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Paramount Studios presents
A Charlie Brown Valentine (2002)

"How can one fall in love when all these stupid things are going on?"
- Peppermint Patty (Kip DeFaria)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: January 13, 2004

Stars: Wesley Singerman, Lauren Schaffel, Corey Padnos, Todd Barbee, Chad Webber, Stephen Shea, Hilary Momberger, Bill Melendez, Robin Kohn, Grant Wehr, Earl Reilly,
Other Stars: Emily Lalande, Jessica D. Stone, Christopher Ryan Johnson, Nicolette Little, Jimmy Ahrens, Jeffrey Bailly, Kip DeFaria, Jennifer Gaffin
Director: Bill Melendez, Phil Roman

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:14m:26s (total)
Release Date: January 06, 2004
UPC: 097368797048
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B-B+A D+

DVD Review

The world's most loveable loser returns in Paramount's latest collection of animated Peanuts television specials. Three television specials, each running around 25 minutes, are included.

A Charlie Brown Valentine

Despite publishing Peanuts for over 50 years, Charles Schulz refused to allow ghost artists to work on his comic strip, and his death in 2000 coincided with the final installment in the series. In an effort to continue the franchise while conceding to Schulz' wishes that no new animated specials be created, the producers and his estate agreed to use existing stories from the strip cartoon as the basis for 2002's A Charlie Brown Valentine, the first television special to be produced since 1994's You're in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown!.

The feature contains all the characters we've come to love over the years, but due to its scattered sources, doesn't come together very well as a whole. Instead, we have a series of vignettes of each character doing something Valentine-relatedóLucy prodding Schroeder for her card, Sally dreaming about Linus getting her a card, Peppermint Patty trying to get Charlie Brown to come to his senses, and dear old Chuck enamoured with the little red-haired girl, but in typical fashion, scared to death to ask her to the Valentine's Day dance. Enjoyable, but not quite up to snuff.

Someday You'll Find Her, Charlie Brown

Not exactly a Valentine's entry, in this 1981 TV special directed by Phil Roman, Chuck is smitten by a girl he sees on TV at a football game, and sets out with Linus to find her. The process is convoluted, and Charles is his usual wishy-washy self when it comes to mustering up the courage to actually talk to the object of his affectionsówhich leads to some unexpected results.

There's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown

Aside from its title, this 1973 installment also has nothing to do with the Valentine's theme. This time, the gang is off at school, trying to come to grips with their various courses. After a pretty mediocre report card, Charlie Brown's chances of excelling in class get off to a rough start when the kids get detoured on their trip to an art gallery, and wind up in a supermarket. This is quintessential Charlie Brown, but with a rather surprise ending.

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

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: Image quality is quite good throughout. Colors look quite good, if shy of excellent, with the older features being in a little worse shape in the fidelity department, and exhibiting more grain. I was a little disturbed by the degree of aliasing and interlace artifacting in A Charlie Brown Valentine, however this may only be an issue on progressive scan setups. The line work on the earlier episodes holds up very well. Overall I'm pretty happy with the results.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: I would hardly hold up Peanuts as an example for audiophiles, but the audio on all three features is clean, and free of hiss or distortion. No complaints here.

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Peanuts on home video, Charlotte's Web, Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure, Rugrats Go Wild, Nick Jr.
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The sole extra is a promo reel, which runs 8m:39s, and contains ads for Peanuts on home video, Charlotte's Web and its sequel Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure, Rugrats Go Wild and Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. series of videos.

Each episode contains five chapter stops.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

After growing up watching the Peanuts gang in their most famous specials, discovering these lesser-known titles is a real treat. Even though none can truly equal the more familiar holiday classics, I am quite happy that Paramount is releasing these obscure Peanuts specials on DVD, preserving Schulz's animated legacy for future generations.

 


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