Welcome to episode one of a new, monthly podcast which really just amounts to an excuse for me to rewatch dozens of classic Peanuts specials and films. This month, we discuss "Charlie Brown's All-Stars", which was the 1966 follow-up to the instant classic "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Does it honor it's predecessor? Then, we watch episode 3 of the 1988 series "This is America, Charlie Brown" and learn things. In a cartoon! Madness!
My thanks to Henry Pope for the use of his "Linus & Lucy" Remix. You can find that and more of his music here.
Thanks also to Kevin McLeod at Incompetech.com for Creative Commons use of his songs "Bass Walker" and "Mining by Moonlight".
Can't wait a whole month to hear my voice again? Check out my weekly podcast Atari Bytes.
One of my great childhood joys was the Peanuts comic strip. Charlie Brown and the gang were friends to me. I especially identified with Linus.
A great Saturday afternoon for me would be spent with a bowl of Cheetos and a collection of Peanuts strips. I especially liked the week-long story arcs and the brilliant mix of humor, frustration and perseverance of these lil' folks - though I am a little sad Shermie never took off as a main character.
Animated Peanuts was great too. The airing of a Peanuts TV special was a big event in my house. I was pretty young, but I remember seeing Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown in 1977 in a movie theater. And I know I watched A Boy Named Charlie Brown over and over on cable. I don't think a year has gone by that I haven't watched the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials. I pretty much have the dialogue memorized, much to the chagrin of my wife and kids.
To date, Charlie Brown and the gang have appeared in five feature films, ten motion comics available on iTunes, eight episodes of "This is America, Charlie Brown" and eighteen episodes of the "The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show", and some forty-five TV specials.
And, on this podcast, we're going to watch them all.
Every episode, usually about once per month, I'll talk about one or two specials or a feature film. What I like about it; what I didn't. What worked for me and what didn't. There are many layers to a Peanuts special. Even in two dimensions, these animated characters are fully fleshed-out humans - and a beagle - with all the fears, anxieties, joys and laughs we all experience. Let's explore those together.
And remember: Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest.