Here's another triple shot of Peanuts on DVD. There are three complete Peanuts specials on this disc and the quality of the three varies greatly. First up is "A Charlie Brown Valentine" from 2002. This is not to be confused with the more entertaining "Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown" from 1975 which is on another DVD collection. "A Charlie Brown Valentine" was produced after Charles Schulz' death and like most of the latter day Peanuts specials, it's not much to get excited about. It's not really bad, like "The Pied Piper" or "It Was My Best Birthday" though. There's really no story line other than that it's near Valentines day. All of the little "skits" contained in this half hour cartoon are lifted straight from the Peanuts comic strip, a la "The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show" TV series from the 1980s. Since a lot of the strips that it represents were good, it doesn't fall flat on it's face, but it's still pretty lame compared to the shows from the glory days. I'd give it 2 stars.
The second offering on this disc is much, much better, as it was produced during the first decade of Peanuts specials. While it's no "Charlie Brown Christmas" or "Great Pumpkin", this 1973 cartoon, "There's No Time For Love, Charlie Brown" is a keeper. It has a lot of the "classic" Peanuts bits like Marcie calling Peppermint Patty "sir" and a Snoopy segment that includes his "Joe Cool" theme song. Like "A Charlie Brown Valentine" the first several minutes of "No Time For Love" is a lot of gags lifted from the comic pages, this time dealing with school. "No Time For Love" was produced shortly before "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" and is of the same quality. I'd give it a strong 4 stars.
Up next is a 1981 effort called "Someday You'll Find Her, Charlie Brown". It's an interesting story but isn't executed very well. Like most of the 80s and 90s Peanuts specials this one suffers a lot. The charm of the earlier specials is absent here and the story seems to move rather slowly. In this one, Charlie Brown ends up a loser, whereas in "No Time For Love" he winds up winning, scoring a kiss from Marcie and an "A" on a school paper. Here, Linus steals his dreamgirl. I'd almost give this one 3 stars for effort but it doesn't quite make it, so 2 stars.
So that's 2 plus 4 plus 2 divided by 3 equaling a DVD worthy of 2.6 stars. Since I like "There's No Time For Love" so much, I'll bump it up to 3.