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A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING ($20) isn’t quite the classic that the Peanuts Halloween and Christmas specials are, but it is definitely a holiday treat nonetheless. In this outing of the Charles M. Schulz characters, Charlie Brown finds himself facing the Thanksgiving holiday with a number of uninvited guests, all thanks to Peppermint Patty, who takes advantage of "Chuck’s" wishy-washy nature. Although Charlie Brown is set to have Thanksgiving dinner at his grandmother’s house, he tries his best to prepare a quick holiday feast with the aid of his dog Snoopy, his pal Linus and "little birdy" named Woodstock. Of course, toast and popcorn is no one’s idea of holiday fare, but Charlie Brown does the best that he can. At the end of the program, when everyone else heads off to enjoy a proper Thanksgiving repast, Snoopy whips out a turkey dinner for him and Woodstock to enjoy. Somehow, watching this "little birdy" enjoy his turkey, makes me think that their may be a bit of Hannibal Lecter hiding under that cute yellow façade. Of course, that may just be my twisted mind working overtime…

In addition to A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING, the DVD includes the bonus feature THE MAYFLOWER VOYAGES from the THIS IS AMERICA CHARLIE BROWN series. THE MAYFLOWER VOYAGES places the Peanuts gang in a recreation of the Pilgrim’s journey to America, showing how they came to celebrate the first Thanksgiving with the Indians that helped them survive their first year in the new world. While containing all the important historic facts, this program is unusual since it depicts the Peanuts characters interacting with adult characters.

Paramount Home Entertainment has issued A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING on DVD in a very nice looking edition. The program is in its proper television ratio of 1.33:1 and the image appears very clean and colorful. Although produced for television in 1973, A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING doesn’t look its age. I would assume that the film elements have been digitally clean up for this presentation. THE MAYFLOWER VOYAGES doesn’t look quite as good as A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING, despite having been produced in 1988, which has more to do with the quality of the animation than anything else. The picture on THE MAYFLOWER VOYAGES is stable and clean. There are no visible signs of digital compression artifacts on either program. The Dolby Digital monaural soundtracks on both features do have very limited frequency response, but the dialogue on both features is fully intelligible. Music is reproduced without any appreciable distortion. The basic interactive menus provide access to both programs, as well as the scene selection feature within each. English subtitles can also be accessed through the menus.

A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING is an entertaining special that Peanuts fans will want to add to their collections, especially since Thanksgiving specials are so few and far between.

Note: In addition to the individual release, A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING is available as part of the Peanuts Classic Holiday Collection ($60), which also includes A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS and IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN.





A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

 Peanuts Classic Holiday Collection


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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