Warner Brothers


Not Rated

25 min.


  • It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown
  • In Full Bloom: Peanuts at Easter

The Pitch

The bald kid’s goofy friend with the blanket believes in
something called the Easter Beagle.

The Humans

Bill Melendez, Linda Ercoli, Stephen Shea, Jimmy Ahrens,
Lynn Mortensen and Todd Barbee

I find this really bizarre that we’ve all been culturally programmed to think the above shot is normal.

The Nutshell

It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown is another in a long
line of Peanuts Holiday Specials. Charles Schultz has set up a series of cues
that every special has to hit. There are the multiple plot lines, one of the
central characters muses on Capitalism encroaching on the sacred and then
there’s the overabundance of Snoopy. I hate that Beagle more than I hate the
career of Sarah Jessica Parker.

The Lowdown

Peppermint Patty wants Marcy to learn how to properly dye
eggs. But, that little androgynous lady is too busy frying them. This is the
kind of gag that you can expect from a Peanuts special. Originally released in
1974, It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown hit all the usual notes of a
Melendez/Schultz production. Snoopy gets his time in the spotlight, as he goes
out to buy his pal Woodstock a new
birdhouse. Then, there’s Linus convincing poor gullible Sally about the latest
supernatural Holiday creature that he created.

She’s here, she’s queer and we’re kind of used to it.

Linus is really the bastard of these Specials. Sure, he got
his moment in the spotlight during the Christmas Special, but what since that Holiday?
He terrorizes neighborhood children during Halloween with tales of a mythical
creature that only visits once a year. Then, he tries the same deal with
Easter. Who tortured this poor kid with thoughts of mythical creations coming
to confound him on certain days of the year? No wonder he keeps the security
blanket at his side. He’s been traumatized and all these Specials are his
attempts to bring others into his terrified world.

What’s really freaky about this special is how much Snoopy
pushes Charlie Brown to the background. In the modern era, it’s almost commonly
accepted that Snoopy is the star of the show. But, this was the first time that
Charlie Brown became a bit player. Snoopy is always following the kids around
as a group and his bit with Woodstock’s
new home dominates the latter half of the episode. Then, there’s his dance with
the bunnies that just kind of happens. There’s no rhythm or reason, but it’s
fun and will entertain children.

Something, something…capitalism is bad.

The bonus episode spotlights Arbor Day. Sally Brown is asked
to write a report on the conservation holiday and she’s confused. So, she
enlists the gang to help her learn more about it. This leads to
misunderstandings and a dumbing down of the Holiday to
explain it to kids. The entire affair builds to Charlie Brown finding out that
Sally planted trees all over his baseball field. Peppermint Patty has a good
laugh and the little bald kid dies inside.

The Package

It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown comes to DVD
with a standard single-disc release. But, the features are fun and informative. In Full Bloom: Peanuts at Easter gives us Schultz’s reasons for the style
changes in this thirteenth Peanuts special. It’s pretty cut and dry, but you
get some nice footage of Charles Schultz discussing where his characters were
in the mid 70s era. I would’ve appreciated more insight from Bill Melendez.
Melendez tends to get the short end of the stick when it comes to these DVDs
and it’s about time he was heard. Outside of that, the supplementals are pretty
fair. Even though, I don’t believe that the Arbor Day special should be counted
as a special feature.

Then I registered for the Talkbacks and I posted as Darth Testicle 89. Then, I totally ripped this guy for reviewing shit that I didn’t like. I’m a hero!

The A/V Quality on the DVD
is amazing when compared to the previously released disc from Paramount.
Warner Brothers has cleaned up the source material while keeping it true to its
ink and paint origins. Also, it seems as though the frame has been opened to a
more animation friendly aspect ratio. The digital noise is almost non-existent,
as Warner Brothers has proven that their more than capable to handle the
Peanuts Library. I recommend this DVD and
I’m looking forward to further Peanuts releases from Warner Brothers.

It’s not that I don’t like you, Marcy. It’s just that when you do that thing with your tongue, I get confused. I don’t know what I’m feeling and I’m scared.

7.0 out of 10