Saturday, October 25, 2008

Blog DVD Reviews: Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas) and You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the weekly Blog DVD Reviews. Today week we take a look at Warner Home Video's Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas) and You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown Remastered Deluxe Edition. The holiday season is upon us and what better classic to celebrate Halloween, Election Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. This series always gave us classic holiday specials for just about every holiday. See my Blog DVD Reviews of Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas) and You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown Remastered Deluxe Edition:

Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection - (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas) (Warner, $44.98) brings us the three most popular Charlie Brown holiday specials on DVD, but this time digitally remastered and excellent backstories behind them! Plus in addition to these three classics, on each set we get a bonus Charlie Brown special!
I think just about everyone in this country has seen the classic Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials at least once. They air on TV every year. In fact, the Halloween one is airing on ABC this Tuesday (October 28) at 8pm (along with the Election special) and the Thanksgiving special is slated for Tuesday, November 25 at 8pm. So, if you don't know what they are about by now...I don't know what to say, but here is a short synopsis of each: In the 1966 animated special It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, they celebrates Halloween, with Linus hoping that, finally, he will be visited by The Great Pumpkin, while Charlie Brown is invited to a Halloween party. In the 1973 special, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown wants to do something special for the gang. However the dinner he arranges is a disaster when the caterers, Snoopy and Woodstock, prepare toast and popcorn as the main dish. Humiliated, it will take all of Marcie's persuasive powers to salvage the holiday for Charlie Brown. In the classic 1965 special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism that he sees everywhere during the Christmas season. Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant, and Charlie Brown accepts, but it proves to be a frustrating struggle. When an attempt to restore the proper spirit with a forlorn little fir Christmas tree fails, Charlie Brown needs Linus' help to learn what the real meaning of Christmas is.
Each of these three classics are also available separately, if you don't want to buy them all in one deluxe set. The deluxe set is cheaper though, 44.98 for all three rather than 19.98 each. The deluxe set came out on September 23. Separate sets came out on other dates, with Halloween on Sept. 2 and Thanksgiving and Christmas on Oct. 7. As far as the packaging goes for the Deluxe set, we have a nice outer box that holds all three cases of each holiday special. The cases are the same as the separate released, but this set has no thin outer box, which is a good thing, because they don't make sense because it has the same front and back as the case. As for the deluxe set, the front has four different holiday shots (Linus with a pumpkin, Charlie Brown with a Christmas tree, Snoopy & Woodstock in Thanksgiving style hats watching the leaves fall, and Lucy skating on an ice rink.) In the middle we have a nice bow, so this set looks like a present! Nicely done! The back of this deluxe box has a nice red sky with snow falling and Charlie Brown, Woodstock and Linus watching Snoopy sit on top of his house that has Christmas lights. Also, each holiday set's cover is shown on the bottom. I'll quickly cover each holiday's packaging. For the Halloween one we have an orange background with lots of pumpkins and Charlie Brown, Linus and Snoopy. The back has info on the special and set along with a nice artwork of the gang in Halloween costumes. For the Thanksgiving one we have a beige (light yellow?) background with Charlie Brown, Woodstock and Snoopy with Thanksgiving food outside on a table. The back has info on the special and set along with a nice artwork of Charlie Brown, Woodstock, and Snoopy around a pile of leaves. For the Christmas one we have a dark blue (resembling a snow sky) background with Charlie Brown and Snoopy outside in the snow by a little (and pathetic looking) Christmas tree and you can also see Snoopy's little house with Christmas lights. The back has info on the special and set along with a nice artwork of the gang by a better looking Christmas tree singing Christmas carols. Now if you got these sets separately, you also got a thin outer box with the same artwork as the case. Inside each case there is no artwork or design, just plain black background. As for the disc artwork, Halloween has an orange background with Linus and a pumpkin. Thanksgiving disc has that beige (light yellow) background with Snoopy playing in the leaves, with Marci walking. The Christmas disc has that dark blue background with a nice Christmas tree and a shot of Snoopy. The Christmas set also has a six-song sampler disc, and it has a yellow background.
The menu screen has options of Features, Special Features, and Languages on all three sets. For Halloween, we get an orange background with artwork of Charlie Brown, Linus, and Snoopy around pumpkins and the theme song playing in the background. When we select something, we see a pumpkin as a selector. For Thanksgiving, we get a beige background with artwork of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Woodstock around a Thanksgiving meal and the theme song plays in the background. We have a leaf as a selector. For Christmas, we get a nice dark sky background with snow on the ground with artwork of Snoopy and Charlie Brown looking at a tree, and this time Christmas background music used in the special is playing in the background! For each set for Languages, we can have either English, Espanol, Japanese, or Portugues. For subtitles we have those and also Chinese, Korean, and Thai...wow! The Features section for all three sets has the two specials listed, we can also select Play All to play both back-to-back. Finally, Special Features for each special lists the extra (more on that below) and Trailers.
The video and audio is tremendous on all three sets. It has never looked better or sounded better ever. I am very impressed and Warner did a great job on this remastering. For the Halloween set, the classic 1966 special runs 25:12 and has five chapter stops. We also get the 1981 special It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown and that runs 24:14. For the Thanksgiving set, the classic 1973 special runs 25:16 with three chapter stops. We also get an episode from the 1988 TV series This is America, Charlie Brown titled "The Mayflower Voyagers," that runs 24:14 with six chapter stops. For the Christmas set, the classic 1965 special runs 25:25 with five chapter stops. We also get the 1992 Christmas special, It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown running 22:56 with six chapter positions.
As for special features, we get a nice featurette on the back story of each special on each set! For Halloween is titled "We Need a Blockbuster, Charlie Brown" and runs 13:56. It certainly was a blockbuster as this was the third special (after A Charlie Brown Christmas and Charlie Brown All-Stars)and it did a 49 share originally! The Thanksgiving featurette is called "Popcorn & Jellybeans: Making a Thanksgiving Classic" and it runs 12:25. This was the eleventh special for Peanuts and they wanted it to be different so they made the storyline of strange food during Thanksgiving dinner. For the Christmas featurette, it is called "A Christmas Miracle: The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas." Obviously this was the very first special and they were not expecting much of an audience but yes, a Christmas miracle happened and this became a blockbuster that Christmas in 1965 and has been watched by millions each year since! Interviewed for these featurettes are Fred Silverman, Scott McGuire, Bill Melendez, Mark Evanier, Lee Mendelson (Producer), Todd Barbee, Chris DeFaria, Hilary Momberger, Phil Roman, Jeannie Schulz (Charles Schulz's wife), and Monte Schulz (Charles Schulz's son).
I highly do recommend this set for any Charlie Brown-Peanuts fan and classic animation in general. All three holiday specials are trademarks during their respective season. Warner really needs to remaster every special for this wonderful franchise and put it on DVD. First we got 3 specials on the Valentine's DVD and two more on the Easter DVD. Now we get two specials each on Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, although the second special on Thanksgiving is an episode from the This is America, Charlie Brown series. The Election special and another special on that set was also released (see review below). With the holiday season upon us, Halloween is next week and Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, this is the perfect gift for you or anyone else! Go buy this set! Good grief!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

