesn’t skip any of them which was nice. I was expecting some to be glossed over for the sake of time, but they all got their props. Snoopy doesn’t look as dominant as he should have though.

Charlie Brown’s school is neck and neck with a rival group, but none of their members want to enter the Decathalon. Luckily, Charlie Brown shows up and asks them if he can enter any of the events. The kids quickly give him that one since it is the toughest of the bunch. Charlie Brown undergoes a tough training program so that he can compete with the best of them. Just in case, Charlie Brown’s school enters Marcie as well and even Snoopy gets in on the action. Their only opposition is a bully that the other team sent in to even the score. Still, Charlie has trained for this so he should have the edge right?

Charlie actually proves that he can hold his own and actually would have won the event if not for his severe overconfidence. Charlie seemed to think that none of the other contestants had the skills to defeat him so he decided to run the last race with his eyes closed. That was his big mistake as he went charging into the forest and nearly cost his school the win. Luckily Marcie still claimed victory for the school, but Charlie really let everyone down. Typically he tried his best and things just didn’t work out, but this time it was directly his fault. It was rather out of character for Charlie, but I suppose he’ll get em next year. He’s still a solid character and at least he went through with the training.

As for the supporting characters, only Patty and Marcie really got roles this time. Lucy would appear every once in a while to insult Charlie a little, but that was it for her role. Marcie kept subtly insulting Charlie by complimenting him after he would fail a task. She was definitely a bad character in this one and also had the most predictable ending of the group. I’ve never really cared for Marcie, but this was probably her worst appearance. It was clear from the start that she would be the one to win. Patty wasn’t bad and served her role as group leader, but that’s really it for her this time.

The animation has stayed consistent with the other Charlie Browns specials. It is really retro and you can tell that the series came out a very long time ago, but it still looks fairly good to this day. It certainly ages well. There isn’t much of a soundtrack, but I can’t say that I was expecting one. At this point in time, films never really had much of a soundtrack. At the very least it was rare to find anything besides the usual themes.

Overall, You’re The Greatest Charlie Brown is a good special. As I mentioned earlier, I do think that Snoopy was a little under powered this time. I would have expected him to have easily crushed all of the other contestants. I was glad to hear that he took the bully down in the end, but he should have won the whole tournament. This is Snoopy that we are talking about after all, he is virtually invincible. Marcie was also annoying for the most part. Snoopy, Lucy, and Patty were solid though. If you like the other Charlie Brown specials than you should like this one. There is more action than usual due to the events and as a result this special doesn’t reuse most of the normal gags. With the new scenery this means that it is telling more of a fresh story than usual. In the end, this Charlie Brown special is a pleasant way to spend a half hour or so.

Overall 7/10

Lego Scooby Doo Knight Time Terror Review

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It’s time to take a look at a Lego Scooby Doo film. Legos aren’t my favorite animation style to say the least, but they beat the puppets so I’ll take it I suppose. The special did feel incredibly short so that’s a good thing since it would have still dragged on a little if the plot had been boring. It’s a standard mini Scooby Doo adventure so the mystery’s fun and I still like the main cast. They get the job done and don’t pull their punches. That’s what I like to see from the heroes.

They head to a mansion where there is supposedly some treasure that’s been hidden. Unfortunately, the Mystery Gang may not be able to make it there alive since there is a mysterious Knight that haunts the castle. He has an axe and isn’t afraid to use it so one good hit would mean curtains for Fred and the gang. They’ll have to get to the bottom of this before something dicey happens!

The Knight was pretty hype. He actually had a lethal weapon and he had a good chase scene so I’ll give the villain a thumbs up. In a Scooby Doo film, you always want a villain who’s hardcore, but still has enough character to pull off the comedy moments. For the rest of the gang, they’re about the same as usual. Fred’s still the best member as he takes charge and never backs down from a good mystery. The gang wouldn’t have even heard about the treasure if not for good ole Fred. Daphne doesn’t really get a role this time as she mostly stays on the sidelines and allows Scooby and Shaggy to do the hard work.

They’re classic as per usual. Since Legos still don’t have enough parts to actually eat food, it wasn’t surprising to see that the heroes did’t get to eat this time. I’m sure that they could have bluffed it with some cut aways and shifty camera angles though. Shaggy did try his best to stop the Knight, but it proved to all be for naught. The villain was simply too strong this time. I do wish that Shaggy and Scooby would fight a little more, but I suppose that such a big change might be too much for the fanbase. The status quo would never be the same after that.

Unfortunately, Velma once again reminds me why she is the worst member of the group. She falls for yet another guy in this special and the romance is handled poorly as expected. It’s crammed in for no real reason and just serves to bring the whole thing down. Luckily, the subplot isn’t on screen for very long since the actual special isn’t that long either. We can’t forget about the suspects either although I didn’t bother trying to guess who it was this time. I privately figured that it was the nice assistant, but turns out that I wasn’t right on the money this time.

The first suspect is the owner of the house. Maybe he wants to collect on the insurance by scaring everyone away. There’s also the two guys in the monster costumes. Maybe they finally cracked and have decided to take things too far. Finally, there’s the nice assistant, but you can rule her out from this equation. Choose wisely since your bragging rights are on the line this time. There’s not really anything to say about the soundtrack of the animation. It’s legos so you know how it looks and the soundtrack is basically nonexistent this time. It works well enough, which will have to do. It’s not a bad soundtrack by any means.

Overall, Knight Time Terror is a good Scooby Doo special. Lego has really gotten popular over the last few years. I think Scooby Doo probably waited a little too long to jump on the bandwagon, but Lego’s still got a lot of products coming out so it’s not toooo late I suppose. If you like the Scooby Doo films then you’ll like this one. If you don’t, then this won’t change your mind either. At the very least, just remember that this is only around 20 minutes, if not shorter. It’ll be over in the blink of an eye and the plot never drags on so you don’t need to worry about that. Prepare yourself for the mystery!

Overall 7/10