Saturday, October 25, 2008
Blog DVD Reviews: Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas) and You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown
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
To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.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
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
To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Charlie Brown Official Page
The Middle - "The Christmas Tree" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Axl comes home from college for Christmas vacation but would rather spend time with his friends over family, he and Frankie must come up with a time management agreement that will satisfy both of them, Meanwhile, Sue's severe allergic reaction to the Christmas tree threatens to ruin her holiday, and after it’s discovered that Brick lied to the school about his Christmas wrapping paper sales, he finds himself running a mini Ponzi scheme in an attempt to pay back the debt.
Back in the Game - "I'll Slide Home for Christmas" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Terry tries to plan a special family Christmas, The Cannon opts to spend the holiday with his old war buddies, causing a major divide in the household. Meanwhile, Danny rallies the Angles to help him give his mom the best Christmas gift ever – The Angles first win. Elliot Gould (“MASH”) guest stars.
Modern Family - "The Old Man & the Tree" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jay takes Manny out to cut down their own Christmas tree, and Gloria is on edge with mom in town, but changes her tune when she sees her bonding with Claire. Elsewhere, Mitchell is forced to do last minute shopping when they didn’t get Lily the right gift, and Cameron takes Lily to a charity event where they experience the true meaning of Christmas. Emmy Award Winner Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) directs, and Elizabeth Peña (“La Bamba”) returns as a guest star.
Super Fun Night - "Merry Super Fun Christmas" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Richard reluctantly drives Kimmie, Marika and Helen-Alice to a remote cut-your-own Xmas tree lot upstate, but the trip over the river and through the woods goes terribly wrong when Marika gets them lost and they run out of gas… on Christmas Eve. They think they’re saved when they find a beautiful cabin miraculously stocked with a holiday feast... until the cranky old man who lives there (guest star Paul Dooley) shows up. Meanwhile, Kendall goes it alone with her frosty parents (guest stars Alan Ruck and Mo Gaffney).
Melissa & Joey - "A New Kind of Christmas" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mel's sister Meredith gets a furlough from prison and drops by to spend Christmas with Mel and the children.
Baby Daddy - "Emma's First Christmas" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Ben's quest to procure Emma the hottest toy of the Christmas season creates ill will; Tucker and Riley help Bonnie with holiday decorating.
Kirstie - "Arlo's Birthday" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Maddie is impressed with her son's karaoke abilities, and decides to make him a star.
The Exes - "True Lies" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Eden shares a secret about herself and Phil with Holly, who blabs to Stuart and Haskell, testing boundaries within the group.
Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Sleep Talking" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Angela believes Marcus is having an affair after she hears him talking about another woman in his sleep.
Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Stalked" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Joseph displays a bit of erratic behavior when he feels Leslie's life is in danger.
Wednesday, December 11
- Ken Jeong (Community) - Watch Ken on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
- Bradley Whitford (Trophy Wife) - Bradley stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Jim Gaffigan (My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
- Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown) - Candice is a guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
- Kathy Griffin (Suddenly Susan) and Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Kathy and Whitney are part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
- Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom continues to make the rounds on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Kirstie Alley (Kirstie/Veronica's Closet/Cheers) - Kirstie talks about her return to television in Kirstie on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
- Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Tune in to see Alyssa on The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
- J.B. Smoove (The Millers/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - J.B. is a guest on The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.