on February 17, 2009
For anyone who watched the classics over and over and over again growing up - this is a MUST see and MUST own collection!
Who doesn't remember looking forward to the annual airing of It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown?
I bought this at Christmas time with the intention of saving the episodes to match the holidays, but my kid wanted to see them all. He's watched them over and over again. It was well worth the money to bring up a new generation watching good, wholesome cartoons!
The Peanuts holiday tales are timeless holiday traditions, and just about everybody has fond memories of watching our favorite round-headed kid as he and his friends struggle through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. "The Peanuts Holiday Collection" brings together three beautifully remastered, beloved holiday tales, accompanied by three other bonus stories to complement them.
"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" when Linus decides to spend Halloween night sitting in the pumpkin patch, hoping for the Great Pumpkin to appear. While he and the besotted Sally are out there, Charlie Brown and the others are off trick-or-treating and going to a party, even as the World War I flying ace (aka Snoopy) is shot down behind enemy lines. Will the Great Pumpkin appear, or is Linus' pumpkin patch not sincere enough? And if he doesn't appear, what is Sally going to do?
Then in "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," Charlie Brown is planning to go with his family to his grandmother's house. But then Peppermint Patty calls him, and ends up inviting herself, Marcie, and Franklin to a Thanksgiving dinner... at HIS house. Charlie Brown's friends agree to help out with dinner -- but with a ping-pong dinner table and a main course cooked by a dog and a bird, is there any chance of this being a satisfying Thanksgiving?
Finally it's "A Charlie Brown Christmas," with poor Charlie Brown feeling depressed just before the holidays. Lucy comes up with the idea of having him direct the Christmas play... which turns out to be a disaster, since everybody is too busy dancing. And when he's sent off to buy a Christmas tree, Charlie Brown ends up buying a scrawny little thing that keeps shedding needles. It's up to Linus to remind everyone of the true meaning of Christmas.
There's also a bonus special accompanying each of these classic episodes: "It's Magic, Charlie Brown," in which Snoopy's dabblings in magic render Charlie Brown invisible, which has some unexpected drawbacks and benefits; "The Mayflower Voyagers," the story of how the Pilgrims came to the US, and is acted by the Peanuts gang; and "It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown," a series of goofy, kooky yuletide adventures for the Peanuts gang, including a disastrous pageant, mittens, and Charlie Brown's ceaseless attempts to sell a Christmas wreath.
Every one of these holiday stories has that simple, down-to-earth magic that Charles Schulz managed to create for several decades -- there's nothing cutesy or twee about these stories. Just lots of understated humor ("What did you expect, a turkey card?"), running jokes, and poor Charlie Brown flailing around trying to stay afloat during the holidays.
But there are some powerful moments as well, such as Linus solemnly reciting the story of Christ's birth during the Christmas episode, or telling them about the origins of Thanksgiving. He's less inspiring when going off about the Great Pumpkin, though.
The characters are the really endearing part of it, mainly because they don't come across as snotty/cutesy caricatures of children -- they're more like everyday kids with an adult twist (Lucy rambling about Christmas being run by a syndicate). Charlie Brown is depressed by every holiday and struggles to make everybody happy, while Linus is wise and sensible (except on Halloween). And there's the feisty Peppermint Patty, grumpy Lucy, and of course Snoopy (who lives in his own little world).
An added note about the remastered editions -- not only do they have lots of lovely interviews, behind-the-scenes stuff, and of course the bonus specials, but they are BEAUTIFUL. Every story has been lovingly cleaned-up, so that the colors are bright and the animation is crisp.
Assuming you don't already have these stories, "The Peanuts Holiday Collection" is a must-buy for anyone who has ever hummed along to the jazzy piano theme, or suffered through some holiday pangs.
on December 5, 2011
got this for my husband and he couldn't wait for it to arrive. watched it as soon as it came and has watched with the kids almost every night since! thanks so much! great packaging, arrived on time.
on November 5, 2003
When this set first came out a few years ago, I was reluctant to buy it, secretly hoping that these three holiday classics would soon be re-released with special features.
