Peanuts: I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown

Dom Robinson reviews

Peanuts: I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown
Distributed by
Firefly Entertainment

    This DVD:
    4-DVD Boxset:

  • Cert:
  • Cat.no: FFDVD 3029
  • Running time: 66 minutes
  • Year: 1965 & 2003
  • Pressing: 2004
  • Region(s): 2, PAL
  • Chapters: 12
  • Sound: Mono (1965), Dolby Surround (2003)
  • Languages: English
  • Subtitles: None
  • Fullscreen: 4:3
  • 16:9-Enhanced: No
  • Macrovision: Yes
  • Disc Format: DVD 9
  • Price: £9.99
  • Extras: None

    Director:

      Larry Leichliter (2003) and Bill Melendez (1965, 2003)

Producers:

    Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson

Creator:

    Charles M. Schulz

Original Score :

    Vince Guaraldi (1965), David Benoit (2003)

Cast of voices :

    Charlie Brown: Peter Robbins (1965), Adam Taylor Gordon (2003)
    Snoopy/Woodstock: Bill Melendez
    Rerun: Jimmy Bennett (2003)
    Peppermint Patty: Karen Mendelson (1965)
    Lucy van Pelt: Tracy Stratford (1965), Ashley Rose Orr (2003)
    Schroeder: Chris Doran (1965), Nick Price (2003)
    Sally Brown: Kathy Steinberg (1965), Hannah Leigh Dworkin (2003)
    Violet: Sally Dryer (1965)
    Frieda: Ann Altieri (1965)
    Linus Van Pelt: Christopher Shea (1965), Corey Padnos (2003)
    Pig-Pen: Geoffrey Ornstein (1965), Jake Miner (2003)
    Franklin: Jake Miner (2003)
    Shermy: Chris Doran (1965)
    Little Girl: Kaitlyn Maggio (2003)

Since my review of the‘Easter Beagle’ DVD,I’ve since found out from the Lee Mendelson interview linked below, the reason for callingthis series ‘Peanuts’.

It still defines a timeless series of cartoons about pre-teen life at a time when innocence reignedand all that could bother you were the basics about trying to get to grips with understandingwho you are, whether it’s trying to live without your security blanket or the complexities of beingin love with the little red-haired girl – and all with the most memorable of underlying piano-basedmusic, which I wouldn’t call theme music as it goes all the way through, but you’ll know the infectioustunes when you hear them.

In this first new episode since the passing of creator Charles M. Schulz, I Want a Dogfor Christmas, Charlie Brown, it’s Rerun who’s after a canine companion.

He doesn’t need a security blanket, but he knows his place – for now – and that when the time comes, Linusand Lucy will realise when they’re older just how useful having a younger brother can be.

This is just as cute and insightful as any other Peanuts cartoon, such as when he tells Lucy thathe fancies a girl in his kindergarten class and has promised to take her to Paris… but confesses thathe doesn’t know where Paris is. He’s then called in to see the head, and told he’s been warned forharrassing her!

It’s been nicely updated with more recent phrases from today’s culture which makes it more relevant to kidstoday, so it proves that for as long as they want to continue making them, they can do this with ease,although compared to the other episode here, it’s not quite as good.

However, we do get to see some of Snoopy’s past relatives, and Rerun’s best chance of getting a dog isby inviting Snoopy’s brother, Spike, to come and visit for Xmas…


A Charlie Brown Christmas, from 1965, is the other title on this DVD, and Linus sums upCharlie Brown’s downward outlook on life perfectly when he quotes his sister Lucy,“Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest(!)”

Charlie Brown wastes 5c on psychiatrist session before heading off to direct the school Xmas play – whichinvolves buying the worst Christmas tree ever and Snoopy enters a Christmas decorations contest. It alwaysmakes me laugh seeing the Peanuts kids sing Xmas carols, all breathing in and out at precisely thesame time every time 🙂

And, it’s interesting to note that in the US, the version of the show broadcast on CBS-TV until 1997 andolder video releases were edited, omitting a scene where the gang throws snowballs at a can on a fence.

The cartoons are in 4:3 fullscreen and the print for the second episode is surpsingly good looking,clean and clear for footage that’s nearly 40 years old, while the first one looks as good as it oughtto. No problems on the sound but it doesn’t set the speakers alight.Still, it’s the subtlety of the soundtrack that holds its own virtue.

Sadly, with just a few chapters to each episode and a silent/static menu, there are no extrasto accompany this release. However, there’s a ‘Complete Series’ boxset?

FILM CONTENT
PICTURE QUALITY
SOUND QUALITY
EXTRAS


0
OVERALL
Review copyright © Dominic Robinson, 2004.

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