DVDizzy.com | DVD and Blu-ray Reviews | New and Upcoming DVD & Blu-ray Schedule | Upcoming Cover Art | Search This Site

Peanuts DVDs Reviewed:Peanuts 1960's Collection Peanuts 1970's Collection, Vol. 1 Peanuts 1970's Collection, Vol. 2
Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection (It's the Great Pumpkin / A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving / A Charlie Brown Christmas)
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown
It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown "The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show"
Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown

"The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show": The Complete Animated Series DVD Review

The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show: The Complete Animated Series DVD cover art -- click to buy from Amazon.com The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show: Seasons 1 & 2 (1983-85)
Show & DVD Details

Creator/Writer: Charles M. Schulz / Producers: Lee Mendelson (executive), Bill Melendez

Series Director: Bill Melendez / Episode Directors: Sam Jaimes, Bill Melendez, Dick Horn, Steven C. Melendez, Robert E. Balzer, Phil Roman, Sam Nicholson

Voice Cast: Brad Kesten (Charlie Brown #1), Angela Lee (Lucy van Pelt #1), Jeremy Schoenberg (Linus van Pelt #1), Victoria Vargas (Peppermint Patty #1), Stacy Heather Tolkin (Sally Brown #1), Kevin Brando (Schroeder #1), Michael Dockery (Marcie #1), Bill Melendez (Snoopy, Woodstock), Brett Johnson (Charlie Brown #2), Heather Stoneman (Lucy van Pelt #2), Gini Holtzman (Peppermint Patty #2), Keri Houlihan (Marcie #2), Jeremy Schoenberg (Linus van Pelt #2), Stacy Ferguson (Sally Brown #2, Patty #2), Jason Mendelson (Rerun van Pelt), Mary Tunnell (Frieda), Danny Colby (Schroeder #2), Dana Ferguson (Little Girl), Carl Steven (Franklin)

Running Time: 344 Minutes (18 episodes) / Rating: Not Rated

1.33:1 Fullscreen (Original Broadcast Ratio) / Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles: None; Not Closed Captioned
Episodes Originally Aired September 17, 1983 - October 12, 1985
Two single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9s) / Clear Keepcase
Suggested Retail Price: $35.98 / DVD Release Date: November 20, 2012 (WBShop.com)
Episodes also available on Amazon Instant Video and iTunes

Own it today on DVD. Buy The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show: Amazon.com WBShop.com

It started with comic strips. In October 1950, 27-year-old Charles Schulz, the creator of the St. Paul Pioneer Press comic Li'l Folks, introduced Peanuts to the world as a daily comic in nine major metropolitan newspapers. Fifteen years later, Schulz's characters took to television in the CBS animated special A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Claiming half of the televisions across the nation, that beloved special would go on to win Emmy and Peabody awards. The success created obvious demand for more. Schulz, his director/producer Bill Melendez, producer Lee Mendelson, and composer Vince Guaraldi obliged, giving the network a new special just about every year. Some were tied to a holiday or season. Others were not.

In the early 1980s, the output of Peanuts animation increased, with the first half of 1983 seeing a record three new specials, two of them airing in the month of May. But that wasn't enough for CBS. That fall, they unveiled the weekly television series "The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show" as part of their Saturday morning line-up. Originally introduced in the 10:30 timeslot, between "The Dukes" (a cartoon "Dukes of Hazzard" spin-off) and "Benji, Zax & the Alien Prince" (a live-action show starring the dog of Joe Camp's feature films), "Charlie Brown and Snoopy" would move to 8 AM in the spring, then spend the remainder of its time in various early afternoon slots. Though it spent three full years in the CBS Saturday schedule, it ran for just two seasons, the second a short stint of only five episodes.

Snoopy paints the second half of the title in Season 1's opening sequence. The first season of "The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show" relies on familiar scenarios, like Lucy disturbing Beethoven-loving pianist Schroeder.

While the most iconic Peanuts holiday specials have been released and rereleased to DVD and even Blu-ray, the full 18-episode run of "The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show" has only now made its way to DVD in The Complete Animated Series, a two-disc set from the Warner Archive Collection.

