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DVD Review: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Posted on Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 12:03 PM by Scott Jentsch

Front Cover ArtworkIt's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
DVD
Warner Home Video
25 Minutes

List Price: $19.98 (Check Price at Amazon.com)

Available 9/2/2008

Also included as part of the Peanuts Holiday Collection (check prices), which also includes A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas

 

 SourceThis Disc
Video Format:
Unknown
480i MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio:1.33:1 1.33:1
Audio:

Mono

Dolby Digital 5.1
Dolby Digital 1.0 (Mono)

Disc 1 Contents

  • Upfront Ads (3:18) (can be skipped by selecting the Menu or Skip buttons)
    • "Wizard of Oz" anti-piracy ad
    • Jack Frost on DVD
    • Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on DVD
    • Charlie Brown Christmas on DVD
    • Peanuts Holiday Collection on DVD
  • Features
    • It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (25:13)
    • It's Magic, Charlie Brown (24:15)
  • Special Features
    • Featurette: We Need a Blockbuster, Charlie Brown!
    • Trailer for Wiggles: You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
    • Trailer for Scooby Doo and the Goblin King
    • Digital Download Code for 2 songs from iTunes

About the TV Special

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is one of those enduring classics that have stood the test of time. Originally broadcast on television in 1966, this has become a yearly staple in the lives of many kids, and adults who used to be kids and who grew up watching this every Halloween.

For those unaware or in need of a refresher, the Peanuts gang is getting ready for Halloween. While everyone else is going out for "tricks and treats," Linus is heading for the pumpkin patch in the hopes of seeing "the Great Pumpkin," which is the Halloween equivalent to Santa Claus for him.

How Does it Look?

Getting ready for trick or treat

Presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, the video looks fantastic! Could I go looking for edge and block artifacts? Probably, this is line-drawn animation and that's notoriously difficult for the MPEG-2 format on DVD to handle, but through casual viewing, I did not notice any distracting artifacts.

How Does it Sound?

The sound quality is mono, but that's to be expected from a TV show circa 1966. The audio is well done though, without any shrillness or sound issues.

Extras

Along with the main feature, this title also contains another Peanuts gang show, It's Magic Charlie Brown, where Snoopy takes up magic as a hobby and puts on a magic show for all the Peanuts gang. While not on the same level of story and animation as the main feature, it's going to be fun to watch for kids of all ages.

Also included is a featurette titled We Need a Blockbuster, Charlie Brown!, which is a short documentary that describes the challenges faced by Charles M. Schultz, producer Lee Mendelson, and animator/director Bell Melendez in following up the hugely successful Christmas special. Kids won't get much out of it, but it was interesting to watch and brief.

In the packaging, you will find a code that you can redeem in the iTunes Store to download two tracks from the CD "Charlie Brown's Holiday Hits" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. The downloads went easy after agreeing to the purchase terms and conditions put forth by iTunes, and the 128kbps protected AAC sounded pretty good, even though iTunes needed to boost the level by 6dB through the SoundCheck process.

Conclusion

Every home should have a copy of this TV special, and I don't care if you don't have any kids! You'd have to be completely void of any childlike innocence not to enjoy this classic. Since you'll be able to get quite a bit of use out of it, I have no reservations about recommending this for purchase.

Recommended Reading

Don't just take our word for it, check out these resources for more reviews of the movie and of the disc.

RentBuy


Check Prices on Amazon.com

 

Peanuts Specials - It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown - It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown / It's Magic, Charlie Brown / Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown
Download/Purchase from iTunes Store


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