Back in May, I posted about some great 1960’s and 70’s animation DVD sets being offered by Warner Home Entertainment from “my Golden Age”. Back then, in addition to being a comic book and Saturday morning cartoon fan, there was one comic strip that was my mainstay, Peanuts by the great Charles Schulz. I rarely missed the daily and Sunday Peanuts features, and to this day I have a large box full of the well worn paperback reprints. Needless to say, I have collected every issue of Fantagraphics‘, The Complete Peanuts, which will ultimately reprint in order every Peanuts strip from the beginning (they have currently completed 1950 to 1972 in 11 volumes).
Of course, being a true fan of Peanuts also means a love of the great 1960’s animated specials. In my house during the holidays we always look to see when A Charlie Brown Christmas is coming on. We haven’t missed it yet. What about, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown? We don’t miss that one, either. So, imagine how this old Peanuts fan felt when as a member of the Warner Brothers Entertainment Affiliate Program I was asked to review the Peanuts 1960’s Collection, a two-DVD set that will be in stores on July 7, 2009.
This is a fantastic collection, that includes the first six animated Peanuts features. This is from WB’s press release regarding the contents:
* A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) – In this Emmy® and Peabody Award winning classic, Charlie Brown is upset by how commercial the Christmas holiday has become. To coax him out of his holiday blues, Lucy suggests he direct the school’s Christmas pageant and decorate a glorious tree. Charlie Brown concedes. The tree he finds however, is puny, prompting everyone to ridicule him.
* Charlie Brown’s All-Stars (1966) – Nominated for two Prime Time Emmys®, in this delightful special, Charlie Brown is faced with a difficult moral dilemma; should he accept brand new uniforms and give the rest of the gang a chance to be part of an official little league baseball team even if it means that due to policy, Snoopy, Lucy, Patty, Violet and Frieda must be kicked off?
* It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown(1966) – This Emmy® Award-nominated special, finds the Peanuts gang outfitted in costumes, ready for trick or treating and crashing Violet’s Halloween party. Charlie Brown is in a ghost costume (with more eyeholes cut out than needed), Lucy dressed as a witch and Snoopy in a World War I flying ace costume. Linus decides to steadfastly hold vigil in the pumpkin patch as he awaits the Great Pumpkin.
* You’re in Love, Charlie Brown (1967) – This Emmy® Award-nominated special finds Charlie Brown trying to work up the courage to meet his school-girl crush, the little red-haired girl. He enlists the help of his pals Linus and Peppermint Patty but they only aggravate the situation.
* He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown (1968) – This Emmy® Award-nominated special finds Snoopy returning to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm for a refresher course in obedience training after his mischievous behavior lands Charlie Brown in trouble. On his way to the puppy farm however, Snoopy finds refuge in Peppermint Patty’s house, that’s until Charlie Brown gets a call from the puppy farm telling him Snoopy never showed up.
* It was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown (1969) – At summer camp, the Peanuts gang put up with poor food and the girls winning all the sports competitions. To get even, the boys challenge them into a wrist-wresting contest between Lucy and “The Masked Marvel” – a/k/a Snoopy in disguise.
Even if you’re not a huge fan of Peanuts, I highly recommend this DVD set. The animated features have all been remastered, so the color and sound quality are excellent. The shows are in standard format to preserve the aspect ratio of the original television presentations. The packaging is also very good, with the two DVDs being securely stored in one plastic DVD box with a cardboard slipcase cover that will look great on your shelf. The DVD menus are easy to use. One small gripe is that the listing of the contents of each disk does not contain the year each feature was originally aired. Not a big deal for most people, but a detail I would like to see. There is also a bonus featurette profiling composer Vince Guaraldi: The Maestro of Menlo Park. This is very cool because for me, one of the best and most memorable parts of the animated features is the great music by Guaraldi. Total run time is 150 minutes. The retail price is $29.99, but it is discounted at online retailers such as Amazon.
To own this title on DVD, all you have to do is visit your local or online retailer on July 7, 2009. To learn more, go to the official Kids WB site. You can also get the inside scoop on WB movie and DVD releases at wbreelnews.com. Want to buy this DVD set online? Click here. For more Peanuts DVDs offered by WB, click here.
It’s a cool collection, Charlie Brown!