Well, I waited. And waited. And waited. And finally, out of complete desperation, I just bought it.
Granted, none of the three main programs in the set are the greatest (I'm still waiting for the movies -- especially my favorite and the all-time greatest, Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown! -- and the masterfully done episodes from The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show). And there aren't any extra features (unless you count the second episode on each disc).
But it's a great way to get all three of the first wave of holiday releases at once.
Even at $39, the box set is definately more expensive than if one were to purchase the DVD's individually. But if you search around, the set can easily be found for much cheaper.
Heck -- if you don't find a better deal, just pay the $39. It's expensive, but definately a box set to cherish.
Just please: don't pay the retail! It's not worth it.
on September 21, 2003
Since I've already reviewed most of these DVD's (save It's Christmas Time Again Charlie Brown), I'm going to review them in a different light. I will say that Charlie Brown Christmas, It's the Great Pumpkin, CB and Charlie Brown Thanksgiving are 3 of my alltime favourite Charlie Brown specials.
A CB Christmas (1965) was (as I used as a title for my 2000 review) "The Special that Started It All!" Most of you have already seen this one, but if you haven't, go see it in this package! If you don't have it on DVD but liked it, all the more reason to buy this. Anyways, Charlie Brown seeks out the true meaning of Christmas and is asked to pick out a tree for the Christmas paegant. Finally, the true reason for Christmas is explained in the midst of the commercialism which even back in 1965 caused many to forget what Christmas is all about. 5 stars
It's Christmastime Again, CB (1992) is really a series of short stories. Charlie Brown plans to buy some mittens for his sweetheart Peggy Jean, Sally is in the schoolplay and her one line is simply "Hark!" Peppermint Patty is jealous of Marcie's role in the schoolplay. To compare this with the original would be unfair but this special is still cute and entertaining. 3 and 1/2 stars
Great Pumpkin (1966) shows Linus awaiting the Great Pumpkin's arrival with Sally, Charlie Brown's not-so-pleasant goodies in his Halloween bag and Snoopy's World War I flying ace routine (my favourite scene). 5 stars
Not Elected, CB (1972) is a lesser known special which should be shown each election year. Since Charlie Brown doesn't favour too well in Lucy's polls, Linus is encouraged to run for class president. 5 stars
CB Thanksgiving (1973) teaches a little about the 1st Thanksgiving and also Peppermint Patty learns a valuable lesson from Marcie after she invites herself, Marcie and Franklin to Chuck's house for Thanksgiving. 5 stars
The Mayflower Voyage (1988) was part of This Is America, CB (an 8 part series). My only complaint is that all of the This Is America series should be on DVD (they could include What Have We Learned CB? to even it out). Until then, enjoy this more educational view on the Mayflower with the Peanuts gang dressed as pilgrims. 4 stars
Though extras would be nice (commentaries by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendellson, the old Ford commercials, and a 2001 special about CB Christmas), these specials carry enough weight for themselves. Maybe extras are in the planning for the future. In the meantime, Melendez and Mendellson had enough understanding on Charles Schulz's characters to do justice to Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang!
on November 4, 2003
Charles M. Schulz (1922-2000) will be forever remembered for his endearing Peanuts comic strip characters. They include the unselfconfident Charlie Brown, the egocentric Lucy Van Pelt, the blanket-carrying Linus Van Pelt, Charlie's little sister Sally, the aspiring pianist Schroeder, the ever-messy Pig-Pen, Charlie's highly-intelligent dog Snoopy, the self-assured Pepperment Patty, the whiz-kid Marcie, etc. The popularity of his comic strip led to the filming of numerous animated shorts for television and several feature-length animated films. Of the animated shorts for television, three classic holiday shorts and three newer shorts (for a total of six) are included in this set of three DVD's. Most of the shorts were directed and co-produced by Bill Melendez, who also usually did the voices for Snoopy and Woodstock.
"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" (1966). Charlie Brown is delighted to be invited to his first Halloween Party. He goes trick-or-treating with Lucy, Violet, and several other children and gets rocks while everyone else gets candy. To Lucy's dismay, Linus has chosen to wait in a pumpkin patch all night for the Great Pumpkin to emerge.
