A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

charlie brown christmas dvd cover 1965
10 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

What Christmas is all about


TV Show Info

Show Name: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Studio:  Lee Mendelson Film Productions/Bill Melendez Productions/United Features Syndicate (UFS)

Genre(s):  Cartoon/Seasonal

Release Date(s): December 9, 1965

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

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Charlie…think for a second…seriously

Charlie Brown has a problem. It is Christmas and he just isn’t feeling it. All around him all the other children are celebrating the season and looking forward to waking up to presents, but Charlie Brown can’t find the season in himself. When Charlie Brown is tapped to direct the Christmas Pageant, Charlie Brown thinks it is his chance to make a difference. When Charlie and Linus are sent to buy a tree, Charlie Brown might make a mistake that could ruin it all.

Directed by Bill Melendez, A Charlie Brown Christmas is an animated Christmas special.  The cartoon originally aired on CBS on December 9, 1965.  The show became an instant classic and has aired every year since.  The family classic won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program and was nominated for Special Classification of Individual Achievements for Schulz’s writing.

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There was a lot of complaints while the show was being made about Charles Schulz involvement in the production and refusals to make changes to the story and script. Among things that they wanted change were a laugh track and the children voice actors (the girl playing Sally couldn’t read at the time and had to have voice cues). Linus’ recitation of Gospel According to Luke was also criticized by executives who wanted to keep the story more open to everyone.

The cartoon was a success and part of the reason was, that it wasn’t afraid to be religious. The story has a nice message and honestly, it gets past some of the weirdness of the script and the haunting and somewhat sad Christmas music of “Christmas Time Is Here” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.  Kids probably aren’t interested in Lucy’s desire for real estate or Charlie Brown’s sense of depression, but it does make sense to them.

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Charlie Brown, you almost screwed up Christmas again!

Part of the reason is that, like many other Christmas and holiday specials, there is a hand-me-down feeling to the special. Parents watched it, their kids watched it, and now their grandchildren are watching it. All the generations can watch it together and the fact that it endures in a world of computer animation and high tech design, is comforting.

The Peanuts and A Charlie Brown Christmas is Christmas to me and I watch it every year. It reminds me of the happiness of the season and how the holiday was getting closer. Sitting around the TV watching A Charlie Brown Christmas was something that happened…with the Christmas tree lit up, a fire in the fireplace, and the hopes of Christmas coming soon.

Related Links:

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)

It’s Christmas Time Again, Charlie Brown (1992)

I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (2003)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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