A Crash Course in Charlie Brown In 1 DVD

Peanuts-watching
It’s an awesome family movie night, Charlie Brown! Photo: Rachel Cericola.

Peanuts mania is coming.

Of course, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Pigpen, and the rest of the pals have been popular for well over half a century. However, the kids are about to reach out to a whole new generation, with the November release of The Peanuts Movie.

Whether you have a fan at home or want one, you can prep for the upcoming big-screen adventures with the new Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection DVD, which is coming out Tuesday, September 15.

Out of the five Halloweens my son has gone trick-or-treating, he’s dressed as Peanuts characters for two of them. We have Peanuts books, posters, figurines, stuffed animals, T-shirts, puzzles, DVDs, and more. Needless to say, he was very excited about the arrival of this double-disc DVD. However, he was also really surprised at how much he has missed.

Of course, we watch all of the Peanuts specials on broadcast TV—multiple times a year, as well as in the off-season. (Thank you, DVR!) If you’ve been watching, you’ll notice that for every viewing of A Charlie Brown Christmas or It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown, there’s a little bonus episode, which supersizes the experience to a full hour. Some of those extras are available on DVD releases, and at least one is featured here. However, this set mostly compiles some of the lesser-known episodes.

Peanuts-Emmy
Photo: Warner Bros.

That’s not to say these aren’t popular episodes. In fact, every single one of the 11 specials included in this set was also an Emmy nominee, with a pair of winners in there as well. It’s not a comprehensive collection, since there are many other Emmy nominees in the Peanuts arsenal. After all, they probably need something for the next collection. Plus, we’re never going to get A Charlie Brown Christmas without paying a separate fee for it.

So, yes, some of them you may have seen before. My son informed me that She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown is currently paired up with the broadcast run of Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! He also said that You’re the Greatest, Charlie Brown is a bonus feature on the DVD for You’re a Good Sport, Charlie Brown. (The kid really knows his Charlie Brown.)

However, a few of them he hasn’t seen, and offered some surprises. For instance, he was quick to point out that in a few of these specials, you actually see adult characters. Adults in a Peanuts cartoon? Say it ain’t so! Also, there are two specific specials that evolved into some great conversations—and it wasn’t just a bunch of mwah, mwah, mwah.

What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown? was made for the 39th anniversary of D-Day, and discusses the historical event in great detail. It was one that my son knew little-to-nothing about, so this was a great springboard into the topic. Why, Charlie Brown, Why? has a main character dealing with cancer. This special was very serious and sometimes sad, but also took a slight edge off a topic that has touched our family (and just about every family we know).

On a less serious note, I had the hardest time explaining It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown. How does one explain poor fashion choices, dance steps, and hairdos?

Also worth noting is that Warner Bros. has “remastered” each of the specials, so you may notice a slight bump in video quality. I thought it offered a little boost over some of our VHS copies, but nothing outstanding. For that kind of bump, I’m guessing Warner Bros. would have to put these specials on Blu-ray. Something that is more noticeable is that each of these episodes doesn’t include the trademark Vince Guaraldi soundtrack. It’s absolutely noticeable here, but this is how they originally ran so many years ago.

I’ve been a fan of Charlie Brown long before my son came along. That rubbed off on him pretty quickly, though. He was into the cartoons and books before he could even say the names “Charlie Brown” and “Snoopy.” (For the longest time, he called them “Man” and “Fweet,” two names that are sorely missed.) From one Peanuts-loving family to another (or one that’s hoping to be), the Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection is a must-have.

GeekMom received this item for review purposes.