“Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales” is an enjoyable if not forgettable TV special which aired two years after Schulz’s death, but based on the comic strips. The animations seems about the same as other specials while the child voice actors, while not the best, are suitable enough.
Genre(s): Animation, Comedy, Family
Warner Bros. | NR – 18 min. – $14.98 | October 5, 2010
Directed by: Larry Leichliter
Writer(s): Charles M. Schulz (created by); Charles M. Schulz (written by)
Features: Bonus TV Special
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (Dolby Mono)
Video: Full Frame 1.33
Subtitles: English, French
THE MOVIE – 3.5/5
Plot: ‘Tis the season for the cheer and charm of the Peanuts kids – and this delightful special offers five segments full of unforgettable Christmas moments:
Snoopy works as a bell-ringer to raise money and tries making peace with the ferocious cat next door. Linus strives to strike the right tone in his letter to Santa – and his friendship with an indecisive girl at school. Sally’s ideas about gift-giving and the identity of Santa Claus may be unusual – but her strange notion of how to obtain a Christmas tree surprisingly does the job. Lucy tries awfully hard to be nice…and still coax everyone around her to buy her presents. Charlie Brown and Sally wait up for Santa (a surprisingly short man), who spreads Christmas gift cheer further than they had though.
I’ve stated countless times on previous “Peanut” DVD reviews before that I’ve never been a fan of the bald kid and his faithful beagle friend. However, I’ve enjoyed the occasional story and see why the series of cartoons, especially classics like the “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, stood the test of times across multiple generations and will continue to do so for decades to come (it’s also why the Peanuts comic strip still runs in many newspapers despite its final run a day after his death in 2000).
In regards to “Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales”, I actually found it more enjoyable than previous specials mainly because you had five short stories, each around 6 minutes, and each telling a concise but fun story starring one of the Peanuts gallery stars. Compared with the other specials – even the classics – I actually got a chuckle at some of the innocent but insightful jokes, so that in my book makes this a successful release.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.25/5
Like other “Peanuts” DVD releases, this too comes with a Bonus TV Special (24:16) called “Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown?” in which Charlie Brown’s buddy Linus and his sister Lucy have to move out of town because their dad got a transferred for work. It’s a cute special though has the obvious ending where Linus and Lucy come back home (good thing they hadn’t sold their house yet!).
VIDEO – 3/5
The DVD is nicely presented in its original full frame presentation. Unlike the previous releases I don’t believe this got the “remastered” treatment but even with the dust and scratches (although this aired not that long ago in 2002), it’s still an OK looking picture.
AUDIO – 2.5/5
The Dolby Mono track isn’t anything special but it still gets the job done producing clear enough sound for both dialogue and the music as well.
OVERALL – 3.25/5
Overall, “Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales” is an enjoyable if not forgettable TV special which aired two years after Schulz’s death, but based on the comic strips. The animations seems about the same as other specials while the child voice actors, while not the best, are suitable enough.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman