A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973, Bill Melendez and Phil Roman)

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” only has one great scene. The special is generally good–though the usual Peanuts logic problems–but there’s a great sequence with Snoopy and Woodstock messing around to a song from Vince Guaraldi. It’s set against the precious painted backdrops and it’s lovely.

The sequence also stands out because it’s the only original song in the special, which is otherwise a comedy of errors.

Or, actually, a comedy of missed communications. The drama of the special is Peppermint Patty has invited herself to Charlie Brown’s for Thanksgiving. So, instead of talking to her about it (or talking to his parents about it), Charlie Brown and company set up a Thanksgiving feast replete with popcorn, toast, pretzel sticks and jelly beans. Patty is disappointed. Two minutes of drama ensue.

Melendez and Roman’s direction makes it seem better than it is–it’s charming, sure. Just not particularly engaging.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Bill Melendez and Phil Roman; written by Charles M. Schulz; animated by Bob Bachman; edited by Robert T. Gillis, Chuck McCann and Rudy Zamora Jr.; music by Vince Guaraldi; produced by Melendez and Lee Mendelson; released by the Columbia Broadcasting System.

Starring Todd Barbee (Charlie Brown), Robin Kohn (Lucy van Pelt), Stephen Shea (Linus van Pelt), Hilary Momberger (Sally Brown), Christopher DeFaria (Patricia ‘Peppermint Patty’ Reichardt), Jimmy Ahrens (Marcie) and Robin Reed (Franklin).


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