Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!) Review

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As you can tell from the poster, things aren’t looking good for Charlie in this film. It’s been a tough journey and he has to deal with all sorts of threats. The Charlie Brown luck is as consistent as ever. This film switches up the locale which is definitely a blast. I wouldn’t want the series to permanently leave the iconic town, but a switch now and again is always cool. It’s a fun movie and while it isn’t the absolute best Charlie Brown adventure up there, it’s definitely solid.

The time has finally come for Charlie Brown to leave the country. He has grown accustomed to America and isn’t in a real hurry to leave it, but these things happen. There is an international exchange program going on and Charlie Brown has actually been accepted along with Linus, Marcie, and Peppermint Patty. The 4 of them head over to Europe to have a grand ole time, but the experience turns out to be a little different than expected. In particular, Linus and Charlie have a rough time as they approach a deserted mansion during a crazy storm. Why is Europe making things so hard on them?

It’s safe to say that Snoopy has the best plot as always. We find out that he is actually a Tennis superstar who has access to his own court whenever he wants to play. Unfortunately, his reflexes are a little slow due to jet lag so he gets hit by a lot of balls. I don’t think it’s his fault since the situation is obviously rigged against him, but you can’t help but feel bad for the guy. Snoopy entered the court with a lot of enthusiasm and confidence, but things still got tricky. Regardless, he was fun to have around. Snoopy even helped the others with the bread when it counted.

Charlie and Linus’ plot was pretty fun. Charlie made sure to mess things up quite a bit as per usual though. How could he not think to enter with the bread sideways instead of breaking it at the door though? You can’t even blame bad luck or external elements for this one. It’s just a classic Charlie Brown mistake through and through so it makes sense that he wouldn’t be able to have lunch that day. While he may have slipped up a bit, I do think Charlie fared better here than in most of the other specials. When you think back to the film, Charlie didn’t get into a dozen disasters like usual. The bread was mainly the only thing that went seriously wrong….depending on how you look at it at least. The whole being stuck outside during a thunderstorm was some pretty bad luck as well, but it all turned out all right. The ex soldier just needed to let off some steam.

Patty and Marcie’s subplot wasn’t quite as interesting, but I had a feeling about that from the start. They stay at a farm where a kid tries to become Marcie’s friend. Patty makes sure to block his every move though and show the kid the friend zone card. He may have been rather confused at the whole thing, but fortunately she put him in his place. The plot just needed some more star power like Charlie or Snoopy. It’s hard to really have a Peanuts subplot without them although I suppose the point of a subplot is not to have any of the main characters in it. It’s a difficult issue, but that’s just the way it goes.

It was nice to have a change of scenery though. The gang seems to leave their home town once every 10 specials or so as it has happened a few times, but still isn’t the norm. The mansion was fairly atmospheric although you’ll find yourself missing the school. It always reminds me of the Spelling Bee and to this day that is one of the best subplots in a Charlie Brown film. It was just great and a competition that didn’t drag on or last too long. It was just right if you ask me.

The animation is good. The character designs are all on point and the animations are smooth. Snoopy’s tennis match showed that quite well as he dashed from side to side. He just couldn’t be stopped or slowed down as the dog was on a roll. At this point though, you likely know the animation very well. There are dozens of specials and the animation is the same for just about all of them. It’s a very consistent style that is easy to make yourself familiar with. As for the soundtrack, there’s not much of one this time, but not all Peanut specials can have a big one I suppose.

I haven’t talked about the original characters in the special much, but there’s not much to say. I didn’t like the kid from the farming plot but I did like Patty’s rejection of him. The girl from the ex soldier plot was nice enough. For the soldier, I suppose I can see why he wouldn’t be too thrilled about kids being in his house since he’s trying to live the retired life. Doesn’t make up for him being so cold, but it happens I guess. Either way, the main characters and how they handle the new situations are typically the more important part of these specials. While I would have dropped Marcie from the cast here, the rest of the picks made sense. I’d have switched her out for Lucy since having her around is always a chance to get Charlie into more tricky situations thanks to all of her insults.

Overall, It feels like I’m actually near the end of the Peanuts franchise. At the very least, you can see how much progress I’ve made by checking out my older reviews. I’ve been able to get through quite a number of them so I like to pat myself on the back for that. It’s a fun franchise and the specials are all fairly short so they are very convenient. This one would probably be closer to the bottom half of the specials than the top but it’s still a good special. I suppose I enjoyed the traveling to Europe part than actually being over there. Still, if you haven’t seen this special yet you should definitely hurry and fix that.

