"Perhaps the most endearing of all the Charlie Brown specials is "A Charlie Brown Christmas", the first in a long series of made for t.v. half hour films portraying the famous Peanuts Gang.For almost forty years, watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" has been an eagerly anticipated event for millions of households. I recall watching it as far back as twenty-two years ago, and have watched it every Christmas since."A Charlie Brown Christmas" was made in a time when commercialism was running rampant all over the country. Stores advertising to shoppers what they ought to buy, long before Thanksgiving had come and gone. Unfortunately, we still see this blatant commercialism today, which makes this short film so very poignant and all the more special.Charlie Brown is assigned to direct the school Christmas pageant, much to his glee; for he feels accepted and worthy. When Lucy tells him to go out and get an alumminum tree, he takes Linus along with him. What Charlie Brown ultimately gets is a small, sickly looking tree, which is rapidly loosing its needles. But, Charlie can see how much the tree "needs him", somebody; something which he can identity with.When he returns, he finds the gang dancing to un-Christmas like music, instead of rehearsing their lines. They stop to take a look at the tree he brought, immediately burtsing out in mocking laughter. Apparently Charlie Brown has failed again. In disgust and humiliation he flees, taking the tree with him. And when he comes upon Snoopy's dog house, all decked out in Christmas lights, not to celebrate the joyous holiday, but to win money in a contest, Charlie Brown has had enough, and almost loses all faith in Christmas.Linus saves the day, somehow able to bring the tree back to life, and make it look much healthier and stronger. But it is when he explains the meaning of Christmas that the "gang" gets the point of Christmas, and what Charlie Brown was trying to do."A Charlie Brown Christmas" ends with newfound meaning for Christmas, hopefully not soon forgotten by either the Peanuts Gang, or, more importantly ... us."
My favorite Christmas special
Joe Sherry | Minnesota | 01/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I realize that I am writing this several weeks after Christmas, and this is a Christmas DVD, but this is the first year that I missed watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" on television, so I rented the DVD. Ever since I was a little boy, this has been my favorite Christmas special, and one that I always looked forward to watching every year. I grew up reading the Peanuts comic strips and I grew up watching the Peanuts Christmas special. Charlie Brown is depressed. He can't seem to get himself into the Christmas spirit. He doesn't like the commercialism of Christmas and scarcely knows the true meaning of Christmas. Lucy selects Charlie Brown to be the director of their Christmas play and he decides to get a Christmas tree for the production. The other kids tell him to get a "nice shiny aluminum tree, maybe a pink one", but Charlie Brown and Linus bring back a sad looking real tree. Charlie Brown is almost laughed out of the auditorium, but when he asks if anyone knows what Christmas is all about, Linus has the answer. Linus recites a passage from the Bible telling of the birth of Jesus. Charlie Brown is cheered and leaves with the tree. He tries to decorate the little tree, but even that is ruined. Linus and the gang follow behind, fix up the tree, and at the end, they show the true spirit of Christmas. It is a sweet little Christmas special, filled with memorable moments that will always make me smile. The one thing that amazes me is that Charles Schulz was able to include Linus's speech near the end about the birth of Jesus. I don't imagine that would have been able to be included today, but I think the special is all the stronger for it. I have a hard time imagining that any new Christmas show will ever hold as special a place in my heart as "A Charlie Brown Christmas".This DVD also includes "It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown" (1992). This Christmas feature is lacking the overall charm and emotion of the older special, but it has a lot more humor. It is also different from the first Christmas special in that this one is more a series of vignettes (perhaps based on Schulz's comic strips) than a complete story. There are sequences with Charlie Brown trying to sell Christmas wreaths before Thanksgiving, and of Sally rehearsing for a Christmas play. Sally's sole line is "Hark!", though I think she missed the rest of her lines where the herald angels sing. It is a cute cartoon, but ultimately it does not quite live up to "A Charlie Brown Christmas", but it my mind, nothing can live up to that one."
Remember aluminum Christmas trees from the '60s and '70s?
zeni | Tennessee | 12/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There really were aluminum Christmas trees back then. There were also pink frosted trees with some really psychedelic decorations, too.I've watched this every year since I was a child. I used to stare up at the TV while CBS played that "SPECIAL" graphic and music and then . . . there it was: The Charlie Brown Christmas special!Now that I'm an adult, my schedule has almost made me miss the show each Christmas season. But now that I have the video, I will never miss it! A friend of mine even gave me the cassette of Vince Guaraldi's musical score to go along with it. Hooray!I'm always touched by the message in the story. Christmas is too commercial. It pains me to see Christmas stuff in the stores before school starts, or to see commercials pandering to children so their parents can buy more stuff. But watching Charlie Brown and the gang reminds me of a simpler time.Snoopy, with his gaudily decorated dog house, represents all that's commercial and greedy about Christmas. Charlie Brown tries to overcome that with his involvement in the school play and his search for the right Christmas tree to set the mood for the play cast members.I love this show. I heard that ABC bought the rights away from CBS for all the Charlie Brown specials. But I'm glad I have my video copy so now I don't have to worry about whether it airs or not."
The Best Present Of All
Chad Spivak | North Miami Beach, Florida | 11/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My children are a little old (age-wise) for this, but we all still enjoy watching it around this time of year. This classic will never die out, as it will be enjoyed for many generations to come.Having always been a huge fan of Charlie Brown to begin with, this is, by far, my favorite Christmas special. I can remember seeing it for the first time like it was yesterday. Charles Shulzz did one amazing job with this classic. This short animated special shows children the true meaning of Christmas, and Linus' delightful explanation is timeless in its teaching. This classic is something that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, but especially by families with small children. This is just one great video that would make an excellent addition to anyone's collection."
Rushead 2112-Hemispheres | Los Angeles, CA. | 10/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We all know how we love watching this every year, but is it really worth it to buy the Blu-ray? Well, you don't just get a Blu-ray disc with this release, you also get a second disc that is essentially the remastered SD-DVD that is playable on any standard DVD player. Also, this DVD allows you to download the feature onto your computer/laptop/ipod. So for $20 you get three versions of the film (HD, SD, portable). The picture quality on the Blu-ray is a little better than the remastered DVD, the colors are a little bolder for sure (I'm watching on a professionally calibrated 50" Pioneer Kuro). Also, there is a new 5.1 audio mix that was not on the standard DVD that sounds very engaging.
If you already own the remastered DVD, I wouldn't necessarily rush out and buy this. If you don't have the remastered DVD, it's a must buy because you get the Blu-ray and remastered DVD (and the "free" download) for a halfway decent price."