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July 29, 2014

Early news: A Charlie Brown Christmas turns 40

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 17th 2005 1:13PM

I've been a great admirer of Charles Schulz and Peanuts for most of my life. The simplistic drawings, complex characters, not to mention the profound sadness and unrequited love that propelled the strip drew me in as a youngster and remain affecting even today. The existential humor of the strip, the core of which was Charlie Brown's Sisyphusian existence, also expanded to the early television specials, including A Charlie Brown Christmas, which turns 40 this year. I make a point of watching the show every year, and can become quite agitated if I miss it. While I still admire other classics like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Burl Ives' soothing, grandfatherly voice is one of those harbingers of Christmas I always look forward to) I will run several red lights and cause massive traffic accidents just to make it home in time to see A Charlie Brown Christmas. It's easy to forget after forty years just how groundbreaking the show was. When it was conceived, many thought an animated Christmas special with religious overtones centering on a chronically depressed child would fail, but the naysayers were proven wrong, and what might have been a gaudy, diluted version of the strip became an animated study in spirituality and human compassion that, years later, can still warm the heart of a secular person such as myself.

 

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Adam

That does suck. I've heard of stuff being cut/put back in on these Peanuts specials before, though. A pity.

September 18 2005 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark

When I watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown", the bastards at ABC had cut out my favorite part. The little brief scene where Schroeder is playing the piano as Snoopy, dressed as the WW1 Flying Ace, alternately dances joyfully or breaks out crying depending on the mood of the music. Those bastards. Thank God for DVD.

September 17 2005 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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