I have a little nerd confession for you: I am obsessed with Peanuts. I know it is slightly old-school but I can’t help it. I’ve always loved Snoopy and will forever be a sucker for any new DVD that highlights that adorably awesome dog.
Around this time of year I always love watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. This year, however, I was pleasantly surprised to discover Warner Bros’ Happiness Is…Peanuts: Snow Days. Snow Days is not centered on any specific holiday, but instead features a TV special and an episode from The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show. From the official press release for this DVD:
Everyone’s favorite Peanuts gang is at it again in Happiness is…Peanuts: Snow Days. Follow Snoopy and gang in an episode from The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show and the newly remastered classic She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown TV special all on one DVD!
Only the first of these two ‘features’ includes a story specifically set around Christmas, thus making this DVD a perfect watch for any time during the winter season. In the episode from The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show, there are three short stories: one featuring a Christmas play, one featuring a Valentine’s Day story, and a third that focuses entirely on the fun qualities of Snoopy (via an essay from Peppermint Patty). In the short film, She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty practices for a figure skating competition with the help of her ‘pro coach,’ Snoopy.
Obviously the animation is nothing like the realistic-looking, computer animated films that we have grown accustomed to over the last decade. The characters and backgrounds are animated in a simple, 2D style. Additionally, the plots are far from intricate and rarely involve more than one story-line. Nevertheless, there is something wonderfully timeless about the Peanuts (at least for me). Snoopy’s personality and wide variety of ‘skills’ makes him the perfect dog and best friend to all of the Peanuts characters. When he is yelling at Patty in a nonsensical stream of grunts and screams in She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown, you can’t help but want to hug him. Furthermore, you can’t help but smile at the doom-and-gloom of Charlie Brown, or the semi-snarky humor of Marcy. Each Peanut character embodies personality traits that can be found in people at any age, which makes them easy to (loosely) identify with at different points in each story.
Again, I know this DVD is likely to be met with some hesitation by children nowadays given it’s out-dated animation style and simplicity of humor. Regardless, I think every little kid should watch at least one Peanuts cartoon, if for no other reason than to experience the awesomeness that is Snoopy.
In the meantime, here is a little sneak peak of She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown: