While recent news reported that Charlie Brown and the gang will be featured in a new 3D movie in the near future, earlier this year, Warner Bros. began a new collection of Peanuts cartoon DVD’s. “Happiness Is…Peanuts - Go Snoopy Go,” the first, features an episode of “The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show” and the TV special, “It’s Spring Training, Charlie Brown.”
“The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show” was a Saturday morning cartoon series that ran on CBS back in 1983-1985. Rather than telling a single story, the show featured short segments taken straight from the newspaper comic strips. What sounds like a great idea, is ultimately a disappointment to diehard fans. The voice work is not up to par to the classic TV specials, the pace is rather slow and the jokes are surprisingly a lot funnier on the printed page. Still, if your children are peanuts fans, they will probably love it anyway.
The second half of the DVD fairs better. “It’s Spring Training, Charlie Brown” was a TV special that first aired in 1996. While not the same caliber as the greats, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” or “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” “Spring Training” tells a complete and satisfying story. The story begins with Charlie Brown excited for the baseball season to begin, but the weather is not cooperating. Still, he expects his team to practice in the snow anyway!
Not winning a single game, Lucy convinces Charlie Brown that the reason is because they do not have team uniforms. A neighborhood hardware store offers to purchase uniforms for the team if they can win their first game of the season. While it seems doubtful that this task can be done, the Peanuts team has a secret weapon: a new player, little Leland.
Missing from both these features is the traditional “Linus & Lucy” theme music, made popular by the Vince Guaraldi Trio and featured in Charlie Brown’s very first special back in 1965. (Originally posted on Examiner.com)