Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown (2011)

Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown ReviewHappiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown Review

Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown is a 2011 animated television special and the 45th entry in the Peanuts series. It belongs in the top ten for the series.

Yes, the last Peanuts special is really that good. Linus’ grandma comes for a visit, but he has to get rid of his security blanket before she arrives or she will get rid of it. Of course Lucy is there to “help”. Finally, finally we see a Peanuts special revolve entirely around Linus’ insecurities and it does it beautifully. We see how he is insecure, his speeches are great and especially the one where he tells the kids how everyone has one of their own insecurities. Very heartwarming and truthful.

I loved how it ended and I loved that Lucy finally understood him in the end. As for the other subplots, they aren’t as great as the main story and sometimes felt like detours, but overall they were solid. I liked the usage of older animation and characters in it, from the sixties and even 50s comic strips. That was interesting to see. I liked Charlie Brown and rarely have I seen better utilized Pig-Pen. And even Snoopy is excellent here and he has a couple of funny moments, albeit I did not like his character design.

Happiness Is a Warm Blanket is so heartwarming and featuring such a wonderful use of Linus leading to one of the best Peanuts specials and a great swansong for them.

 My Rating – 4.3

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Top Ten Peanuts Characters

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Top Ten Peanuts Characters

Peanuts is one of my favorite properties and I’ve watched all of its specials and feature films. To me one of its strongest aspects are the characters. It has an abundance of unforgettable, classic characters, either endearing or funny, so I am going to rank my ten favorites. Making this list wasn’t particularly difficult because there aren’t many Peanuts characters which is also the reason why just these ten without honorable mentions will suffice this time around.

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Top Ten Peanuts Characters10. Little Red-Haired Girl

Little Red-Haired Girl takes the tenth spot mainly because she just isn’t particularly memorable and she appears only in a handful of specials and films. But she serves well as Charlie Brown’s crush and her greatest moment came in ‘The Peanuts Movie’ with the ending of that film being so sweet.

 

Top Ten Peanuts Characters9. Schroeder

Everything I said above also applies here. On his own, Schroeder isn’t memorable and is kind of boring, albeit his interest in music is interesting. But he is great when interacting with Lucy and watching his frustration at her endless flirts was hilarious and provided many of the best laughs in the series.

 

Top Ten Peanuts Characters8. Woodstock

Snoopy is the more memorable animal sidekick from Peanuts, that’s for sure. But his companion Woodstock is a pretty memorable little yellow bird and I really liked the interactions between the two characters that led to many greatest Snoopy scenes as well as some of the best slapstick humor for the series.

 

Top Ten Peanuts Characters7. Marcie

I really like Marcie and this is the point of the list where we get to truly good and even great characters. Her relationship with Peppermint Patty is fantastic and their episodes were easily some of the best. I liked her quirky, shy and geeky persona quite a bit and her calling Patty sir was consistently funny.

 

Top Ten Peanuts Characters6. Snoopy

Snoopy is definitely overused and actually they rarely utilized him in the best way possible and he is mostly a lost potential. But he still got more than a couple of good stories within the canon and he is the best when used sparingly, as a comedic supporting character. I loved his interactions with Woodstock, but his relationship with Charlie Brown is the highlight and quite sweet.

 

 

Top Ten Peanuts Characters5. Peppermint Patty

Peppermint Patty admittedly annoyed me at first, but I quickly grew to like her authentic domineering personality and butch behavior. Her interactions with Marcie were consistently entertaining, but her obsession with Charlie (or Chuck as she calls him) provided many excellent scenarios of which the best were those where she was jealous. A very interesting character for sure and the one who progressed the most during the series.

 

Top Ten Peanuts Characters4. Linus

Who doesn’t love Linus? He is not only such a great friend to Charlie Brown and a great moral support, but he is also very relatable and I especially liked the running gag with his safety blanket. That character trait made him vulnerable and ultimately more lovable. Whether in search of The Great Pumpkin or playing it smart, he is a fun presence and just such a sweet guy whom you cannot help but love.

 

Top Ten Peanuts Characters3. Sally

Sally is one of the funniest characters from Peanuts without any doubt. As Charlie’s younger sister, she is always complaining and throwing some very odd and yet hilarious observations about life. I loved her selfishness and cluelessness and many of her lines are immensely quotable and made me laugh out loud when I heard them. I love her so much and I have always been frustrated that she wasn’t used more.

