A Charlie Brown Christmas Hardcover – Nov 1 2000
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Ah, capitalism at its best. Bonnie Smothers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
From the Back Cover
Since its top-rated debut on CBS in December 1965, A Charlie Brown Christmas has been one of America's most beloved television shows. Year after year, fans of all ages tune in to the Emmy-winning Christmas special that has earned a permanent place in the nation's popular culture.
This collector's treasury contains the entire script of A Charlie Brown Christmas, illustrated with full-color stills from the animated film. Producer Lee Mendelson and animator Bill Melendez pay tribute to the program with personal memories and reflections about the show, including charming anecdotes about their long friendship and working career with Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz. Offering rare, behind-the-scenes insights, they also share memories of the late, great jazz pianist/composer Vince Guaraldi and provide never-before-published background sketches, storyboards, production sheets, and other materials that bring the making of the show to life.
A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition also brings the sound of the show home with the piano/vocal musical scores for Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here" and "Linus and Lucy," two songs that have become standards of American popular music.
As the very first Peanuts special, A Charlie Brown Christmas brought Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang to television. In addition to breaking the mold by using jazz music (which exposed millions of people to jazz for the first time and inspired a generation of jazz pianists), A Charlie Brown Christmas broke new ground by using real children for the voices instead of adult actors. Schulz, Mendelson, and Melendez created these and other innovations that made A Charlie Brown Christmas a unique and timeless work of animation art.
A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition celebrates this award-winning and history-making show with warmhearted memories, fascinating trivia, and colorful animation art that will delight fans of all ages.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
This book is a look into the process of making what is inarguably one of the most-loved Holiday specials ever. Everything about the cartoon is in here -- from the journey to get it on the air to the dangerously abbreviated production time to the perils of casting real children to play the Peanuts gang -- the first time children played children in American animation, by the way, and some of them were too young to even read their lines.
And of course, the piece de resistance, the book includes the complete screenplay, written by the brilliant Charles M. Schulz himself. A sweet, humble man, I doubt he really knew at the time how wonderful his creation was or how important it would become to so many.
This is a fabulous book and seems to be designed as a companion to "Peanuts: A Golden Celebration," which was released a few years ago. Both of them are simply invaluable for anyone who loves Peanuts.
It includes storyboards of the Ford commercials which featured Linus and Lucy back in 1962 (3 years before this classic TV special debuted). Not only that, it features advertisements in TV guide, an interview with Bill Melendez, who animated all the Peanuts specials and films up to Charles Schulz's untimely death in 2000), and a few essays from Lee Mendelson, who worked side by side with Melendez on each of the specials. It also features a few words from Peter Robins (the 1st voice of Charlie Brown) and Chris Shea (who played Linus). You also get a tribute to Vince Guaraldi who composed the music (not to mention that it includes the sheet music for "Linus and Lucy" and "Christmastime Is Here"). This book mentions how they came up with the adult "voices" in the specials and Schulz's conditions on working on Charlie Brown Christmas (one was that real children would do the kids' voices, and another was that the Gospel of Luke was present in the script in order to remind the audience the true meaning of Christmas).
Most importantly, this book includes the entire script of Charlie Brown Christmas with stills from the special. In essence, there is enough information for you to cast your own stage production of A Charlie Brown Christmas. There is one slight error in the script, however- the Peanuts gang is not humming "O Little Town of Bethelehem" at the finale but "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" (unless this was written in the original script and changed at the last minute). Finally, turn the pages and you'll see Snoopy cause Charlie Brown to crash into the tree in the one scene that begins the special!
Recommended to all Peanuts collectors and all who love the classic special that started it all for Peanuts animation. I got this from a good friend as a Christmas present!
Anything you'd want to know about the "Christmas" TV special is in this book -- lengthy interviews with producer Lee Mendelson (a veteran of Peanuts anniversary books) and animator Bill Melendez. Charles M Schulz passed away before the book was written, but there are plenty of rarely-seen photos of him taken in the 1960s. There's a chapter on Vince Guaraldi, whose jazz soundtrack defines the lives of many "Peanuts" fans; interviews with some of the children who voiced the characters; and, O happy day, sheet music! The second half of the book contains the complete script for "A Charlie Brown Christmas" itself, along with dozens of photos and animated sequences, taken from the original cels.
"Christmas" is not for small children (unless they're reading it with you), and there are a couple of misprints (including, in my first edition, a caption for a photo that's not in the book!). But it's lovely to look at, and when I put it down finally, reluctantly, I was whistling the soundtrack and hearing Linus's nativity speech (and I'm Jewish!). These days you can buy it for about as much as the DVD costs, and it's a wonderful Christmas gift. Unless, of course, the person you're buying it for already owns it.
Review written by: Patrick Hubbell; RiverboatPH@hotmail.com
Most recent customer reviews
Lee Mendelson , one of the men behind all of the Peanuts cartoons, has created a tribute book for one of the most watched and appreciated Christmas specials. Read morePublished on June 8 2004 by J. Carroll
If you always wanted to see music cues or script treatment for this classic, this book is for you. Inclusions of this type are extensive. Read morePublished on July 12 2001 by A. Person
Great Book! Goes into the details of the creation of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. It even includes sheet music for "Linus and Lucy" and "Christmas Time is... Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2001 by Charles Duncan
My earliest memories of watching the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, was when I was in kindergarten. Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2001 by Michael W. Howe
Absolutely delightful. This strongest memory of my childhood is that every year, while decorating our Christmas tree, we would watch the Charlie Brown Christmas movie. Read morePublished on Dec 29 2000
In the television show, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown searches for the true meaning of Christmas and helps infuse it into all the Peanuts gang. Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2000 by Donald Mitchell
I purchased this book yesterday, and it's beautifully done. Includes entire script of film with glossy prints of many cells. Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2000 by Red State Gal
This book offers a glimpse into the history and making of this holiday classic TV special, as well as paying tribute to Peanuts creator, Charles Schulz through interviews with Bill... Read morePublished on Nov. 1 2000
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