"Charlie Brown and Snoopy" is comprised of short vignettes, most of them introduced with an onscreen title. Some run as short as a minute. In that way, it closely reflects the comic strip design. The other way in which it reflects the comics is that it relies heavily on familiar gags. You don't produce a comic strip set in the same universe every day for 50 years (33 by this point) without repeating yourself. These routine character bits feel as if they could very well be recycled from past specials (as the first season's opening titles' moments are).
Lucy holds the football for Charlie Brown only to pull it away before he can kick it. Charlie Brown manages a hopeless baseball team. Linus clings to his security blanket. Lucy pines for Schroeder as he stays intent on playing the piano. Snoopy and Woodstock get into all kinds of nonverbal adventures.

A noticeable improvement, the short-lived Season 2 opts for longer segments with more to them and less of the standard scenarios. As a result, its episodes are (like its catchy new theme song) easier to distinguish, remember, and appreciate. There is also the fun fact that the brief second season features Stacy Ferguson, a.k.a. Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas, as the voice of Sally Brown. Along with her run on "Kids Incorporated", this represented one of the ten-year-old's first professional credits.

This 1980s television series is Peanuts at its most basic and ordinary. It's definitely not a low point for the franchise, as there have been worse specials, especially the more recent ones produced after Schulz's 2000 death. But, while it may be the closest the series has ever got to the comic strips, "Charlie Brown and Snoopy" does run short on invention, originality, and effort. I suppose to someone who doesn't really appreciate Peanuts, this series is what the entire large canon feels like: pleasant enough but not quite funny and rather slight. To a Peanuts animation fan like myself, these episodes are nothing remarkable, but it's always nice to spend time with these lovable characters.

I must admit that the more Peanuts animation one sees, the more you realize how terrific the classic specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving are. It's not just the increased exposure and yearly airings that have made these specials stand out. They're just a lot more memorable than the series' average efforts, which are simply enjoyable diversions you aren't compelled to revisit much (if ever).

That accurately describes "Charlie Brown and Snoopy", which plays like a highlights reel and mostly lacks narratives substantial enough to distinguish. The simple animation style is upheld. The characterization is unchanged. Even the young voice cast, replaced every few years and from Season 1 to 2, is clearly on point, if we're considering Christmas the definitive standard for each character's innocent sound.

Five of these episodes have been included on Warner's recent Happiness Is...Peanuts DVDs, which have succeeded the studio's previous two-special discs that I often reviewed (links at bottom). The other thirteen are entirely new to DVD.

Linus and Lucy's younger brother Rerun shares thoughts from the back of his mother's bicycle. Charlie Brown is surprised to find Peppermint Patty staying in his guest house, a.k.a. Snoopy's doghouse.

Disc 1

Season One

1. Snoopy's Cat Fight (22:28) (Originally aired September 17, 1983)
Woodstock gets back at Snoopy for his reckless basketball play. While pitching, Charlie Brown worries about the Little Red-Haired Girl. Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty share a desk at school. Snoopy gives away Linus' blanket and it winds up in the possession of a cat.

2. Snoopy: Team Manager (22:29) (Originally aired September 24, 1983)
Linus and Snoopy help Lucy spade her garden. Linus' young brother Rerun rides on the back of their mother's bike. Linus fears for his missing blanket. Snoopy takes over managing the baseball team from Charlie Brown.

3. Linus and Lucy (22:30) (Originally aired October 1, 1983)
Snoopy joins Sally for her school report on animals. Lucy plays the football joke on Charlie Brown. Lucy pesters Schroeder. Lucy, Linus, and others play in the snow. Charlie Brown has trouble flying a kite. Lucy bosses Linus around and the two siblings bicker.

4. Lucy vs. the World (22:28) (Originally aired October 8, 1983)
Lucy upsets Charlie Brown with her baseball play. Peppermint Patty stays in Snoopy's doghouse. Snoopy asks everyone to nominate him for the Neighborhood Dog of the Year award. Lucy kicks Linus out of the house.

Two search parties come together in "Snoopy: Man's Best Friend." Good grief! Everyone gets tangled up in Charlie Brown's kite. A boy named Floyd hits on Marcie at camp.

5. Linus' Security Blanket (22:28) (Originally aired October 15, 1983)
Charlie Brown plays baseball through rain. To break his attachment, Linus gives Snoopy his blanket. Charlie Brown's kite play gets him stuck in a tree. Snoopy clings to anyone confessing a love of dogs.