"You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown" (1972). Charlie Brown is discouraged from running for school class president after Lucy conducts a poll; so Linus decides to run instead.
"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" (1973). Charlie Brown is dumbfounded when Pepperment Patty invites herself and two other friends to Charlie Brown's home for Thanksgiving dinner. Charlie, Linus and Snoopy speedily put together a holiday feast, but it isn't what Pepperment Patty was expecting.
"The Mayflower Voyagers" (1988). The Peanuts gang portrays the first pilgrims that land at Plymouth Rock. They learn about the hardships of colonial life and have the first Thanksgiving.
"A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965). Charlie Brown is elected to direct a Christmas play for his school. After being asked to buy a big and beautiful Christmas tree, he returns with a puny one and is ridiculed by everyone. In the meantime, Snoopy is busy decorating his doghouse for the annual, neighborhood decoration contest. Of all Charles M. Shulz's shorts & feature-length films, this is the only one that contains a religious tone that non-Christians may or may not enjoy.
"It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown" (1992). Arguably not as good as the original, the message from this short is not as intense as the original. It focuses on Sally's minimal role in the annual Christmas play (as well as Pepperment Patty), and Charlie Brown wants to raise money for his girlfriend.
Though not all of the shorts contained in this three-DVD set are equally good, children and adults alike will more than likely enjoy Charles M. Shulz's legacy of characters brought to life in them. Therefore, I rate this three-DVD box set with 5 out of 5 stars.
on December 19, 2002
I just recently bought this Peanuts Holiday Collecton DVD box set, I was doing some shopping for Christmas gifts and I saw this box set and having loved watching these Holiday specials when I was a child I decided to splurge and buy it and I'm glad I did because It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas are just as wonderful and charming watching them as an adult as when I watched them as a child. I have A Charlie Brown Christmas on video tape but it's much better on DVD so I will give the tape to a relative. On the Great Pumpkin DVD there is a bonus feature called You're Not Elected Charlie Brown and it is good but not great. On The Thanksgiving DVD the bonus feature is The Mayflower Voyagers and is very good, the best of the bonus features, the weakest of the bonus features is the one on the Christmas DVD, It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown was worth watching once but I will be skipping that one for now on and I'll just watch the classic Christmas special. The bonus Christmas cartoon was very choppy and could have used some better editing! I give the set 5 stars for all the rest but I wish they had included It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown, but this set is worth buying if you are a Peanuts fan.
on September 23, 2002
Like Pumpkin Pie, Egg Nog and Jack o' Lanterns, some Holiday specials become traditions unto themselves. I couldn't imagine watching October, November and December go by without a visit from the Peanuts gang.
October - "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" has made a "sheet-ghost" the official looser costume for Halloween. Only Charlie Brown would make such a woe some guise. There are no particular lessons to be had in this special, just the usual charm. Snoopy sneaking through WWII France is always a welcome addition. Perhaps next year, Linus? Included is " You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown" which tackles the school election with a Charlie Brown touch.
November - "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" has Charlie Brown serving up a most unusual Thanksgiving dinner. With the help of Snoopy, Popcorn and Toast take the place of the more difficult to cook turkey. A few morals here, and some good fun. Included is "The Mayflower Voyages" with Linus narrating the pilgrims voyage.
December - "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is the crown jewel of the collection. The rest are good, but this one is inspired. The simple wisdom of this Christmas special is hard to dispute, even among the non-Christian such as myself. Just good. Included is "It's Christmas Time Again, Charlie Brown." This sequel does not live up to the original, which is no surprise. Still, it is worth watching and enjoyable.
Altogether, a great DVD box set.
on December 14, 2001
I've grown up with the Peanuts gang. I've been a fan of the comic strip for as long as I can remember, and I've watched A Charlie Brown Christmas every year as well. It's a required Christmas tradition with me. Over the years, I've watched other specials, too.
