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Paramount Studios presents
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)

"I'm doomed!"
- Charlie Brown (Todd Barbee)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: September 16, 2000

Stars: Todd Barbee, Christopher Defaria, Stephen Shea, Bill Melendez
Other Stars: Robin Kohn, Jimmy Ahrens, Robin Reid, Hillary Momberger
Director: Bill Melendez

Manufacturer: PDSC
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 00h:25m:36s
Release Date: September 11, 2000
UPC: 097361561240
Genre: family

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

While there are hundreds of titles that come out on DVD each year, there are those certain discs that cause delight when they are announced. For me, many of those are the TV specials I grew up with, and the chance to own them on DVD is something I really look forward to. Paramount has kicked off their releases of the Charles Schulz Peanuts Classic collection with four titles, three of which (It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, A Charlie Brown Christmas) can be bought in a Holiday Bundle, with all four also available individually.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving once again and everyone is ready for a feast. After Lucy (Robin Kohn) convinces Charlie Brown to kick off the traditional Thanksgiving football game, Chuck learns that a big dinner is planned for the family at Grandma Brown's house. However, this causes a dilema when Peppermint Patty (Christopher Defaria) invites herself, Marcie (Jimmy Ahrens) and Franklin (Robin Reid) over for dinner, and our boy Chuck just can't say no. Fortunately Linus (Stephen Shea) comes up with a plan for an early dinner, which will consist of the only things Charlie is capable of cooking: toast and popcorn. Enlisting the help of his faithful beagle companion Snoopy (Bill Melendez) and feathered friend Woodstock, the preparation begins. When the guests arrive Charlie is in the hot seat when the visitors discover that their expected Turkey dinner is not happening. Of course, as is always the case, cooler heads prevail and we learn the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Classic Peanuts.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Schulz' tenth prime time television special, won an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Children's Programming", and originally aired on CBS-TV November 20, 1973. Vince Guaraldi, who composed and performed the music for the first fourteen TV specals, also wrote and sang the song Little Birdie for this episode. This is fun for the whole family.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: This Peanuts classic looks wonderful on DVD. Colors are strong, there are no noticable artifacts - this is simply the best these cartoons have ever looked. There are optional English subtitles for the hard of hearing.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: Audio is presented in its original mono. There is nothing to complain about here either.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 6 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. This Is America Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers
Extras Review: The disc also includes an episode from the 8 part This Is America Charlie Brown television mini-series that originally aired in 1988. Here we have The Mayflower Voyagers (1988), which puts our Schulz friends on board the historic vessel as she sails for America in 1620. This is a more educational version of Peanuts, with much less comedic content and more historical facts. Narrated by Linus, we see and hear about the hardships and obstacles faced by the pilgrims as the make their way across the Atlantic, then discover the New World and the first settlements which leads us up to the first Thanksgiving dinner.

The cast includes Charlie Brown, Linus, Marcie, Peppermint Patty, Pig-Pen, Sally, Schroeder, Snoopy, Woodstock, Captain Myles Standish, Samoset, Squanto, Massaquoit, and other Mayflower Voyagers.

I would have liked to see some historical information on the series and its creator somewhere on the disc, but the inclusion of a second feature beats getting just one 25 minute episode for the same price as is the case on It's The Pied Piper, Charlie Brown (though that does feature an 11 minute featurette). Good grief!

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

After 50 years of the Peanuts comic strip, Charles Schulz died on February 12, 2000, just hours before his final original installment of Peanuts was to be published. His contribution to the comic world will be greatly missed, but his legacy can live on forever thanks to these DVDs. Paramount has done this show justice with a high quality transfer on this disc. A must own collection, though I hope Paramount continues releasing at least two episodes per disc.


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