Peanuts 1960s Collection Review

Posted 9 years ago by Television

peanuts60s

I love the Peanuts. The TV specials are classic, and one of the most rewarding nostalgic cartoons to re-watch in adulthood. I own the Peanuts Holiday Collection, but have always wanted the complete collection of Peanuts specials. I was delighted when I received my copy of the Peanuts 1960s Collection.

Warner Brothers has taken all of the specials from the 60s and packaged them in a two disc set that contains:

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
  • Charlie Brown’s All-Stars (1966)
  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
  • You’re in Love, Charlie Brown (1967)
  • He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown (1968)
  • It was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown (1969)

The Specials

All six of the specials on this set are classic, and all give me that hard-to-explain, instant nostalgic feeling when I watch them. I’ve never known exactly why the Peanuts specials seem so nostalgic, even if I see one for the first time. My wife thinks it’s because they’re so simple, they use real children’s voices, and have the awesome music of Vince Guaraldi. I think she’s right.

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Of course the Christmas and Halloween specials are classics, but what about the other specials? Charlie Brown’s All-Stars is the second Peanuts special to air on television, and it follows Chuck as he is the pitcher and manager of his baseball team. They’re not having much luck, but they get motivated when a local hardware store wants to sponsor them with new uniforms. Just before the last game before they officially get the sponsorship, Charlie Brown finds out that in order to get the uniforms, he would have to kick Snoopy, Lucy, Patty, Violet, and Frieda off the team (apparently only male humans can play baseball on Mr. Hennessy’s terms). He doesn’t tell the team, they lose, and they get really mad. Lucy suggests they kick him. Linus saves the day when he tells them what really happened.

If you’re familiar with the Peanuts musicals, a scene in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown was inspired by this special. Fun Fact: I played Charlie Brown in a local theater company’s production of Snoopy! when I was in High School. Pictures coming soon.

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You’re in Love, Charlie Brown – This is the classic “The Little Red-haired Girl” special. Charlie Brown tries to work up the courage to talk to her for the entire special, but of course never does. All seems lost for the round-headed-one, but he perseveres and enjoys a happy ending.

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He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown – This special focuses on Snoopy more than Charlie Brown. He gets into some trouble and Chuck calls the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm to enroll him in some “refresher” courses. Instead of going there like he was supposed to, he instead sets up camp at Peppermint Patty’s house, and proceeds to eat her out of house and home. I enjoyed seeing a Peanuts story not completely revolve around Charlie Brown.

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It was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown – This was the last special featuring Peter Robbins as Charlie Brown. To me, this is the special where it started feeling more like a series about a group of kids, rather than just all about Charlie Brown. The kids are finally on summer vacation, but they have to put up with homework assignments, bad summer camp food, and The Masked Marvel.

The Bonus Features

There is one excellent bonus feature on this set, the documentary The Maestro of Menlo Park – Profiling Composer Vince Guaraldi. If you’re a fan of the music behind the Peanuts specials, you’ll find this very educational. I didn’t know much about Vince other than his Peanuts music, and this documentary delves surprisingly deep into his life. This is clearly a special feature aimed at adults, and features interviews with Vince’s son David, as well as producer Lee Mendleson and many musicians who played with Vince. I think it ran over thirty minutes, and my wife and I love it. I could listen to Vince’s Christmas score year-round, but his other Peanuts music is just as classic.

The Verdict

I like how Warner Bros. grouped these specials by the decade. I wouldn’t want to pay for an individual DVD of some of these, just because they’re so short, so this is a great way to start collecting all the Peanuts specials. I hope they continue releasing them by decade like this. It would only take two or three more sets to complete the entire run of Peanuts specials.

If you’re a Peanuts fan, or you’d like to introduce your kids to some classic cartoons and give them a break from aliens and robots and sponges, I highly recommend you head on over to Amazon or your favorite local mega-store on July 7th to buy it today!

Buy at Amazon