Charlie Brown’s All Stars! Review

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

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

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

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

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

Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown Review

Snoopy continues to get more and more adventures. This is unfortunately one of the weaker Peanut specials though and the famous dog’s charisma is not enough to save it this time. One of the main problems here is the fact that the romance is the main plot so Snoopy is a little out of character and none of the usual gags are present this time around. The special takes itself too seriously and when you consider the fact that Snoopy has already fallen in love several times, this plot is already a little old. Snoopy’s brother makes his debut here, but he is a fairly unlikable character. Ah well, let’s launch into this.

Snoopy has fallen for a dog so he wants to immediately be married. First he has his farewell party with the rest of the Peanuts gang. Everyone gives him a good bone and Snoopy prepares himself. It’s not as if he is going anywhere, but the status quo will change quite a bit so everyone will have to get used to his new role in society. The nerves start to get to him though and the special gets a little odd here. My personal take on it was that Snoopy already knew that the other dog was not going to go through with the marriage as she had already fallen for someone else. The special implied that it was Snoopy’s brother for a little while as a mild flirtation happened earlier, but in the end it was just a random dog who was never shown. Seeing as how it was Spike who the dog fell in love with in the comic, I feel like the animators made the switch at the last second. It made more sense to end like it did in the comic although I’m glad that it didn’t as it wouldn’t do Spike any favors. I already don’t care for the character, you can imagine how much worse he would be if this had happened. It certainly would have been a very somber ending.

Luckily, Snoopy’s a class act and a tough dog to boot. He gets over the failed marriage right away and goes back to eating his cake and just having a generally good time. His charismatic personality is why everyone loves Snoopy and it helps him get through tough times like this special. That being said, it was still not enough to make me actually say that the special was all that good. A romance plot like this one needs a solid subplot to help compliment it or some more dilemmas. There just wasn’t much to this special, but maybe it helps that the subplot was about Spike. Why don’t I like Spike? Well, he looks rather mean, but we can get past that I suppose. The problem is that he sounds noble in the letters, but then comes across as incredibly unsympathetic to Snoopy’s plight and the fact that he definitely seemed like he had come just to mess things up. He tried hard in the race that he entered, but it simply wasn’t to be. He would either need more personality in order to move up the characters charts or some kind of character design upgrade. Something to show that he’s still a nice guy beyond the gruff exterior because otherwise…he’s just a guy with a gruff exterior who doesn’t seem friendly at all.

As always, the animation is rather consistent with the other Peanut specials. There is certainly nothing to complain about here although the blushing on Snoopy was a little much. Animations like to exaggerate the blush effect many times, but I always found it to be rather off putting. People don’t look anything like that in real life. As for the soundtrack, it’s rather ordinary here. There isn’t a whole lot to say about it, the regular tunes will be familiar at this point, but because of that it is also easy to forget that they even exist. I suppose it is better than having bad tunes though.

Overall, This Peanuts special wasn’t able to hold up very well to the test of time. The main problem is that the poorly written romance plot left little room for the human characters to have much of a presence. As cool as Snoopy is, it’s also very important to have Charlie Brown and the gang help out a lot since their personalities are always pretty fun to see. It’s a team effort that makes the Peanuts specials successful and ones that focus on a single plot like this tend to leave something to be desired. It’s another case altogether when everyone is involved in the single plot like the next special that I’m about to review. That is an example of how to get the full cast involved in an interesting way. If you’re going to watch a Peanuts special, I’d advise you to skip this one.

Overall 5/10

It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown Review

It’s time to look at another classic Charlie Brown special. This one is a musical so that is definitely a change of pace for the series. It’s also one of the stronger entries in the series as the whole dancing gimmick is handled very well. Aside from Peppermint Patty’s song, the rest of them do a good job of copying the style of the 80’s. The retro songs can definitely be a lot of fun like in the classic Transformers animated film. The main theme is still as hype as it was when the first film came out and I think good tunes like this can be timeless. As a result, Snoopy’s dancing numbers are quite good.

The plot is fairly nonexistent here since the music takes center stage. One part of the plot is that Snoopy dances a lot by night and by day he sleeps a lot. This makes Charlie think that his dog is slacking off, but luckily Sally takes him to school for show and tell. Snoopy reveals his true identity as a dancing mastermind and the day is saved. Charlie didn’t get to do much in this special and even Sally told him off in the end. It wasn’t his best showing, but at least he put in some decent effort. Charlie’s probably just expecting too much out of Snoopy.

His faithful dog certainly stole the show here. The dancing numbers were great and Snoopy really knows how to dance to a tune. I wouldn’t have minded if the special had added even more dance numbers for the guy. They wouldn’t drag on because of how solidly it was handled. If you ever start to wonder why Snoopy is such a fan favorite, make sure to watch this special. You certainly won’t have any more doubts after that.

The animation is up to the usual Peanuts standard. Everything looks clear and the character designs are good. The soundtrack is what has significantly improved from the other specials, which is really the whole point of this movie when you think about it. It almost goes without saying. As per usual, this special is very short so it’s very easy to just breeze through. It never starts to drag on as a result and that’s one of the positives of being so short.

Flashbeagle is a fun little feature. The writing is solid and the characters are likable. In the end, that’s what typically makes for a good Peanuts special even if there’s not a whole lot more to say about this one. The whole thing is over in the blink of an eye and Snoopy is left on top once again. Snoopy can be a little inconsistent at times in these specials as he is a pro one second and a rookie the next, but it’s the price to pay for being in a comedy. No character is safe as they could be nerfed/weakened at any point in order to get a joke across. That’s definitely a double edged sword if you ask me, but as I said earlier, the writing is solid for the most part here.

Overall, Flashbeagle was a lot of fun and it shows that parodies/homages can certainly be good if they are handled right. Nowadays, parodies have a bit of a bad reputation thanks to titles like Transmorphers and Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus. Well done parodies are rare, but I’m still waiting for one to really hit it out of the park. I can’t quite say that Flashbeagle’s that home run hit since it can only go so far in its format, but it is a good title that I would recommend. I’m one step closer to watching all of the Charlie Brown shorts.

Overall 7/10

Life Is a Circus, Charlie Brown Review

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

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

Snoopy Come Home Review

It’s time for the next big Snoopy film, but unfortunately this one ends up being the weakest one of them all. It goes on for too long and generally isn’t all that much fun. It should have been since Snoopy was the main character, but you mostly just end up feeling bad for him. The film forgot to even have Snoopy just show up and start wrecking everyone like he usually would. It goes for a more emotional feel, but it ends up backfiring quite badly.

Snoopy gets a letter from his old owner. She is very sick and has been in the hospital for a few weeks. She believes that having Snoopy by her side will help her get better so he gathers his belongings and sets off. Charlie Brown starts to believe that Snoopy has left because he has grown tired of him. Charlie doesn’t really know how to make amends though so this plot doesn’t go anywhere. We have some cutaways where Charlie ponders the current situation, but that it all. It’s really just filler when you really think about it. Still, his plot is more enjoyable than Snoopy’s even if it’s not much.

The best part of the special is when Snoopy comes home temporarily to have a big send off from the gang. They get him a lot of bones to chew on and show how sad they would be without him. Charlie couldn’t even say anything since it was all just too emotional for him. Everyone did miss Snoopy after all and not having him around anymore would certainly be tough for them to get past. That’s why I would have liked to have had a subplot of them trying a little harder to find Snoopy. Meeting him at the hospital would have been a good move, but instead the friends just stay at home the whole time. Snoopy makes sure to pay them back for that by the end and then the status quo is preserved.

What hurts the Snoopy subplot is the fact that he has to go through many hardships. They are all comic relief of course, but it can get to be a bit much. One such plot like this is when Linus and Snoopy decide to start beating each other up over the blanket that Linus always carries around. It goes on for quite some time and the blows do look quite painful. The scene isn’t particularly flattering to either character. Another example is when Snoopy is adopted by a mean little girl who decides to keep on throwing Snoopy around and doesn’t know how to have a pet. Even when escaping, Snoopy drops the bird that he was helping and gives him a headache.

These plots weren’t funny in the slightest and just made the special a little more irritating. At least Snoopy’s old owner was reasonable. She didn’t try to guilt trip Snoopy quite as much as I had expected. Not knowing that her building didn’t allow dogs was a pretty big mistake though. That seems like something that she should have known beforehand. Still, it gave Snoopy a good “out” and he was able to return home. By now it’s possible that the letter he signed to the mayor will have taken effect so he can use the library and other services again. Hopefully that happens since we just saw him use the library in “It’s Magic Charlie Brown.” Seems odd that they would ban him after that. He was being loud, but the book was just that funny.

The animation is roughly the same as all of the TV specials. It looks fine and holds up well throughout the years. There isn’t much of a soundtrack that I can recall. There are a few songs that are used as narration though. For example, you never see the letter’s contents from the old owner, but the song narrates the letter to an extent with a Grinch sounding voice. The songs aren’t bad, but they’re not really my style either. At least it has some songs/tunes though so this special actually has a bit of a soundtrack.

This special really didn’t need to be over an hour though. It could have easily achieved this plot with a simple half n hour and I believe that it would have been better off if it had done this. Maybe the Peanuts isn’t really meant for full length films, although I certainly think it’s possible to have a good one. The first movie dragged on as well, but it was still fun. The next one just needs to make sure that it has a full plot, which doesn’t need to be artificially extended. If it does need to be extended, then it just shouldn’t do it with harsh trials for Snoopy.

Overall, Snoopy Come Home is a bit of a flop. Cut out the fight against Linus and Snoopy’s other misadventures and this movie would have been a lot better. It doesn’t mean that Snoopy should just vanish either. His fight against Lucy was handled fairly well and felt more like a real Peanuts adventure. The fight was decently long, but it wasn’t as exaggerated as Snoopy’s other battles. If you like the Peanuts a lot then this may be a good film to check out. If not, then I definitely recommend skipping out on this one and you should just watch one of the classics like the Christmas special or It’s Magic Charlie Brown as an example of a Snoopy centered special done right.

Overall 4/10