Warner Home Video presents
Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (1967-77)
"I'd give anything if that little red haired girl sent me a Valentine."- Charlie BrownDirector: Phil Roman, Bill Melendez
MPAA Rating: Not RatedRun Time: 01h:14m:49s
Release Date: 2008-01-15
DVD ReviewValentine's Day may be terrific if you're head-over-heels in love, but for everybody else, it's invariably a disappointment—and Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, proves himself here a keen observer of the pains of unrequited love, even if you're only in grammar school. This DVD brings together three stories of Charlie Brown and his eternally youthful friends, and are sure to please hopeful and hopeless lovers of all ages.
In the disc's title story, from 1975, poor old Charlie Brown keeps checking his mailbox in vain—surely *someone* has sent him a Valentine this year, no? It's another litany of humiliations for the poor fellow, as he continually comes up empty, and he's not the only one pining for someone who won't return the sentiment. Linus has a brutal crush on his teacher, Miss Offmar; meanwhile, he's blind to the amorous advances of little Sally Brown; and Lucy continues to lose out on Schroeder's attention to his one true love, Ludwig von Beethoven. It's a sweet story essentially about coming up empty on the designated day of romance, more about heartbreak than true love.
Next is 1967's You're In Love, Charlie Brown, which may lead you to contemplate the lives of these practically abandoned children—parents are always out of the picture, and teachers exist only as offscreen French horns. Here Charlie Brown is wrestling with self-esteem issues ("I'm nothing," he declares), and he's on the clock, because it's nearly the last day of school, and he still hasn't worked up the moxie to speak with that elusive little red haired girl who has won his heart. Charlie Brown owes a special debt of gratitude in this one to Linus, who does a bangup job as his wingman.
Finally, things get hot and heavy with It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown, made in 1977—not only is the little red haired girl on screen, she even has a name: Heather. And she's the homecoming queen, and Charlie Brown is supposed to escort her to the dance, and lay the ceremonial first buss on her rosy little cheek. But first, since no homecoming is complete without the big game, and you've got to be a football hero to get along with the beautiful girls. So Peppermint Patty gets her Bear Bryant going as the player/coach for the school team, and inevitably, things come down to a final field goal attempt, giving Charlie Brown an opportunity to revisit his Sisyphean attempts to kick a football with Lucy as his holder. And we all know how that's going to end, even if you're not Scott Norwood.
Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: The title story has been spruced up a bit, but the other two, not so much—still, these are serviceable transfers.
Image Transfer Grade: B-
|DS 2.0||English, Spanish||yes|
Audio Transfer Review: Some static on all of the tracks, but it's all sufficiently decipherable.
Audio Transfer Grade: C
Disc ExtrasStatic menu with music
Scene Access with 3 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Smurfs, Season 1, Volume 1, Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who—Deluxe Edition
Packaging: Amaray with slipcase
Extras Review: The principal addition from the previous release of this title is Unlucky in Love: An Unrequited Love Story (15m:02s), a look at Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, and his particular affinity for emotionally charged times like Valentine's Day. It features interviews with other cartoonists, Schulz family members, and prominent fans, including novelist Jonathan Franzen, discussing the universality of the characters in Schulz's universe. And the music over the main menu is of course Vince Guaraldi's familiar Peanuts theme.
Extras Grade: B-
Final CommentsThree tales of the power of love on even the smallest of us, and good February fun for all of us.
Jon Danziger 2008-01-24