Overall 6/10

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Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown Review

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It’s time for the third Charlie Brown special in a row. The main plot in this one isn’t that bad and may be the most entertaining, but we also got the worst subplot of the trio. Yes, Linus actually got the worst plot for a change and it was a little surprising since you’d expect his story to be pretty interesting most of the time. I suppose it just wasn’t to be, but at least we got to see Snoopy pranking people and just making the day more fun in general.

It’s Valentine’s Day and Charlie is hoping that he’ll actually get one for a change. The problem is that the system is rigged against him as it involves students each writing Valentine’s to the other kids and then someone hands them out later. Since Charlie has no friends to send him Valentine’s, this means that he has to sit around and wait as they slowly show him all of the letters that are for everyone else. I’m surprised that Charlie was surprised at this result, but I guess you have to be in a state of denial sometimes or the school will overwhelm you. The main plot sees Charlie get down about this, but he must hang in there. Surely someone will give him a card before the day is over…right?

As for the Linus subplot, he buys a chocolate for his teacher. The problem is that she’s always dashing around so he can’t find an opportunity to give it to her. Can he make it in time or will he have to start looking for a refund. I’d say that it was an emotional trip, but it really wasn’t. The subplot didn’t really add anything to the special except for an opportunity to see Sally chase after him for the chocolate. I’m definitely in the mood for such a large quantity myself. It looked pretty filling although assorted chocolates usually don’t end up taking away your hunger all that much. The pieces are just too small.

The end of the special has a pretty tough choice. Would you accept a used valentine? That’s the question that you’ve gotta ask yourself. I’d definitely say “Lol no” but maybe I’d say that I appreciate the sentiment if I didn’t feel like it was intended as an insult. It just seems like you’d be better off with no card than to get a fake one. I guess Charlie was pretty desperate at the end though. Once again, his imagination takes off with him though as he starts to believe that he is actually really popular all of a sudden. It’s a little hard to take seriously, but everyone has to start somewhere right? Maybe Charlie’s time has finally arrived.

A decent interlude during all of this was Snoopy’s live puppet show. It really reminds you just how intense the dog could be. He deliberately used the play as a ruse so he could attack Lucy and laugh about it. Charlie didn’t seem to mind much so I guess Snoopy already had him on the payroll. The scene wasn’t too long which prevented it from dragging on or getting obnoxious. It’s always good to have a change of pace as long as it is handled well.

The animation is consistent as always. The chocolate box looked pretty good and all of the character models were on point. It’s nothing to write home about, but there are no real flaws either. It’s a tried and true recipe to success. This special didn’t really have any songs though and it feels like the specials just ditched the concept of a soundtrack all of a sudden. Where’d all the music go? I always like to have some music as it makes the whole special more endearing.

Overall, The special was decently good. The Linus part could have been left out, but Charlie’s plot had the right mix of tragedy and comedy. You never felt too bad for him because this was probably one of the most minor sad events to ever happen to him. Seriously, it’s usually a lot worse. Not getting a Valentine on Valentine’s Day is like not getting a turkey on Thanksgiving. It’s sad, but you’ll live so long as you have Mash and a bowl of Macaroni and Cheese. I’m not sure when I’ll see my next Charlie Brown special, but there are always more out there so they shall return. In the meantime, prepare for some more intense reviews coming up.

Overall 6/10

You’re in Love, Charlie Brown Review

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This Charlie Brown special was definitely a lot more true to what the series is all about. It’s another story of Charlie Brown trying to win the red haired girl’s attention, but getting embarrassed along the way. However, it’s certainly not as personal as in the last one. Everyone is mean to him, but that’s to be expected at this point. It was just more enjoyable and this special was even older so it makes sense. Peppermint Patty has her first real role here since the Chuck gimmick happens for the first time based on Charlie’s reaction and it just feels retro.

Charlie tries to impress the red haired girl quite a few times or to at least stand out, but it keeps backfiring. You can appreciate his effort as he was able to write some really cool equations on the whiteboard, but it turned out that he didn’t know how he got there. It was still impressive that he knew them in the first place though. Hiding under a paper bag when the girl approached was a little harder to sympathize with though as it showed that he lacked the nerve when it counted.

