New on Blu-ray: Peanuts Holiday Collection

Good grief, who doesn’t like Charlie Brown during the Holidays? Someone who hates America, that’s who. You don’t hate America, do you? Charlie Brown and the Holidays go together like snow and Christmas. It’s just natural, and one without the other just ain’t right. So if you’re feeling a little Charlie Brown this Holiday season, grab Warner Home Video’s Peanuts Holiday Collection, now available on Blu-ray, which includes the Peanuts movies “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”, and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Deluxe Edition

Originally released in 1966 (yes, it really was that long, long ago), “Great Pumpkin” is more of a Linus special than a Charlie Brown one, though Charlie certainly plays a role, if by role you mean falling every single time for Lucy’s football gag. Seriously, Charlie, grow a pair, man. But back to the movie.

With Halloween fast approaching, Linus has written his annual letter to the Great Pumpkin. It seems no one believes in the Great Pumpkin but Linus (and indeed, Lucy threatens to beat that belief out of him, as is her want), who insists on mailing the letter despite all opinions to the contrary. On the night in question, the kids go trick-or-treating, leaving Linus — and a sympathetic Sally, Charlie’s sister — behind in the pumpkin patch to await the Great Pumpkin.

Will he come? Won’t he? Not that it matters, of course. Whether the Great Pumpkin is real or not, it’s all about faith, something Linus has in abundance. A great, all-around movie, with a charming turn by Linus, who finally (sorta) gets the girl.

As for Charlie Brown, well, he got a rock. Lots and lots of rocks, in fact. Happy Halloween, Charlie Brown, looks like the trick’s on you!

Bonus Features:

  • A documentary focusing on the myth and tradition of the Halloween staple television program.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Deluxe Edition

It’s Christmas, and Charlie Brown is feeling mighty down about the whole thing. A trip to Lucy’s neighborhood psychiatry booth sends our hero on a quest to direct the school play about the Nativity. But Charlie’s got a fight on his hands, as all the other kids in the play are intent on bucking the traditions of the play.

Charlie believes just the right Christmas tree will help the others see the true spirit of the holidays, but will his plan backfire? Not if a certain little, ragged Christmas tree has anything to say about it. But will it be Charlie Brown who teaches the others about the true meaning of Christmas, or the other way around?

Originally aired in 1965, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has the distinction of being the first ever Charlie Brown prime-time animated TV special. It’s also a fantastic and heartfelt story, and I dare anyone to sit through it and leave with a frown on their face.

Bonus Features:

  • A Christmas Miracle: The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas – An in-depth look at how the producers brought a newspaper comic strip to animated life in a new medium. Under tense pressure and with many doubters, the show creators were able to create Peanuts in a new medium and make the show a smash success.
  • Digital downloads of 2 songs from the popular soundtrack
  • A bonus episode: It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Originally aired in 1973, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is the 10th “Peanuts” prime-time animated TV special to be aired, and finds Charlie Brown entertaining guests in a Thanksgiving dinner in his backyard. Okay, not so much entertaining as having been hoodwinked by Peppermint Patty into feeding her and her friends, even as he’s due for a family Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving dinner, even with the help of Snoopy and Woodstock, does not go well, but after a heartfelt apology by one mean guest, all is forgiven, and Charlie and the kids head to a real Thanksgiving dinner at grandmother’s house, with real food and what have you.

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” doesn’t quite have the charm or heart of the other two holiday-themed specials on the Blu-ray set, but it’s nevertheless a fine entry into the “Peanuts” prime-time gallery. If nothing else, seeing Snoopy and Woodstock preparing a Thanksgiving “feast” of toasts, pretzels, popcorn and jellybeans is more than worth it.

Bonus Features:

  • Popcorn & Jellybeans: Making a Thanksgiving Classic – A look at the final installment of the Peanuts holiday trilogy and what it meant to its creators and to us.
  • Digital downloads of 2 songs from the popular soundtrack
  • A bonus episode: Mayflower Voyagers

Buy “Peanuts Holiday Collection” on Blu-ray from Warner Home Video.