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October 13, 2015

Jane After Dark: Peanuts 1970's Collection, Vol. 1

by Jane Boursaw, posted Oct 11th 2009 10:02AM
Peanuts 1970's Collection, Vol. 1Like most people in the known universe, I grew up with Charlie Brown. In addition to watching all the TV specials, my family amassed a fairly large collection of the paperback Peanuts books and even a few nice hardcovers. Family friendly graphic novels, you might call them.

So I was pretty excited to learn that Warner Home Video was releasing a lot of the TV specials, both individually and in collections. On Oct. 20, the Peanuts 1970's Collection, Vol. 1 will hit store and cyber shelves in a 2-disc set. A nice publicist sent me an advance copy, so I'm happy to devote this week's Jane After Dark to this lovely set.

I'm always harping on all the sex and violence on TV right now -- often in shows that bill themselves as family friendly -- so it's really nice to have something you can watch with your kids that you know won't contain anything offensive or off-color. Not only that, the stories usually have a moral lesson, but they don't whack you over the head with it. It's more subtle, wrapped up in the humor and innocence of the stories and characters.

Here's a rundown on the six remastered specials in this set. While possibly not as well known as those in the Peanuts 1960's Collection, which includes A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, this is still great TV viewing.

Disc One:

Play It Again, Charlie Brown (original airdate: 3/28/71). Oh that Lucy! She just can't get past Schroeder, and her latest lovelorn scheme is to arrange for him to play at the PTA program. Except they're not exactly hip on hearing Beethoven; they're actually looking for rock music. Hey, who can blame them? Woodstock (the event, not the bird) was just a couple of years earlier.

You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown (original airdate: 10/29/72). That Great Pumpkin really hasn't done Linus any favors, and now that he's running in the school election, another Pumpkin speech just might ruin his political aspirations. This special also marks the first time Snoopy's alter-ego Joe Cool makes an appearance.

There's No Time For Love, Charlie Brown (original airdate: 3/11/73). This is the first time I'd ever seen this special, and it continues the theme of poor Charlie Brown's dismal love life. A school field trip finds him, Linus, Peppermint Patty and Marcy mistaking a supermarket for an art museum. The misguided adventure will do nothing to help Charlie Brown bring his grades up.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (original airdate: 11/20/73). Popcorn and buttered toast are the gang's Thanksgiving fare after Peppermint Patty invites herself over. I'm thinking Charlie Brown needs to take some assertiveness lessons.

Disc Two:

It's A Mystery, Charlie Brown (original airdate: 2/1/74). Sherlock Snoopy tries to find Woodstock's missing nest, while Sally worries over her science project.

It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (original airdate: 4/9/74). If the sight of the Easter Beagle skipping around passing out colored eggs doesn't cheer you up, then I'm not sure what will. Once again, though, Charlie Brown ends up with nothing but an empty basket. I love that Snoopy buys a new birdhouse for Woodstock, who promptly remodels it into a hip 1970's pad.

Also on disc two is an all-new featurette called "Woodstock: Creating Snoopy's Sidekick," a documentary that chronicles the life and times of everyone's favorite sidekick.

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Wow, something to look forward to purchasing for Christmas. Like you, I grew up with the "Peanuts". I have several really old, yellowed paperback books from very early in the life of "Peanuts". I have some from when Linus was just a baby and Snoopy a puppy--no Sally yet! I have let my children carefully read them, and they have several of the tv specials on video (no DVD's as yet). This is great news. It just proves that there doesn't have to be vulgar or irreverant stuff in cartoons to make them enjoyable.

October 12 2009 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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