The ending is a little on the cheesy side to be honest and I like to think that the letter was written by one of Charlie’s friends so he wouldn’t be moping during the entire summer vacation. If it was real then at least Charlie got some attention for once and hopefully she wouldn’t forget him over the summer vacation. Charlie will also have to stay on his best behavior since he’s now on the school’s naughty list for yelling at a teacher. It’s definitely not something that you’d expect from Charlie, but he was wound pretty tight by this point. Eventually he was definitely going to crack after all of the pressure.

Peppermint Patty and Linus are really the only two people that Charlie can count on. The former may have let him down with her plan to meet on the baseball mound, but at least her heart was in the right place. Linus also offers words of encouragement even if they turn into subtle insults at times. He certainly made things worse by telling Lucy and the others about the red haired girl. Snoopy is around as well although he doesn’t do much. His shenanigans are always cool though and help the special pass by. It was another romance centered one, but the special was still layered. We got to see the whole cast and the comedy was handled well. It was just far more entertaining than the last one.

The animation is as consistent as ever. This special is even older so it’s all the more impressive to see how it’s held up over the years. That really speaks to how good the overall style is. You can easily glance at the special and immediately recognize all of the characters and what’s happening. It’s changed a little over the years, but by and large it is the same style that we all know.

Overall, I’m one step closer to watching all of the Charlie Brown specials. I can definitely see their appeal as it’s easy to watch these. They’re just nice, light hearted fun. Now, whether a happy ending makes up for a sad beginning and middle for Charlie is another question altogether. In this case, I’d say that it sort of does since Charlie doesn’t take it personally and the stakes were a lot lower. It really depends on how it’s handled since this kind of thing can easily turn mean spirited if the writers aren’t careful. It has already happened a few times after all, but by and large the franchise has always been good with that. This one is winning as of now, but next up is the final special that I’ve seen at the moment. Can the special with Valentine’s Day in its title take the win or will it fall into the trap of the former? Time to find out!

Overall 6/10

It’s Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown Review

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This is one of the more tragic Charlie Brown specials. You can’t help but feel bad for the guy as he’s framed and suffers from serious memory loss all in the span of 20 minutes. He got to have some fun though and at least has a happy ending for a change. I certainly wouldn’t say that it’s one of my favorite specials, but I suppose it gets the job done.

The plot involves Charlie being framed by Lucy for losing the team’s big football game. It was a little on the mean spirited side, but the series doesn’t mind going there when it suits the franchise. I’ll never forget how the bullies humiliated the heroes in the racing challenge. I’m still a little sore about that one. When you consider the high stakes of this game, it also shows you that Lucy has her priorities completely mixed up. Nevertheless, Charlie must try to get past this because he has been assigned to be the little red haired girl’s escort in a big party. Can he steel his nerves and get through this without fainting?

You can tell that this is one of the older specials right off the bat because the graphics are a little more dated. It’s nothing too drastic though and the special still looks good overall. It’s not like you can stop the passage of time right? There isn’t much in the way of music here or sub plots. It’s really just one straight adventure to the end so at least there aren’t a whole lot of filler scenes.

By the same token there isn’t a whole lot to talk about here. One thing that I have to say is that the red haired girl was given a fairly throwaway design for some reason. She resembled a non playable character more than you would have expected. She also had no real personality, but I suppose that is to be expected since she never really got to talk back in the day. I was surprised to actually see her since it’s a running gag that she never appears.

While the party was apparently pretty exciting, it doesn’t really amount to much since it was all off screen. There also wasn’t enough Snoopy action for my liking. He’s always the life of the party so you gotta have him in a starring role. If the whole special had been the Football game and Charlie had gotten to win it in the end, the special would have certainly been verrrrrrry different.

Overall, This was a reasonable special. It did have some noticeable issues though like the Football game. You can’t help but feel bad for Charlie there and the rest of the kids need to start wearing glasses. Charlie fainting at the end was also pretty sad and makes the whole situation even worse for him. Also, a special can’t really last for the full length with just a romance plot. The football scenes were meant to help with this…but we know how that turned out. If you’re going to watch a Charlie Brown special then you can certainly do a lot better than this one. That being said, it’s still not a bad special. It went by really fast so I’d say that it actually has a reasonable amount of replay value. It’d just be too depressing to watch again without some kind of break. I recently saw two of the other romance specials so we’ll see how they stack up. At the very least, I can confirm that the other two aren’t as tragic.

