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Peanuts Holiday Collection - Deluxe Edition
Warner Home Video
List Price: $44.98 (Check Price at Amazon.com)
The Peanuts Holiday Collection includes It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. All three are also available separately.
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This package contains three of the highly entertaining Peanuts specials that aired on television in the 60's and 70's, and have become an annual holiday tradition for many families.
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.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving was originally broadcast in 1973 and has the gang getting together for a Thanksgiving feast. The only problem is that none of them can cook anything beyond toast and popcorn!
Perhaps the best known of all the Peanuts specials, A Charlie Brown Christmas is a true holiday classic that stands the test of time. This first holiday special was first aired in December 1965 and it set the bar for all the rest of the specials that followed.
The following review covers all three shows. Where necessary, distinctions will be made to highlight any differences between them.
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.
The sound quality is mono, but that's to be expected from TV shows of the 60's and 70's. The audio is well done though, without any shrillness or other sound issues.
Along with the main feature, each title also contains additional Peanuts gang shows. It's Magic Charlie Brown, where Snoopy takes up magic as a hobby and puts on a magic show for all the Peanuts gang. The Mayflower Voyagers tells the Thanksgiving story in a way that kids can understand and appreciate. Surprisingly, it doesn't mince words when it comes to the hardships endured by the Pilgrims. Finally, It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown does the sequel thing. While not on the same level of story and animation as the main features, they're going to be fun to watch for kids of all ages.
Each title contains a featurette. We Need a Blockbuster, Charlie Brown! 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. Popcorn & Jellybeans: Making a Thanksgiving Classic and A Christmas Miracle: The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas are standard making-of shows. Kids won't get much out of these featurettes, but they are brief and mostly interesting to watch.
Packaged with A Charlie Brown Christmas is a sampler audio CD containing six songs from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" on CD.
In the package for each show, you will find a code that you can redeem in the iTunes Store to download two tracks from the CD's "Charlie Brown's Holiday Hits" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" by Vince Guaraldi. 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 of the "Great Pumpkin" tracks by about 6dB through the SoundCheck process.
Every home should have a copy of these TV specials, 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 these classics. Since you'll be able to get quite a bit of use out of them, I have no reservations about recommending this box set for purchase.
All three shows are available separately, but given the price break of buying them together, I suggest buying this box set instead.
Download/Purchase from iTunes Store
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