A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)

charlie brown thanksgiving dvd cover
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Classic Peanuts

Not a very good story

TV Show Info

TV Show Name: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Studio: CBS

Genre(s): Cartoon/Seasonal

Release Date(s): November 20, 1973

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

charlie brown thanksgiving dinner

We’re gathered together because Peppermint Patty is pushy

Charlie Brown has another holiday problem when Peppermint Patty invites herself, Marcie, and Franklin to a Thanksgiving dinner at Charlie Brown’s house.  Now, Charlie Brown, Linus, Sally, Snoopy, and Woodstock must find a way to feed everyone and try to make the holiday special.  The guests are on the way and dinner needs to be on the table!

Directed by Bill Melendez and Phil Roman, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is based on Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts.  The special originally aired on November 20, 1973 on CBS and followed 1973’s No Time for Love, Charlie Brown.  The special frequently airs during the holidays.  It is often packaged with “The Mayflower Voyagers” which was part of the This Is America, Charlie Brown series which aired from 1988-1989.

charlie brown thanksgiving dinner jellybeans popcorn toast pretzels

A dinner of champions!

A Charlie Brown Christmas is probably my favorite holiday special followed by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and behind that is It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  Despite my love of Peanuts, I’ve never really liked A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving much.

The story just doesn’t have the heart of the other two big Peanuts holiday specials.  While the basic concept of a group of friends coming together and making do with what they have does carry the spirit of the holiday, but it is presented in a rather forgettable way.  It feels like it is trying to pull on the nostalgia of A Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown without making its own statement.

charlie brown thanksgiving snoopy woodstock eat turkey

That’s another bird, Woodstock…you’re sick!

What I do always like and remember about the special is the Thanksgiving dinner itself.  It is on a ping-pong table with jellybeans, pretzels, popcorn, and of course toast…something that a kid would serve.  Peppermint Patty’s reaction to it is also good (though a little too real to be in a Peanuts’ cartoon).  There is also the weird post moment where Snoopy and Woodstock share a turkey that he’s apparently kept and cooked in his doghouse…the more disturbing thing is how into eating the turkey Woodstock is.

While I don’t think A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is a classic in the sense of the other Charlie Brown specials, it does mark the holidays and anytime a special would come on TV when I was little, it got me more and more excited for the holidays.  The special does continue the trend of “worst parents ever” in the Peanuts universe where all the children are left to fend for themselves on Thanksgiving.  A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving was followed by It’s a Mystery, Charlie Brown in 1974.

Related Links:

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

Its Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown (1992)

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.

Leave A Response