Overall 5/10

A Charlie Brown Celebration Review

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It’s been a little while, but time for another Charlie Brown review. This one was pretty big since it was celebrating one of Charlie Brown’s big anniversaries. Unfortunately, the special fell a little on the flat side. It decided to basically be one large anthology instead of containing one full plot. Doing something different for this special makes sense I suppose, but this was definitely not the right call. The Anthology format has never been all that good and this special doesn’t change my mind on that.

Well, there’s not much of a plot here since the segments keep cutting to another one. The one that probably appeared the most was Peppermint Patty being tricked into graduating dog school and then getting beaten up by a cat. To her defense, the cat was extremely powerful and definitely wasn’t playing around. You gotta love that level of dedication eh? Snoopy was around to back her up at least so that helped quite a bit. This was easily the best plot in the special if you ask me as it was fairly entertaining.

Other plots included Charlie Brown getting humiliated in Baseball as per usual and the Piano kid getting upset as always. In Charlie Brown’s plot, he was actually a little tougher than usual as he didn’t let the other kids know how they could buy caps. His discretion worked pretty well if you ask me as he can’t give the other kids all of the answers all of the time right? They probably wouldn’t be very grateful anyway. For the Piano kid, his instrument was flushed down the sewers so it was a sad day for him. He called in to get a replacement, but it’s safe to say that Lucy had the last laugh this time. The replacement wouldn’t come for quite a while so the piano kid would have to hang out with her now. (Or just cry in his room)

As always, Snoopy is the best character in the special. He’s a professional lawyer who may trick his clients from time to time but he means well. He did ultimately go back to help Patty so you have to give him some props there. Charlie’s definitely the next best character as he’s consistent as always. Linus surprisingly didn’t get much of a role here at all. Considering that this is a big anniversary project, that was a little bit surprising. They basically got everyone else back though so I guess that’s good enough.

The animation is consistent as always. The Peanuts style has certainly aged well and the animators have always done a good job of keeping everything on point. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see other styles like if we get another modern Charlie Brown special or the infamous flash one. I can’t see them being quite as catchy as this one although CGI works well enough. The modern film was proof enough of that.

The only thing holding this film back is the format. Each story ends way too quickly and it would have been better off picking a few stories and just stretching them out for a while. The Patty plot could have easily been the main plot of a special with the Piano kid one being the subplot. That would have worked a lot better if you ask me. At least the special was a little longer to help compensate for that, but this should be a lesson to all franchises…never do anthologies. It’s just not worth it. There will always be a story that’s better than another one that you’ll want to see more of and a weak one that you’ll wish they had excluded. It comes with the territory.

Overall, It’s still a Charlie Brown film so I wouldn’t call it bad or anything. My only gripe with it is that the film can be a tad bit boring at times. There’s not really anything happening after all so it’s like seeing a bunch of Charlie Brown gags without the actual plot to back it up. It comes across as a little odd and dare I say low budget? Still, the writing was good and the film is still pretty short so I wouldn’t say that it drags on or anything. If you’re a big Charlie Brown fan, then you should check this one out. If not, then this isn’t the best way to get into the series. I suppose it could work as a preview of the franchise, but it’s still not worth it. I’d recommend watching the Christmas special first.

Overall 5/10

Charlie Brown’s All Stars! Review

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It’s time for another Charlie Brown film! This is one of the better ones as expected since it is about Charlie Brown’s baseball team. They’ve been mentioned several times throughout the series, but have always been a subplot. This time, they’re able to be the main focus and that’s something that I’ve been waiting for. Whether you can really call his team “All Stars” or not is up for debate though. I can’t even say that they have the heart of a winning team.

Charlie Brown is a little disappointed because his team can’t seem to win a game. It’s been many years and none of the players are any good, but they all still blame Charlie. He is the pitcher I suppose so every point that the other team gets is directly on him, but then he should just let someone else take a stab at it. Eventually, the team breaks apart and the other members form their own clique as they go swimming and skating. Charlie wonders how he can get them back and that’s when a sponsor shows up. He claims that he will get the team new costumes so Charlie quickly tells the others. They agree to keep on playing then, but Charlie gets another phone call. Dogs and girls aren’t allowed on the team if the sponsor jumps in so he has to decline the call. The other members don’t know this yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Will they ever be a close knit team again?

So there’s definitely a lot of drama here. Charlie has to make some hard calls and he finally gets to see who his real friends are and which ones are the phonies. Although, I suppose they aren’t too phony since they don’t mind insulting him face to face. At least they’re up front about it…I can kind of respect that I suppose. As always, Linus is Charlie’s only real friend. He does have one iffy moment where he tells Charlie to pack his bags and get out of town, but I’m sure that he meant it in a nice way. He does help to clear Charlie’s name during the climax when the others get the wrong idea because Charlie phrased everything the wrong way.

