Holiday Movie Marathon: A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)


Title: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Release Date: December 9, 1965
Director: Bill Melendez
Production Company: Lee Mendelson Films
Summary/Review:

It’s not the nostalgia talking, this show is really just great. This groundbreaking tv special deals with seasonal depression, crass consumerism, and even made aluminum Christmas trees go out of style. Add to that a banging jazz soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi. And it does all this in a story about kids putting on a Christmas play in limited animation by the Graphic Blandishment team.

Rating: *****

Movie Review: The Peanuts Movie (2015)


TitleThe Peanuts Movie
Release Date: November 6, 2015
Director: Steve Martino
Production Company: Blue Sky Studios
Summary/Review:

My initial thoughts on The Peanuts Movie – a 3-D computer animated reboot of Peanuts made 15 years after Charles M. Schulz’s passing, who needs that? But after watching it with my family, I can say it actually has a lot of the same heart & humor of the classic Peanuts tv specials.  Vince Guaraldi’s classic tunes appear in the soundtrack (along with contemporary soft rock by Megan Trainor) and the characters are voiced by child actors who sounds very similar to earlier iterations. The 3-D animation does allow for some visually stunning moments when Snoopy imagines himself a WWI fighting ace, but largely it sticks to tradition as well.  And Charlie Brown even gets a moment of success!  There are some odd decisions such as having all of the Peanuts gang in the same class (including Peppermint Patty & Marcie, canonically at a different school, and Linus & Lucy, who are several years apart in age), but nothing too jarring.  Is The Peanuts Movie a classic alongside the tv specials of the last century? No, but it is a good 90 minutes of family entertainment.

Rating: ***