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Warner Home Video presents
You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown (1972)

"According to my poll, Charlie Brown, your chances for being elected are zero."
- Lucy (Sally Dryer)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: October 20, 2008

Stars: Peter Robbins, Christopher Shea, Kathy Steinberg, Tracy Stratford
Other Stars: Sally Dryer, Todd Barbee
Director: Bill Melendez

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for nothing objectionable
Run Time: 00h:25m:21s
Release Date: October 07, 2008
UPC: 883929006977
Genre: family

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- B+AB B-

DVD Review

After seemingly years of campaigning and mud-slinging, we are finally only a month away from the 2008 Presidential Election. If you’ve had it up to here with the talking heads of the 24-hour news channels and need a break from the candidates “approving this message” then have I got the perfect distraction for you. It’s the new Warner DVD release of the classic Charlie Brown TV special You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown. This Remastered Deluxe Edition gives us the original special in all of its uncut, commercial-free glory, and even throws some nice bonus features in for good measure.

Charlie Brown (Peter Robbins) is convinced by Lucy (Sally Dryer) to run for the coveted office of Student Body President. However, after Lucy conducts a quick poll, she determines that Linus (Christopher Shea) is a better fit for the job. With his sister at least sort of behind him, Linus begins campaigning against Russell Anderson (Todd Barbee), his opponent. During a pivotal, pre-election event, Linus gives a speech during which he mentions a legendary figure that causes sudden doubt among the rest of the kids and puts his assumed landslide victory in jeopardy.

This special isn’t quite as fun and memorable as classics like It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Christmas, but it is a relatively strong effort when judged separately. It’s finest aspect is its timeliness, in relation to the upcoming election. Sure, we’re still witnessing a children’s’ school election, but many, if not most of the ethical questions raised throughout the election process come to the forefront here. This show was made way back in 1972, but you can insert this story into any election year and it would still be relevant.

Who are we kidding? Even if the show consisted of each and every one of the Peanuts characters quoting Shakespeare for 20 minutes, this beloved franchise’s rabid fans would be watching intently. There’s seemingly a character for everyone to relate to, whether you’re an adult or a child, which is probably a huge reason for the show’s popularity decades after its original air date. These aren’t even your quintessential “cute kids” either, as they’re all roughly drawn, but they interact in a manner that’s well-beyond their years.

Perhaps the best reason to revisit You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown is for the Snoopy as “Joe Cool” sequence. Anytime Snoopy takes on this persona, it’s pure magic, albeit, not as great as when he’s battling the Red Baron. Once again, the titular Charlie Brown is the least engaging character, as in this instance, it’s mostly about Linus’ quest to hold office. Once again, the series can rely on all of its characters to deliver the goods, so keeping “Chuck” in the background usually helps more than it hurts. So, give me the Great Pumpkin, Thanksgiving, and Christmas shows over You’re Not Elected anytime, but it’s still fun for the whole family, especially on this new DVD.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Presented in its original full frame aspect ratio, the show, like the rest of the Peanuts Remastered Deluxe Edition releases, has clearly benefited from a nice remastering effort. Much of the old dirt and grain has been eliminated from the image, as there’s much more detail and sharpness than in previous releases. Fortunately, this clean-up job hasn’t compromised the nostalgic look of the piece, as all of the old colorful, hand-drawn animation is intact.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Japanese, Portugueseyes

Audio Transfer Review: Again, the original mono audio is what we’re offered, but all aspects of the track are clean and clear. The dialogue is crisp and easy to understand, while the music is seamlessly integrated into the overall mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Thai with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Peanuts Holiday, Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King, Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 6, Smurfs Season 1 Vol. 2
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown
Extras Review: The best extra is the inclusion of the 2006 animated short, He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown. This 21 minute cartoon is clearly not of the same caliber as the older Peanuts efforts, but fans will at least want to see how their beloved characters look with more modern animation.

The 12-minute piece, The Polls Don’t Lie: The Making of You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown covers quite a bit in a short time but focuses on the fact that this show was developed around the time of the Nixon/McGovern Presidential Election. We hear from most of the principals behind the show, including the recently departed director, Bill Melendez, as they reflect on what went in to the making of the program.

There are also trailers for other Warner DVD releases.

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

Barack Obama and John McCain can’t hold a candle to good old Linus in You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown. Warner’s new Remastered Deluxe Edition makes a great addition to your Peanuts collection with revamped audio and video, and a few nice extras to boot.


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