I also liked Charlie Brown as the lead. That was expected though since he’s always a cool character. He may not be the sharpest tool in the shed and he may not be particularly good at just about anything, but he does have passion and determination. He even declares that a little rain never hurt anybody at the end as he walks to the baseball field even though it is raining really hard. He didn’t even bother to bring an umbrella. Nobody else showed up except for Linus of course and Charlie should have suspected that since nobody else even liked to play by that point, but 2 people is enough to declare the game a win by default I suppose. Charlie and Linus always tend to be the best characters when Snoopy isn’t around.

Snoopy was around though so he does steal the show to an extent. This is one of his smaller roles, but he does get to smack Charlie with his food dish and make a crucial out during one of the games. Since Snoopy is always so good at everything, I’m inclined to believe that he was just holding back the whole time. Sometimes he probably just wants to teach the others some humility. That…or he just likes seeing them lose from time to time. The other friends are really all just there to mock Charlie and be generally mean to everyone. It’s not really nice of them, but hey….what are friends for.

The graphics are all right as always. It may not be the greatest animation, but they have aged fairly well over the years. If nothing else, it is really iconic to look at by this point and the special is just a calming experience. There isn’t much of a soundtrack, but the themes are all very familiar as well. This is a series that should feel very nostalgic as you watch it unless you really have managed to avoid it your whole life. That seems like it’s be a tough feat, but anything’s possible in the end. This also means that I am now one step closer to watching all of the Charlie Brown specials.

Overall, This is another good Charlie Brown special. What makes it a little better than some of the others really comes down to the main plot. Baseball is simply more interesting than a lot of the other stories. I like sports in basically every shape and form. There aren’t even any subplots for once so the total focus is on Baseball. The special is also fairly short so it goes by very quickly. If you’ve seen other Charlie Brown movies then you really know what to expect. You’ll like this one if you’ve liked the others. If you haven’t seen any yet, then this is a good way to start off and I’d recommend checking it out. It’s the kind of special that just feels good to watch.

Overall 7/10

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Review

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It’s time to check out the Halloween special for Charlie Brown. Slowly, but surely I’m closing in on the rest of the Peanut specials. They certainly came out with quite a lot of them though so it’ll be a while before they are all complete. This one is pretty good and I’d say that it is one of the better specials even if it can’t quite keep up with Thanksgiving or the Christmas special. Halloween never could keep up with those two holidays in general though, despite what Teen Titans Go would have you believe.

Linus believes that the great Pumpkin will visit his patch if he waits all night and believes. Sally decides to wait with him although she ultimately regrets it. Meanwhile, Lucy, Charlie Brown, and the other characters all decide to go trick or treating. It’s safe to say that Charlie’s group has the better time, even if things don’t go well for Charlie Brown. Lets face it, things never go well for Charlie. Luck is not on his side and getting rocks instead of candy must be pretty insulting. A third plot is about Snoopy taking on enemy fighters in his imagination. That Dog sure can fly!

You can tell that this is one of the older specials since some characters act a little differently than usual. For example, Charlie and Linus aren’t really close friends in this one. They hang out, but Charlie quickly attacks Linus verbally when he is talking to Sally since Charlie doesn’t trust the guy. Linus also doesn’t seem quite as smart since he has apparently been waiting in the patch every year for a while now and never saw the Great Pumpkin. I guess he made a little slip every year which caused him to still think that it was real, like doubting for a moment. Still, it is quite sad for him.

As for Charlie, his costume was pretty bad. I’m sure that he would have at least gotten some candy if he hadn’t made his costume a broken ghost. Just find a new bed sheet and cut in two holes, it’s not exactly rocket science! Charlie takes it all in stride though and actually doesn’t spend a lot of time complaining about how bad things are for him. Maybe this was before he got really jaded with humanity. Charlie’s plot was more fun than Linus’ even if it was shorter.

Snoopy’s plot is fairly standard as we’ve seen these Red Baron fights a few times before. I thought it was all right and the scene didn’t last too long so it doesn’t drag. I preferred Snoopy’s plot in the Thanksgiving special as he made himself a feast, but eating such a large meal for every holiday is a good way to put on the pounds and Snoopy has to stay fit.

