Broadcast first in 1973, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving isn’t on the same level as It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown or A Charlie Brown Christmas, but it’s certainly no It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown, Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown or Welcome to Puberty, Charlie Brown either. (OK, I made that last one up.)
The story revolves around Peppermint Patty inviting herself, Marcie and Franklin over to “Chuck’s” house for Thanksgiving dinner. (IMDB will tell you Charlie Brown invites them, but don’t you believe it!)
Of course Charlie Brown can’t cook and won’t cancel, so Linus, Snoopy and Woodstock pitch in to create a Thanksgiving feast out of toast, popcorn, pretzels and more toast. (Ahhh… the pre-Atkins days…)
Peppermint Patty throws a fit, but eventually send Marcie to apologize for her and we all learn the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
The special includes the standard great Guaraldi music, as well as his funky “Little Birdie.” (I dare you to not dig this song. I dare you!)
The DVD also included “The Mayflower Voyagers” but I declined to watch it.
Watching this film a few questions thoughts popped into my head and, with your permission, I’d like to pop them back out:
1) What is it with Patty’s crush on Charlie Brown?! I’m not the first to say this, but I’d always figured she was more interested in Marcie. (I’d also like to say that I think Marcie and Charlie Brown would make a charming couple.)
2) Notice that when they’re all sitting at the ping pong table for dinner that Franklin is forced to sit all by himself on one side, while four other characters sit on the other. What the hell!? If I was Franklin I’d call the NAACP!
3) Is Charlie Brown’s grandmother also his teacher? They both have the same trombone-with-plunger voice. What’s the deal?! The network wouldn’t spring for a French horn?!
4) And finally, I found it disturbing that Woodstock is happily devouring another bird with Snoopy at the end of the film. Hel-LO!!! Anyone else think this is weird?! Does the Audubon society know about this?!
OK, fun stuff aside this is not a bad Charlie Brown special, it’s just not a great one. If you can check it out of the library, by all mean do – it’s sorta fun. But if you’re gonna buy Peanuts specials, make sure you get Christmas and Halloween first.