A Boy Named Charlie Brown
Sound: C+ Extras: D Film: B
As The Peanuts Gang broke out in the 1960s into film
media, 1969 saw the release of A Boy Named Charlie Brown; an
underappreciated animated feature film that was meant to bring the priceless
characters to the big screen and did a charming job. Besides the classic line-up of child voice actors who remain the
standard for the voices of the characters, you have some very colorful
collages, animation done on purpose to shine on a big screen, great use of
color, great gags, funny dialogue and the beginning of another cursed baseball
The late, great Charles Schultz wrote the entire
screenplay himself and it is terrific for a first-time effort. Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez have been
the producers of Peanuts on film for decades and this is one of the efforts
that cemented their credibility for good.
Make sure if you get this DVD, play it back on the best home theater
system with the biggest screen you can find.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image looks good for
its age and the simple style of animation Peanuts was always about. This was originally released by the
theatrical film distributor National General in three-strip Technicolor prints,
and though this print is not always that great, it had its moments and can
compete with the best Peanuts DVDs Paramount has issued to date. The sound has been upgraded to Dolby Digital
5.1 and 2.0 Stereo, though the dated fidelity is obvious. However, I like the upgrade and the songs
are not bad, though I Before E is a Peanuts classic. Despite theatrical film trailers, posters
and other materials that are somewhere for the release of the first Peanuts
feature film, there are no extras whatsoever.
Good thing the film is so good.
- Nicholas Sheffo