If you want to buy each holiday separately for any reason see below:
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Remastered Deluxe Edition- Halloween
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Remastered Deluxe Edition
A Charlie Brown Christmas Remastered Deluxe Edition

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Charlie Brown Official Page


You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown - Remastered Deluxe Edition (Warner, $19.98) brings us the classic 1972 Election-themed episode (ninth primetime special) on DVD once again, but this time digitally remastered...and it is really worth it! Plus in addition to the Election special, we also get He's a Bully, Charlie Brown, which is the last special made to date and it aired on ABC in 2006.
If you have never seen this Election special, it is about Linus who runs for the post of student body president with a vigorous and enthusiastic campaign which receives a setback when he spreads the message of the Great Pumpkin. We also get the most recent Peanuts special from 2006 He's a Bully, Charlie Brown. At home, Rerun van Pelt finds some old marbles his grandfather kept in the attic. He then decides at summer camp that he wants to be a marbles champ. Joe Agate, the bully, decides to play against Rerun on the false pretense of teaching him the game and quickly cheats him out of his marbles. Charlie Brown to the rescue?
Let's now move on to the packaging. We have a thin outer box that holds a very thin case, that is movie style. I never understood the reason for the thin box that holds a thin case...what's the point? Also, both the back and front of each is exactly the same, except the box is shinier. The cover art is blue in color, and has Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy watching Linus at the podium. The title of the election special is on the top, with a mention that this is a remastered deluxe edition! The bottom tells is we also get a bonus TV special (He's a Bully, Charlie Brown). To the back we go, we get a nice synopsis of the Election special, along with a list of the special features on blackboard. It is again blue in color with artwork of Charlie Brown, Sally, Snoopy and Linus. When we open the case, we get black background all over, very plain, but of course the disc is inside. The disc is in blue and has that blackboard and has artwork of Charlie Brown and Snoopy.
The menu screen has options of Features, Special Features, and Languages. We get that blue background again, with the theme song playing in the background. We also have artwork of Snoopy and Charlie Brown...Snoopy in that Joe Cool t-shirt! Anyway back to the menu, for Languages, we can have either English, Japanese, or Portugues. For subtitles we have those three again and also Chinese, Korean, and Thai...wow! But no Espanol for either? The Features section has the two specials listed, we can also select Play All to play both back-to-back. Finally, Special Features lists the extra (more on that below) and Trailers.
The video and audio is tremendous. It has never looked better or sounded better ever. I am very impressed. Warner continues to do a great job on this remastering of all these classic specials. Election special runs 25:13 and has 13 chapter stops, which you an use via your DVD remote. The Bully special runs 21:32 and has 5 chapter stops also. Both specials look amazing...the Bully one should as it is the newest one yet.
As for special features, we get a nice featurette! It is titled "The Polls Don't Lie: The Making of You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown" and runs 12:09. We find out lots of behind-the-scenes details and cool facts for the Election special from members of the Schulz family and more. Interviewed are Scott McGuire, Lee Mendelson (Producer), Mark Evanier, Jeannie Schulz (Charles Schulz's wife), Bill Melendez, Todd Barbee, Hilary Momberger, and Phil Roman.
I once again highly do recommend this set for any Charlie Brown-Peanuts fan and classic animation in general. Warner is doing a wonderful job with the remastering and the behind the scenes extras of each special. Let's hope they continue to release more Charlie Brown specials! So head to the polls this Election Day and think of Linus! You can catch this special on TV this Tuesday at 8:30pm ET on ABC following It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, if you want to preview it first if you've never seen it. Vote for Joe Cool not Joe the Plumber!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Charlie Brown Official Page
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Wednesday, April 16)

