Talking About Bullies With Charlie Brown

With The Peanuts Movie right around the corner, Warner Bros. has started releasing some of the gang’s previous adventures on DVD. Last month, I talked up The Emmy Honored Collection, which sparked a lot of laughs in my house. This month, we have a Peanuts DVD that actually sparked an interesting conversation.

Warner Bros. specifically waited until October to release He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown because this is National Bullying Prevention Month. Of course, my son was excited about adding another Peanuts special into the rotation, but I used this DVD as a springboard into a conversation we should be having on a regular basis.

The topic of bullying is definitely not an easy one—for kids or parents. However, the 44th prime-time animated Peanuts TV special does make it a bit more manageable.

That said, encountering bullies isn’t really a new theme for Charlie Brown. Sometimes it seems like most of his entire existence is spent being bullied. However, the kids always seem to have his back—even if it’s to draw a pumpkin face on. But in He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown, good ole Chuck actually gets to be the hero.

Peanuts-Bully
All photos courtesy of Warner Bros.

Within five minutes, my son blurted out that this special was actually based on a Peanuts comic. (He’s right.) It’s summer, so most of the gang heads off to camp. It’s here that Charlie Brown meets a bully named Joe (voiced by a very young Taylor Lautner), who is spending his summer swindling unsuspecting kids out of their marbles. When Joe cheats Rerun van Pelt out of his grandfather’s prized collection, Charlie Brown steps in. Of course, Snoopy is a big help, as well as a big source of laughs.

The one thing I didn’t love about He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown is that we never find out why Joe is a bully. I guess there’s only so much you can cover in 22 minutes. However, once the show was over, I asked my son about why he thinks some people are bullies and whether he’s ever encountered one. Then, I tapped into StopBullying.gov for a few additional post-cartoon conversation topics, including what to do if he or someone he knows is being bullied. I also let him know that he doesn’t have to be a marble champion to be a hero!

We enjoy all things Charlie Brown. We collect comics, posters, puzzles, figurines, and other goodies. Needless to say, we enjoyed He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown. Of course, I don’t expect the Peanuts gang to teach my son everything he needs to know about bullying, but I did appreciate the conversation it sparked.

Also worth noting is that the DVD doesn’t come with any special features. However, it does include the It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown TV special and an episode of The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show, which is split up into four funny segments.

GeekMom received this item for review purposes.

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