6. Snoopy: Man's Best Friend (22:23) (Originally aired October 22, 1983)
Snoopy tries to cheer up Lucy and stays with Peppermint Patty. While Charlie Brown goes looking for Snoopy, Peppermint Patty and Marcie go looking for Charlie Brown.

7. Snoopy the Psychiatrist (22:29) (Originally aired October 29, 1983)
Lucy advises Charlie Brown, while Snoopy fills in for her at her psychiatry booth. Charlie Brown has more kite-flying troubles.
Snoopy is Peppermint Patty's date at the school dance. A rude new kid on the baseball team creates problems.

8. You Can't Win, Charlie Brown (22:27) (Originally aired November 5, 1983)
Charlie Brown serves Snoopy spaghetti. Rerun helps the baseball team win. Linus and Lucy make snow sculptures. Charlie Brown trains Snoopy. At school, a roof leaks atop Peppermint Patty.

9. The Lost Ballpark (22:24) (Originally aired November 12, 1983)
Marcie and Peppermint Patty go to camp. Linus and Snoopy hunt for truffles and instead find a girl named Truffles. The baseball field becomes off-limits to Charlie Brown. Snoopy's brother Spike makes a brief first appearance.

Sally prepares for a school presentation in "Chaos in the Classroom." Charlie Brown is not happy with the smiling tree that just ate his kite.

Disc 2

10. Snoopy's Football Career (22:28) (Originally aired November 19, 1983)
Peppermint Patty tries to earn a gold star in school. Linus teaches Snoopy a lesson. Lucy takes drastic measures after Schroeder continues to ignore her. Everyone teaches one another the game of football.

11. Chaos in the Classroom (22:26) (Originally aired November 26, 1983)
Sally prepares for school presentations. The gang plays more football in pairs. To Peppermint Patty's annoyance, Marcie is a crosswalk guard. Linus' blanket attacks Lucy. More baseball.

12. It's That Team Spirit, Charlie Brown (22:28) (Originally aired December 3, 1983)
Snoopy pretends he is a vulture and hunts Linus' blanket. School woes prompt Peppermint Patty to miss class to hang out on Snoopy's doghouse. Rerun shares more thoughts from the back of his mother's bicycle. Charlie Brown and Lucy play baseball until it rains.

13. Lucy Loves Schroeder (22:25) (Originally aired December 10, 1983)
After a tree eats his kite, Charlie Brown turns to Lucy for psychiatric advice. Sally brings Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace to class. Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty, and Marcie go to camp. Lucy bothers Schroeder and shrinks his piano in the dryer. A scared Snoopy keeps coming inside at night to sleep in Charlie Brown's bed.

At computer camp, Snoopy's Robot goes from helpful to dangerous in an instant. Like everything else, Peppermint Patty and Marcie attend camp and fall for Charlie Brown together. Snoopy juggles the Christmas wreaths that Sally talks up in what would be the series' final episode.

Season Two

14. Snoopy and the Giant (22:28) (Originally aired September 14, 1985)
Snoopy breaks his foot and stars in a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. Rerun plays with jacks-in-the-box and makes a friend.

15. Snoopy's Brother Spike (22:28) (Originally aired September 21, 1985)
Charlie Brown sells popcorn and serves as mascot at Peppermint Patty's baseball games. While Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty bowl, Linus and Snoopy await The Great Pumpkin. Snoopy's whiskered brother Spike visits and is asked to fight the cat next door.

16. Snoopy's Robot (22:28) (Originally aired September 28, 1985)
At computer camp with the gang, Snoopy meets a robot whose service he comes to dislike. At Lucy's advice, Linus tries to get rid of his blanket. Peppermint Patty and Marcie both have crushes on Charlie Brown.

17. Peppermint Patty's School Days (22:25) (Originally aired October 5, 1985)
Rain and other issues spice up Peppermint Patty and Marcie's school days. Snoopy gets attention in a variety of ways, including a disappearing act. Snoopy flies Schroeder to music camp on his doghouse.

18. Sally's Sweet Babboo (22:27) (Originally aired October 12, 1985)
Charlie Brown writes about last Christmas, including the play and wreath-selling bits that would feature in 1992's It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown. The gang celebrates Valentine's Day. Peppermint Patty writes about Snoopy's many exciting adventures.

