I know, you probably can't remember a Thanksgiving commercial to save your life. There have been a ton of them over the years, but 99.9% of them have to do with department store sales ("Before Thanksgiving Sale!" and "After Thanksgiving Sale!" with a "Thanksgiving Sale!" thrown in for good measure) and they all seem to blend into each other after a while. But there are have been a few over the years that are worth looking at again, and after the jump we'll take a look at them.
Whenever there is some hot, hip pop culture trend, you see everyone adopting it. That's why James Bond went into freakin' space in Moonraker. The damn success of Star Wars and other space films. It happened to Snoopy too, in It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown. Yup, Snoopy and Franklin and others donned sweats and break danced in this special from the 80s, as you can see in the video after the jump.
Melendez was an animator for Walt Disney Studios in the 1930 and 40s, working on such classic movies as Fantasia and Pinocchio and Mickey Mouse shorts, then went on to make tons of movies, cartoons and commercials (he worked on many Bugs Bunny shorts and other famous cartoons) for well-known companies such as United Productions of America (where he was an animator on Gerald McBoing McBoing) and Playhouse Pictures. He then met Charles Schulz in 1959 and went on to animate (and often direct and produce) most of the Peanuts TV specials, including A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and many, many others. Many people don't know this but he was also the voice of both Snoopy and Woodstock (they didn't talk, of course, but he did all of the howls and other noises). He worked on TV versions of Cathy and Garfield too.
I'll say right up front that I am a huge Charles Schulz fan. I think Peanuts is one of the most important things in the history of pop culture (not just comics, but in all of pop culture - film, literature, TV, music and art). It's the type of comic that's entertaining and fun for all of the obvious reasons but something that can also show you a little bit about how to live your life too. I mean, who doesn't like Snoopy or A Charlie Brown Christmas?
So I've been a little antsy about a new biography of Schulz that is coming out next week, Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography, by David Michaelis. It's a bio that supposedly gives a fuller picture of Schulz, including the sad, unhappy parts of his life. Now I see that I'm not the only one who is a little antsy about the book and a new American Masters that will profile Schulz too.
10 Zen Monkeys has compiled a list of Charlie Brown's five worst cartoon moments. Check it out on their site which comes complete with YouTube embedded video and spot-on commentary. Continue onto see my thoughts about the list:
It's not exactly of the same caliber as A Charlie Brown Christmas or It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, but A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is not without its charm. The ever-malleable Charlie Brown finds himself hosting a Thanksgiving feast when a pushy Peppermint Patty invites herself and her friend Marcie over. Charlie Brown doesn't know a thing about preparing such a feast, so he and his pals go with what they know, serving up an unimpressive meal of toast and popcorn. The special will air on November 20 at 8 pm on NBC.
If I had to rate this special, I'd probably place it somewhere between It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown. A Charlie Brown Christmas will always be my favorite, though. That kind of magic you can never duplicate.
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