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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Drama > Educational > TV Specials > Musical > Live Action > TV > Peanuts Emmy Honored Collection (1976 - 1990/Warner DVD Set)/Sesame Street: Play All Day With Elmo (2015/Warner DVD)

Peanuts Emmy Honored Collection (1976 - 1990/Warner DVD Set)/Sesame Street: Play All Day With Elmo (2015/Warner DVD)

Picture: C+ Sound: C/C+ Extras: D/C+ Main Programs: B/C+

Here's a good set of new child titles...

The Peanuts Emmy Honored Collection (1976 - 1990) brings together some less talked about, but still fun and smart specials Charles Schultz made over the years that reminds us that their output goes far beyond the holiday classics that launched what remains the most successful series of animated specials in TV history. Over 2 DVDs, most of these specials were issued as part of other DVD releases (save a couple debuting here to our knowledge) and include...

You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown
She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown
It's Magic, Charlie Brown
Someday You'll Find Her, Charlie Brown
Is this Goodbye, Charlie Brown?
Life is a Circus, Charlie Brown
What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?
It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown
Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown
Why, Charlie Brown, Why?
You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown

These all hold up very well, especially in the cases where I had not seen them in decades. You might expect Flashbeagle to be the weak one here, but the makers took advantage of the trend, had fun with it and took it as an opportunity to make it a musical show with several genres of music. However, it is Marine Jahan, who choreographed the hit Flashdance movie for star Jennifer Beals, et al, did the same for Snoopy and a friend of Franklin's making it the first time in animated history we saw breakdancing, breaking or any form of hip hop animated.

However, the real gem making its long overdue debut here is Why, Charlie Brown, Why?, the most underrated of all Peanuts specials where Charlie Brown and Linus wonder why a new female student suddenly did not show up at school. Linus is especially taken by her, so when she turns out to be sick, he is not only hurt, but finds himself fighting for her against all the prejudice, stigmas and even potential hate steaming from her illness. As a moral center backing what he believes, it is his finest hour of so many and brilliant television and animated storytelling at its best. So much so that it alone justifies buying the whole set. Excellent!!!

There are sadly no extras.

Sesame Street: Play All Day With Elmo (2015) is the latest Elmo entry that offers the main program, then adds bonus features about as long, full length episodes Simon Says and Elmo's Word Games in this case. This is a good set and child friendly as always, but the sum total did not have the impact some of the other DVDs in the series had for me. However, I know I am not the target audience and children (especially Elmo fans) are more likely to enjoy this in rewatchability than I, but I still though many of the others just worked a bit more.

The 1.33 X 1 across all DVDs (35mm film for Peanuts, video for Elmo) look about as good as they can for the format and the Peanuts Blu-rays already issued made me think how much even better those specials could look, but we have few aliasing errors here and the prints are in pretty good shape. The Peanuts shows have all been upgraded from their original mono and stereo TV presentations to lossy Dolby Digital 5.1, but some have not benefitted as much as others and in those weaker cases, where are the original soundmasters? The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Elmo can compete as a result.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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