This collection brings three of their holiday classics to DVD: Great Pumpkin, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Also included are three bonus programs, You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown; The Mayflower Voyages; and It's Christmas Time Again, Charlie Brown. These programs aren't nearly as good as the headliners, but do still provide some fun moments.
The biggest disappointment for the DVD fan is the lack of bonus material. As others have said, this collection could have been put on one DVD, and there are no bonus features. On the other hand, I don't remember these specials looking or sounding so good on TV.
If you're a Peanuts fan, you'll enjoy having these DVD's in your collection to enjoy at your leisure every year. Hopefully, Paramount will be smarter with future releases and include more programs and bonus material per disk.
on November 29, 2001
When Charles M. Schulz passed away, he left behind a legacy of joy beyond measure; through Charlie Brown and the whole Peanuts gang, he offered insights into human nature that rival that of Thackeray and Twain, and he did it simply and succinctly, through his endearing characters and his own personal generosity of spirit. And it's that spirit that is concisely captured in the "Peanuts Classic Holiday Collection," which features three of the most beloved of all of the animated versions of Schulz's creations: "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," and "A Charlie Brown Christmas." A more perfect package could not have been assembled to more aptly illustrate the contributions and enrichment to our lives and to our world made by this consummate artist who through a comic strip managed to convey an unparalleled kind of down-to-earth wisdom and common sense.
In "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," The whole gang is having a party, but will Charlie Brown finally get invited? Meanwhile, WWI flying ace Snoopy is off to do battle with the Red Baron, and Linus camps out in the pumpkin patch, adamantly awaiting the arrival of the Great Pumpkin, whom he is confident this night will be rising out of this very same pumpkin patch. This DVD also includes a bonus feature, "You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown."
"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" finds Charlie Brown in a quandary when Peppermint Patty invites herself and some friends to Thanksgiving at "Chuck's" house, and poor old Charlie Brown has nothing to serve them; and even if he did, he doesn't know how to cook! But, never fear, because Linus, Snoopy and Woodstock are on hand to bail him out and make it one of the most memorable Thanksgivings ever. The bonus feature included on this disc is "The Mayflower Voyagers," a retelling of the story of the Pilgrims, "Peanuts" style.
The real jewel among the treasures of this collection, however, is without a doubt "A Charlie Brown Christmas," which premiered in 1965 and has since become a cherished classic in it's own right. Charlie Brown gets picked by Lucy to direct their Christmas play, but he runs into some trouble picking out a proper Christmas tree. And Snoopy gets caught up in the commercialism of the season by entering the neighborhood decorating contest, adorning his dog house with such an array of lights and trim that it just may have a chance at winning the grand prize. But the most memorable moment of the film belongs to Linus, when he takes the spotlight to explain in his own inimitable way what Christmas really means. it's poignant and heart-felt, a moment that remains touching no matter how many times you see it. It's beautifully expressed, and in it's simplicity speaks volumes about the things that really matter in our lives. This DVD also includes a bonus feature, "It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown."
All three features are directed by Bill Melendez and feature an original score composed and performed by Vince Guaraldi. The cast includes the voices of Peter Robbins (Charlie Brown), Christopher Shea (Linus), Tracy Stratford (Lucy; Violet), Sally Dryer (Lucy), Karen Mendelson (Patty), Kathy Steinberg (Sally), Geoffrey Ornstein (Pig-pen), Chris Doran (Schroeder), Ann Altieri (Freida), Pamelyn Ferdin (Lucy) and Todd Barbee (Charlie Brown). "It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown," features the talents of Mindy Ann Martin, John Christian Graas, Jamie E. Smith, Marne Patterson, Matthew Slowik, Sean Mendelson, Lindsay Benmisk, Dianna Tello and Brittany Thornton.
A fitting tribute to a man who gave us so much, the "Peanuts Classic Holiday Collection" features three stories that will find their way into the hearts of generation after generation, timeless tales filled with a humanity that gives them universal appeal. Warm and entertaining, these are films that can be seen over and over again without ever losing their charm or their magic. Charles M. Schulz may be gone, but he will never be forgotten. Happy Holidays, Charlie Brown!