A Charlie Brown Christmas
Directed by Bill Melendez
In 1965 A Charlie Brown Christmas became the first animated special based on the comic Peanuts to be released. Since then the special has been aired every holiday season. Like A Christmas Story this is a holiday tradition for millions of people who tune in to see the film again and again. The special even won a Primetime Emmy in 1966 as the Outstanding Children’s Program. Bill Melendez directed the short film which was written by Peanuts author Charles Schulz.
The thoughtful Charlie Brown has found himself in the midst of a commercial Christmas season. As he’s faced with commercialism at every turn he begins seeking out the true meaning of Christmas. As he seeks to redeem the holiday he finds himself directing the Christmas play being put on by all of his friends. Their lack of focus on the season only further convinces Charlie Brown of the sad state of Christmas. In the end he’ll need a small tree and the help of his friends to discover what this season is really about.
When I think back on all of the specials we see over the season this one stands out. Personally it’s a special I look forward to even as an adult. The message is clear and the story is timeless. When holiday films are able to capture the essence of the holidays they can become a permanent part of the season. Like It’s a Wonderful Life this story is easy to relate to and filled with wonderful moments.
In addition to a great story the music by Vince Guaraldi is an amazing work in itself. The song Linus and Lucy would eventually become the unofficial theme song for the Peanuts gang.
I would recommend this for everyone during this holiday season. This is a movie that the whole family can sit down and enjoy as they soak up the holiday spirit. I give this one 4.2 out of 5 stars.
Brilliant film, my favorite of the Charlie Brown series. It’s so touching and sweet, with beautiful animation. As well as for the whole family, like you said.
Nice write up!
The characters of the Peanuts gang were brilliantly written and the Christmas special is definitely the highlight for me too.