The Middle - "Vacation Days" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After being forced by his work to take a paid vacation, Mike tries to relax but finds his alone time being invaded by Brick, who wants to cash in and implement all of the personal gift coupons he has given his dad for Father's Day and birthdays over the years. Meanwhile, Frankie is livid when she discovers that Axl has been hanging out at the Donahues for the past few days and didn't let her know that he was even in town, and Sue is horrified when she discovers that someone has given her service at Spudsy Malone’s a bad review online and overreacts in her efforts to better please the customers.

Suburgatory - "Blame it on the Rainstick" (ABC, 8:30PM/ET) (Repeat)
When Noah is released from a court mandated anger management program, George is shocked to find a docile Noah has replaced his former hot-headed friend. Shaken by the change, George decides to put the new Noah to the test. Meanwhile, Tessa ditches “senior tanning” and meets a cool new age band hanging out at the park. The free spirited music group isn’t exactly what they appear.

Modern Family - "The Big Game" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
With a big football game coming up and a record to break, Coach Cam is intensely focused and showing no mercy even when the opposing team is playing with an unexpected disadvantage. Elsewhere, Claire is determined to prove to the staff that she is more than just the boss’s daughter, and Phil tries to teach his kids a lesson about optimism, but the universe just isn’t cooperating.

Mixology - "Jessica & Ron" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jessica regrets sending a naked photo to Ron and sets out to get him to delete it after realizing she barely knows him. Meanwhile, Liv complicates things between Jessica and Ron and Maya hits it off with an attractive guy who gives her an offer she can’t refuse…or can she? And the chance to hook up is in Bruce’s favor when he meets a woman who is into red-heads, but things quickly begin to look grim when a famous red-head also enters the bar.

Melissa & Joey - "Born to Run" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mel's father sends out a racy photograph; Ryder tries to come up with a winning business idea.

Baby Daddy - "Play It Again, Bonnie" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Bonnie asks Tucker for help in reconnecting with her former boyfriend.

Hot in Cleveland - "The Undead" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Elka (Betty White) throws a fake funeral for Victoria so she can join her husband in hiding. Her nemesis, Susan Lucci attends. Simon (Craig Ferguson) and Joy face a dilemma in their relationship.
Guest Stars: Craig Ferguson, Susan Lucci, Matt Iseman, David Cheaney, Laird MacIntosh

The Soul Man - "Oh My Goddy" (TV Land, 11:00PM ET/PT)
Boyce feels the pressure when he's nominated for a big award. So he goes above and beyond to brand himself as the "Second Chance Preacher."

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Reunited" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Joseph and Leslie work on their relationship.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 14) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Wednesday, April 16

  • Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) - Watch Kunal on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Denis Leary (The Job) - Denis appears on a repeat of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) - Adam appears on The Pete Holmes Show at midnight on TBS.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi previews her new Lifetime movie A Day Late and a Dollar Short on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Billy Crystal (Soap) - Billy stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin talks about new animated movie Rio 2 and her upcoming show at Carnegie Hall on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Alan Thicke (Growing Pains) - Alan talks about his TV and music career, his son Robin and new reality series, Unusually Thicke, on Katie, so check your local listings. He will also be on The Couch on WLNY 10/55 in New York between 7-9am. Finally, he is a guest on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am.
  • Judy Greer (Mad Love/Arrested Development/Miss Guided) - Judy takes us on a trip to her happy place...the drugstore on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Tasha Smith (Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse/The Tom Show/Boston Common) and Michael Jai White (Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse) - Tasha and Jai are guests on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Marlon Wayans (The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS. He will also be on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher is a guest on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. He will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Valerie Harper (Rhoda/The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Valerie) - Valerie talks about Signed, Sealed, Delivered (premieres April 20 on Hallmark Channel) on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. She is a guest on Howard Stern.
  • Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl/I Hate My Teenage Daughter) - Jaime appears on The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
  • Seth Green (Dads/Greg the Bunny) - Seth is a guest on a repeat of @midnight at 12am on Comedy Central.