Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!)

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Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown
(and Don't Come Back!!)
Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bill Meléndez
Phil Roman
Produced by Bill Meléndez
Lee Mendelson
Written by Charles M. Schulz
Starring Arrin Skelley
Daniel Anderson
Patricia Patts
Casey Carlson
Michelle Muller
Annalisa Bortolin
Pascal de Barolet
Roseline Rubens
Bill Meléndez
Music by Ed Bogas
Judy Munsen
Edited by Roger Donley
Chuck McCann
Production
  company
Lee Mendelson Film Productions
Bill Meléndez Productions
United Feature Syndicate
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s)
  • May 30, 1980 (1980-05-30)
Running time 76 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2,013,193[1]

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) is a 1980 animated comedy-drama film produced by United Feature Syndicate and distributed by Paramount Pictures, directed by Bill Meléndez and Phil Roman. It was the fourth full-length feature film to be based on the Peanuts comic strip, and was followed three years later by a 1983 television special, What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?, in which the gang sees memorials and places related to World Wars I and II.

Paramount Home Entertainment released this film on VHS in 1995, but has yet to release the film on DVD or Blu-ray.

Plot[edit]

The film begins in France at a sports pub where a car is departing and making its way through a rainy village, past a farm and some greenhouses and finally parks at a château. Inside the château, a little girl looks at a U.S. Army issued satchel stencil with a service number and the name S. BROWN, and begins writing a letter. In America, Linus van Pelt officially announces to his class that their school has participated in a student exchange program and will be hosting two French students named Babette and Jacques, while Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, and himself go to France. Charlie Brown is baffled why he would be chosen for an exchange program, but Linus says this could be a good experience for the both of them. At the airport, the kids, Snoopy, and Woodstock are seen off by their best friends. Before leaving, Lucy van Pelt warns Charlie Brown not to come back.

On board, Charlie Brown produces a letter he received that was written in French, which he does not speak. Marcie, who had been studying French, translates and says it is an invitation from a young red-haired girl named Violette Honfleur to stay at the château du Mal Voisin (The castle of the Bad Neighbor). Peppermint Patty asks who Violette could be, but Charlie Brown has no idea. Minutes before landing, Linus looks over the landscape and remarks they must be flying over Scotland. The plane lands in London and the kids go on a sightseeing tour downtown, while Snoopy and Woodstock play some tennis at Wimbledon, in a scene akin to a prior film. When Snoopy finds himself losing, he lashes out and later gets thrown out from the court. Snoopy and Woodstock head to the Victoria railway station and rejoin the rest of the group, where upon they take a train from London to Dover, where they briefly admire the White Cliffs of Dover before boarding a hovercraft to cross the English Channel. They travel to France and drive to the farmhouse where Peppermint Patty and Marcie will be staying with Pierre. Pierre is a good host who appreciates Marcie making an effort to learn his native tongue, but Peppermint Patty experiences culture shock in having to help out with the farm chores, French cuisine, as well as having to wear a school uniform to the local school, whereas Marcie reminds her friend that when one is in another land, one must respect their ways. When Marcie says that Linus and Charlie Brown are staying at the château du Mal Voisin, Pierre shudders, as the place has a bad reputation in the village, then goes on to reveal that there must be some mistake, as the château is owned by an antisocial Baron who never puts up guests, especially not Americans. Shortly after the boys drop off the girls at Pierre's house, a thunderstorm erupts. When they arrive at the château, it apparently seems unoccupied. Linus and Charlie Brown are perplexed as to why someone would invite them all this way then not be at home to greet them. With the rain beating down, they are forced to take cover in an empty stable and use their luggage as makeshift sleeping bags. The boys ask Snoopy and Woodstock to guard them, but they head down to the local pub to drink a few pints of root beer.

The next morning, Charlie Brown and Linus find that breakfast and warm blankets have been provided by an unknown benefactor, further puzzling them. When the gang meet with each other at school, Charlie Brown produces the letter from Violette, whom Pierre states that she is the niece of the Baron who owns the château. That evening, the boys return to see their bedding reset and an evening meal laid out, but still no people. With Snoopy once again enjoying himself at the sports pub, Linus suggests he and Charlie Brown sleep in shifts to catch the mysterious benefactor. During Charlie Brown's watch, rooms in the château light up, but he fails to notice as he is so sleepy. The Baron and Violette appear at the front door, with the Baron stating that he is going to the cafe for a bit and that he does not want Violette to let Charlie Brown and Linus inside, but Violette protests that they must be hospitable and that their family owes a debt to the Brown family. After the Baron drives away, Linus awakens to see that the blankets have been fixed and new food has been put out, and that Charlie Brown slacked on his watch by falling back asleep. Linus tells himself he will get to the bottom of this, and sneaks into the château, which is dark save for a candlelight, which Linus follows to the top floor to corner Violette, who admits she is the unseen hostess and says that her invitation was a serious mistake. Violette explains that her grandmother had told her the story of a wartime love affair that she had with Silas Brown, Charlie Brown's grandfather, who was an infantryman stationed in France during World War II, and stayed at the château. Violette presents Linus with Silas Brown's satchel, proving her story, as well as a photograph of her family posing with Corporal Brown, whom Linus remarks looks like a full-grown version of Charlie Brown. When Silas received his marching orders, he promised to write letters which he did for many years. However, after he married an American woman, the letters eventually stopped coming. Violette's grandmother moved on, though she never forgot him. At the pub, Snoopy and Woodstock are playing foosball and overhears the Baron confide to the bartender that he knows about Charlie Brown and Linus and has tolerated them long enough. The Baron returns home to Violette's surprise, and in her rush to get Linus out of the room, Violette accidentally knocks down a candle which spreads a fire throughout the château. Linus takes Violette towards a pair of casement windows, throws them open and shouts to Charlie Brown for help. Charlie Brown wakes up and runs to the pub to call Snoopy and Woodstock. Snoopy and Woodstock rush off to the château and Charlie Brown continues running to the farmhouse to awaken Peppermint Patty, Marcie, and Pierre. Peppermint Patty and Marcie follow Charlie Brown towards the flaming château, while Pierre calls the fire department before following the girls.

When Snoopy and Woodstock arrive at the château, it is engulfed in flames, while the Baron begs for someone to rescue Violette. Snoopy immediately heads to a shed and brings out an old fashioned fire hose, while Linus throws his blanket down to Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, and Pierre which they use to catch Violette when she jumps out from the window. Snoopy moves a barrel of water under Linus who also jumps to safety, and later barks out instructions to work the hose, which is manned by Charlie Brown and Pierre, but the intense water pressure spins him around, splashing Charlie Brown. Woodstock later pops out of the hose with a violin and begins playing along to the dramatic scene. Snoopy finally wrestles the hose and gets it to work, a fire truck with three firemen arrive and the fire is finally extinguished. Thankful that the gang has saved the château and more importantly, his niece, the Baron promises that he will never be so inhospitable again. Charlie Brown learns the full truth behind the mysterious letter he had received: many years ago, a friend of Violette's family visited America and stopped to have his hair cut, and the barber was Charlie Brown's father. Violette found out about Charlie Brown and wrote the letter inviting him to stay for a while. As the group prepares to leave the château to return to America, Violette gives Silas' satchel to Charlie Brown. The film ends when the group says their goodbyes to Pierre and Violette and get into their beat-up rental car.

Cast[edit]

Music Crew[edit]

Reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, it received an 80% "Fresh" approval rating by the audience.[2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]