The animation and soundtrack are roughly the same as always. The style works well enough for the Peanut specials and it isn’t that bad. Most of the alternatives would be better, but it is what it is. The soundtrack isn’t particularly memorable, but these specials are more about the dialogue than anything else. The writing is good so I have no complaints there. The special is also pretty short like the others as it is less than half an hour long. You’ll be breezing through this one.

Overall, It’s the Great Pumpkin is on the better half of most Charlie Brown specials. That being said, there’s no real reason to rewatch it when you could revisit the Thanksgiving or Christmas specials. It’s a fun enough story, but experiencing it once will probably be enough. I definitely do recommend it if you haven’t seen this special yet. On my quest to watch them all, I’ll eventually be seeing the Election Day special. Once that happens, I’m confident that it will beat this one and maybe even the Thanksgiving one as it soars up to the top of the ranks. It’s just hard to picture the Election Day one not being awesome. It’s such a cool concept for Charlie and the gang.

Overall 7/10

Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown Review

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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

Why, Charlie Brown, Why? Review

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This is the most serious Charlie Brown special. It still has subplots for the comic relief and some jokes to keep it from being too ultra serious, but the tone is certainly darker than what you will be used to from this series. It’s good to tackle themes like this once in a while to spread awareness and act as an infomercial, but I am glad that it is only an occasional thing. Not to mention that some themes are a little too dark regardless. If the ending hadn’t been quite as positive, it definitely would have hurt the special more.

One of Linus’ friends has started to feel sick lately. He advises her to go to the nurse’s office and from there she ends up in the hospital as she has developed cancer. Charlie decides that he and Linus should visit the hospital. The special is mostly focused on describing the treatment and showing how the main characters cope with this sudden development. Some handle it well, but others not so much.

It may be a little iffy for some when we see Lucy in particular. She really doesn’t care that someone got cancer and it fairly rude about it. It’s true that kids probably don’t understand the gravity of the situation, but the special went out of its way to show that everyone was really mean about it aside from Charlie and Linus. Snoopy handled it well as he continued to eat a lot of food whenever possible though. You can never count him out and he stole the show with his “dinner” as he proved to everyone how to enjoy yourself while having a healthy diet at the same time. It did look like a complete meal after all.

A bully showed up for the first time in a while. Naturally Linus was upset about this, but I felt like he could have handled the situation better. He mostly just let the bully talk for a while before clenching his fists and finally yelling at the guy a little, but I was hoping for Linus to throw a solid punch. Linus blew up, but in a rather anticlimactic way and it took him too long to react. Of course, he was able to solve the situation without violence so in a way that’s good…in a way.

Aside from Lucy and the bully, the characters are pretty solid here. Linus did well and the new character seemed nice enough. Charlie was considerate as always and it’s easy to see why he is the main character of the franchise. The others mean well, but they’d definitely be lost without his expert guidance. If not for all of his plans and last second heroics, the town would probably be a lot more depressing and solemn. From winning tournaments to visiting friends in the hospital, Charlie’s the guy you can count on.

The soundtrack is certainly more downcast and less fast paced than usual. This helps the special carry across the feeling that things are more serious than usual. It works well enough and the animation is as good as usual. These specials are nothing if not consistent in their technical quality. As always, the special is definitely very short so you can really watch it whenever you have a free period. It’s not too fun so you’ll want to have some snacks to munch while watching it.

Luckily, as mentioned earlier, the ending is fairly happy. Good endings can always help a film quite a bit. If the friend had died to try to show how serious cancer is, it would have failed pretty badly. She even got her hair back, which was definitely a nice added bonus. All’s well that ends well and that’s why going to the doctor regularly is a good thing so you can catch these conditions right away. I don’t particularly like going to the doctor’s too often since I feel pretty healthy, but I still recommend going. It’s worth it folks, even if I don’t follow my own advice on this.

Overall, This special certainly sticks out from the rest. One watch is really enough though and I would sooner recommend checking out most of the other Charlie Brown specials. Still, at least the special tackled the topic of cancer I suppose. The kid should have been put to sleep before getting the bone marrow shot if you ask me, but beyond that it did a good job of explaining the treatments available. With this, the Charlie Brown animated specials have come to an end for now, but eventually I aim to see the others that I have not checked out yet. Hopefully Snoopy continues to steal the show and show us just why he is such a great character.

Overall 6/10

You’re a Good Sport, Charlie Brown Review

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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.

Overall 7/10