Watch a clip from The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show:

VIDEO and AUDIO

Considering the low expectations one has for a Warner Archive release of 30-year-old Saturday morning cartoons,
the DVD's picture quality is great. The 1.33:1 fullscreen presentation is marred infrequently by minor smudges, specks, and lines. More noticeable but not especially bothersome, the coloring seems off. For instance, the characters' skin is almost snow white. Consistency is also off. Some episodes inexplicably look and sound quite a bit better than others. Colors even vary, with Snoopy's red doghouse sometimes appearing orange or even yellow. The picture is occasionally a little lacking in sharpness and focus. All things considered, though, this is a most satisfactory presentation and practically perfect at times.

Most of the time, the Dolby 2.0 Mono soundtrack is good too, but typical for Warner Archive, these discs sadly include neither subtitles nor closed captions.

The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show DVD cover art is used as the one menu screen on Disc 1. The DVD cover art is also used as Disc 2's only menu.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

If you're familiar with Warner's other Peanuts DVDs and not the Warner Archive Collection, you might be surprised to discover a complete lack of bonus features here. The studio has done a really nice job with the entertainment agency Trailer Park to create substantial featurettes on the major specials, complete with the involvement of such individuals as Schulz's wife, Schulz's son, producer Mendelson, and, prior to his 2008 death, director/producer/Snoopy and Woodstock voice Bill Melendez.

Official Shop of Warner Bros
It isn't surprising, though, that for a show that has avoided DVD for so long to little clamor, there wasn't time, interest, or money to put together something special for a set that isn't even being released to general retail.

Each disc gets one simple, static menu giving you the choice to watch one episode or all of the ones on that disc. Episodes are divided into anywhere from 5 to 9 chapter stops, each fittingly tied to segments unlike the Warner Archive discs that simply drop in stops every ten minutes.

The standard clear keepcase holds Disc 1 on a swinging tray and Disc 2 on its ordinary hub. The simple and uniform nature of Warner's Peanuts DVDs makes it very difficult to notice this one's artwork is just barely of a lesser print quality. The stark lack of reverse side artwork and usual absence of the official DVD logo are the biggest giveaways as to its MOD origins. In addition, the packaging's copy is plagued by a typo, in this case the misspelling "Charles M. Shultz" (really?!), whose seemingly contractually-obligated signature is also noticeably lacking from the character artwork.

The more creative second season allows Charlie Brown and Snoopy to hold the show's title logo. If it's Halloween, then you can bet that Linus is awaiting the Great Pumpkin down at the pumpkin patch.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Unless you're a Peanuts completist or have really fond memories of this incarnation, "The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show" probably won't do a whole lot for you. Though fine entertainment for 1980s Saturday mornings and 1990s syndication, most of these segmented episodes do not have the holding power of the series' best specials and movies nor the unique, original content to make a distinctive impression apart from the rest.

Warner Archive's long-overdue DVD is fundamentally sound and really just an English SDH subtitle track away from being a retail-ready release. But if you are going to spend $30 or more on Peanuts animation, you'd be better served by getting the Deluxe Holiday Collection on Blu-ray or DVD and another one or two of the 2-special collections.

Buy The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show on DVD: Amazon.com WBShop.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Related Reviews:
Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection Peanuts 1960's Collection Peanuts 1970's Collection, Vol. 1 Peanuts 1970's Collection, Vol. 2
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales
He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown

New to Warner Archive Collection: Bugs Bunny Superstar The Flintstones: Prime-Time Specials Collection, Volume 1 The Halloween Tree
New: A Special Sesame Street Christmas Prep & Landing DreamWorks Holiday Classics Pixar Short Films Collection, V2 Grave of the Fireflies Brave
'80s Cartoons: Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1980s Adventures of the Gummi Bears: Volume 1 The Jetsons: Season 2, Volume 1
More '80s Animation: The Smurfs: Season One, Volume One Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper The Smurfs and the Magic Flute

DVDizzy.com | DVD and Blu-ray Reviews | New and Upcoming DVD & Blu-ray Schedule | Upcoming Cover Art | Search This Site

Search This Site:

DVDizzy.com Top Stories:

Reviewed November 27, 2012.



Text copyright 2012 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 1983-85 United Feature Syndicate, Inc. and 2012 Warner Home Video.
Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.