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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Children > History > TV > This Is America, Charlie Brown (animated)

This Is America, Charlie Brown (animated)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Episodes: B



One of the greatest signs of how great The Peanuts Gang was, is and always will be is in a remarkable series of books that were often best-sellers and even vital reading for fans of all ages.  This included books that made history fun.  By the late 1980s, the creators of the TV specials decided to make an animated equivalent and the new This Is America, Charlie Brown DVD set from Paramount.


Each installment runs a half-hour each and are as follows:


1)     The Mayflower Voyagers

2)     The Birth Of The Constitution

3)     The Wright Brothers At Kitty Hawk

4)     The NASA Space Station

5)     The Building Of The Transcontinental Railroad

6)     The Great Inventors

7)     The Smithsonian & The Presidency

8)     The Music & Heroes Of America



The shows are four-a-piece-per the two DVDs included in slender cases that slide into a nice box.  Some of the shows work better than others, but I was impressed by the wit, intelligence and progressiveness of the shows.  In the Transcontinental Railroad segment, the Peanuts Gang help hammer the spikes that make the railroad possible and are joined by the Chinese workers (drawn in the best peanuts tradition) that built most of it and were purposely never photographed.  This is not to say this is being overtly political, but telling the truth about history seems to be political by default, which is another issue.


The only other thing I can compare these shows to is the classic America Rock segments of the immortal Schoolhouse Rock shorts (also on DVD).  This set is another good one for fans of Peanuts and solid family entertainment with substance.


The 1.33 X 1 image is decent, with good color and art in the Peanuts tradition.  Sometimes, there are flaws and minor errors, but they all play back well otherwise.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no surround information on any of the installments, but they are all clean and clear.  There are no extras, though maybe a special edition with some books would work.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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