 

Top Ten Peanuts Characters2. Lucy

Along with Sally, Lucy is the funniest Peanuts character for sure. But she is also the meanest by far. Watching her humiliate Charlie Brown was sometimes excessive, but mostly amusing. Her psychiatric booth sequences were absolutely amazing and just hysterical. Whenever she played a psychiatrist, it was bound to be funny. And of course her obsession with Schroeder also provided many funny scenes and lines.

 

Top Ten Peanuts Characters1. Charlie Brown

I rarely go with the protagonist for the number one, but in this situation, I had to. That is because Charlie Brown is such a different, unique main character never before seen in animation, or after really. He is always down on luck, always pessimistic and depressed all the time, but that is where the series shines as it provides a great message for kids about imminent failures and how you should just always continue trying. He is an unforgettable presence in the animation world and such a relatable and just superbly well developed character all around.

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He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown (2006)

He's a Bully, Charlie Brown ReviewHe’s a Bully, Charlie Brown Review

He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown is a 2006 animated television special and the 44th entry in the Peanuts series. It is quite a solid entry.

The plot here is pretty good with a couple of reservations. The overall bullying part started off in a good way, but as it progressed, it became more typical and bland. I also thought that this was one of the worst Peanuts specials when it comes to voice acting as I disliked most of the kids’ voices here.

But the characters are so good here. I liked that Charlie Brown won for once and this optimistic approach was refreshing for the series. But the highlights are Marcy and Peppermint Patty. Watching Patty’s jealousy reach the highest degrees yet was extremely entertaining, but the way Marcie played off of that by fooling with her was great as well. Those jokes were so funny and some even hilarious.

He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown features weak voices, but excellent uses of Peppermint Patty and Marcie who are so good here.

 My Rating – 3.5

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I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (2003)

I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown Review

I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown Review

 I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown is a 2003 animated television special and the 43th entry in the Peanuts series. It is a very weak special.

Rerun wants a pet of his own and eventually gets him but realizes that dogs are too much work. I do not get the point of this special whatsoever and it is one of the most troublesome, pointless and overly pessimistic Peanuts specials and that says a lot. Rerun is a fine, but forgettable character and it is a big problem that none of the other characters appear here aside from a couple of good scenes with Lucy and Schroeder.

I liked that it was a dog-centric episode, but other than that and the fact that some scenes are very good, most of the other scenes are either boring or lack any meaning to them plus the special is over forty minutes long and there just weren’t any need for that as the plot is overly simplistic. It truly is one of the weakest Peanuts specials.

I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown has its moments, but it is overlong, pointless and boring.

 My Rating – 3

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Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown (2003)

Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown ReviewLucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown Review

 Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown is a 2003 animated television special and the 42nd entry in the Peanuts series. It is a very good late entry.

This is a really good Peanuts special from the 21st century which is a rarity that should be treasured. It goes back to those classic baseball-themed specials from the sixties and seventies and although too much relying on the sport and familiar, it is still very good and satisfying owing to excellent character moments. Charlie Brown must get rid of Lucy and trade her to Peppermint Patty because she sucks at the game and is the worst player. Naturally that created a couple of really funny moments and the special has pretty good humor.

Charlie Brown here is as depressing as ever and he ends up alone in the rain, miserable in a classic Peanuts fashion. Lucy is excellent and of course Peppermint Patty is very good and I liked the emphasis on Marcie and her infatuation with good old Chuck. Snoopy also has his moments. Everyone delivered and was memorable and only the absence of Sally was felt and it bothered me.

Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown is familiar, yet very well executed and quite funny.

 My Rating – 4.1

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Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales (2002)

Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales ReviewCharlie Brown’s Christmas Tales Review

Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales is a 2002 animated television special and the 41st entry in the Peanuts series. It is an okay, passable diversion.

There is literally nothing to hate here and nothing to love either. Everything is either okay or solid. Once again we get a series of vignettes and of course some are better than the others. Most of those smaller, shorter parts were forgettable, but the parts with Sally and Lucy were two highlights.

Lucy is expectedly terrific and watching her try to be nice and interact with Schroeder is always bound to make you laugh. But Sally is even better as her confusion over the title of the Santa Clause produced a couple of comedic gems of the scenes. Charlie Brown himself is dull here, but Linus has his moments. I wish that the others were more utilized and the special is too short overall.

Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales has great Sally and Lucy, but others are dull and forgettable.

 My Rating – 3.3

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A Charlie Brown Valentine (2002)

A Charlie Brown Valentine ReviewA Charlie Brown Valentine Review

 A Charlie Brown Valentine is a 2002 animated television special and the 40th entry in the Peanuts series. It is one of the best Peanuts specials of all time.

Yes, it happened. The more recent entry got on my top ten list and it is very much deserved as it is such a great special. Stupendous is its quality. Charlie Brown wants to talk to the Little Red Haired Girl, but doesn’t have the courage. Then hilarity ensues when Marcie falls in love with Charlie and he somehow invites both her and Peppermint Patty to his party.

The plot here is too convoluted at times plus Marcy falling in love with Charlie did feel a bit too sudden and random. But other than that, this was such a blast to watch. Charlie’s crush was so well utilized and this is possibly the best Valentine episode ever from Peanuts. I loved its ending and that it remained a mystery who sent him a valentine. He was excellent here, but so is Snoopy as well as Lucy and of course Patty. Everyone gets their moment to shine and it is such a rich special both in humor and in character moments.

A Charlie Brown Valentine is such a terrific special filled with excellent moments for all of the characters and such a good story with good humor too.

My Rating – 4.3

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It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown (1997)

It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown ReviewIt Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown Review

It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown is a 1997 animated television special and the 38th entry in the Peanuts series. It is a very standard special.

Yes, it is definitely a special that doesn’t have any big flaws despite its familiarity. Linus meets a cute girl, falls in love with her and invites her to his birthday party where everyone thinks she won’t come. Yes, we’ve seen Linus being questioned and we’ve seen the boys get smitten by a cute girl many times before. Sure, it is charming and should serve well the kids, but as an adult, I found it to be childish and way too typical.

The ending is sweet and the scenes between the two lovebirds were definitely endearing. Linus isn’t as memorable, but the girl is charming and once again Sally got a couple of hilarious lines. She continues to steal the show whenever she appears. Charlie Brown himself is underutilized here, but I liked that the special focused almost entirely on Linus, but I just wish that it was more involving than it ended up being.

It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown is typical and childish, but sometimes quite endearing.

 My Rating – 3.3

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You’re in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown (1994)

You're in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown ReviewYou’re in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown Review

You’re in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown is a 1994 animated television special and the 37th entry in the Peanuts series. It is a very dull special.

Yes, this one is very boring mostly because the entire game between the birds and the cats and later bisons was so overlong and not that interesting in concept either. And I also found the design of the animals very unappealing here which is weird having in mind how iconic Snoopy and Woodstock are, but these other animals looked odd nonetheless. Whenever they made a sports-related episode, I am bound to be bored and I was certainly bored here.

But You’re in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown has its moments. Charlie and Linus’ infatuation with a girl is a tired concept and, though not bad, it wasn’t particularly memorable here. But the entire subplot with Lucy is absolutely fantastic as she perfectly manipulated Charlie into kicking the ball and then he tried to kick it while she wasn’t looking and still failed miserably. This running gag is one of my favorites throughout the series and it is so well put to use in this special plus the ending is pretty good.

You’re in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown is a wildly uneven special. The Lucy subplot is great, but everything else is weakly done and prolonged.

 My Rating – 3.1

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You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (1985)

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown ReviewYou’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown Review

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is a 1985 animated television special and the 29th entry in the Peanuts series. It is a solid program.

Now this is one of those musically oriented Peanuts specials and there lies its biggest problem. The songs here are just so bland and so boring that they really hurt the overall special which could have been much better and much shorter without them. I also thought that it is very uneven as some parts here are excellent, but some are forgettable and not that great.

Let’s talk about some of the highlights. To me Lucy here was excellent and both the part where she taught nature to her brother and her part with Schroeder were terrific and very funny. But the highlight has to be the Peter Rabbit book report subplot. Wow, is it funny. It was hilarious watching the kids struggle with their report and count the words and it was all the more funny for being so realistic and relatable. But unfortunately all of the parts in the second half weren’t as great.

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown has some hilarious and terrific parts, but also others that are forgettable leading to an uneven Peanuts entry.

 My Rating – 3.6

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