A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
CharlieBrownThanksgiving.jpg
Created by Charles M. Schulz
Written by Charles M. Schulz
Directed by Bill Melendez
Phil Roman
Voices of Bill Melendez
Todd Barbee
Stephen Shea
Hilary Momberger
Robin Kohn
Christopher DeFaria
Jimmy Ahrens
Robin Reed
Theme music composer Vince Guaraldi
Composer(s) Vince Guaraldi
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
Production
Executive producer(s) Kim Campbell
Producer(s) Lee Mendelson
Bill Melendez
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original airing
  • November 20, 1973 (1973-11-20)
Chronology
Preceded by There's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown
Followed by It's a Mystery, Charlie Brown

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is the tenth prime-time animated TV special based upon the popular comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was originally aired on the CBS network on November 20, 1973, and won an Emmy Award the following year. Currently,[a] the special is aired every November in prime time on the ABC network.

This special has previously been released on DVD by Paramount. It was re-released on DVD by Warner Home Video in remastered form on October 7, 2008.[1] It was released on a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack by Warner Home Video on October 5, 2010.

Summary[edit]

The special opens with Lucy enticing Charlie Brown to kick the football she is holding. Charlie Brown at first refuses, correctly suspecting that Lucy will pull it away as always; but Lucy convinces him that kicking the football is a Thanksgiving tradition, and that being asked to do so is an honor. Charlie Brown decides that Lucy would never pull her trick on a national holiday, and ends up getting deceived and landing flat on his back once again.

Charlie Brown and Sally are preparing to go to their grandmother's place for Thanksgiving dinner when Charlie Brown gets a phone call from Peppermint Patty, who invites herself over to Charlie Brown's house for the holiday dinner. Two quick subsequent phone calls add Marcie and Franklin to the guest list, and since Charlie Brown cannot get a word in edgewise with Patty, he quickly finds himself in a quandary with no easy solution—at least not until Linus shows up.

Linus suggests to Charlie Brown that he could have two dinners: the first one for Patty and her friends, and then the second one at his grandmother's home, forcing Charlie Brown to admit that all he knows how to make is "cold cereal and maybe toast." Regardless, Linus recruits Snoopy and Woodstock to set up a ping-pong table and chairs in the backyard. It is interesting to note that Vince Guaraldi, composer of the jazz music heard in the Peanuts specials, contributed a rare, but memorable vocal track during this scene ("Little Birdie"). Snoopy and Woodstock set the table, then Snoopy dons a chef hat, directing Charlie Brown, Linus and Woodstock in food preparation. When the food is readied, Snoopy and a reluctant Woodstock go to Snoopy's doghouse and dress in Pilgrim clothing. They return to the house with Snoopy holding a musket, which fires unexpectedly and causes Charlie Brown to lose his patience.

The guests arrive and make their way to the backyard for the Thanksgiving feast. Linus leads the group in prayer. Each place setting includes an ice cream sundae (vanilla ice cream with whipped cream and a cherry) in a large sundae bowl. Snoopy serves up the food, throwing the plates to each guest Frisbee-style. Each person gets two slices of buttered toast, pretzel sticks, popcorn, and jelly beans.

At first Patty is shocked, but her shock quickly turns to outrage, and she angrily berates Charlie Brown for the "meal." Embarrassed and dejected, Charlie Brown timidly leaves the table and goes back into the house. Patty's tirade continues until Marcie asks her what had happened as she did not recall Charlie Brown inviting her to dinner; did Charlie Brown invite them, or did Peppermint Patty invite herself, along with Marcie and Franklin? Realizing Marcie is right, Patty comes to her senses and begs Marcie to go and apologize to Charlie Brown on her behalf. Marcie reluctantly does so, but Patty soon follows her and apologizes to Charlie Brown herself.

In the midst of the quasi-feast, Charlie Brown loses track of the time. The clock strikes four, reminding him that he and Sally are supposed to be at their grandmother's home for dinner in half an hour. So he calls his grandmother to tell her that they are going to be a little late and to explain the situation—he has friends over and none of them have eaten yet. But his grandmother suggests that he bring all his friends with him for Thanksgiving dinner; the idea is welcomed with cheers from everyone. En route, the gang sings a chorus of Over the River and through the Woods, but Charlie Brown qualifies the title, adding that his grandmother lives in a condominium.

After they leave, Snoopy and Woodstock go to the doghouse and cook up their own traditional Thanksgiving meal that includes a turkey, complete with all the trimmings. They pull apart the wishbone, with Woodstock snapping off the bigger piece. As its release hurls him through the air, he smiles, perhaps because his longtime wish to fly straight and head-up like a normal bird has been granted. Over the end credits the two friends each devour dessert: a large piece of pumpkin pie. They then sit back with contented smiles as Woodstock pats his full stomach.

Broadcast history[edit]

The special first aired on CBS on November 20, 1973, and continued to air every year on that network until 2000. In 2001, it moved, along with the rest of the Peanuts specials, to ABC. Traditionally, ABC airs the special on Thanksgiving night, although it also has aired on other days preceding the holiday including the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Voice actors and their characters[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As of November 28th, 2013.

References[edit]

External links[edit]