Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!)
|Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown
(and Don't Come Back!!)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bill Meléndez|
|Produced by||Bill Meléndez
|Written by||Charles M. Schulz|
Pascal de Barolet
|Music by||Ed Bogas
|Editing by||Roger Donley
|Studio||Lee Mendelson Film Productions
Bill Meléndez Productions
United Feature Syndicate
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||76 minutes|
Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) is a 1980 animated film produced by United Feature Syndicate and distributed by Paramount Pictures, directed by Bill Meléndez. 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.
As part of an exchange program, two French students named Babette and Jacques are spending two weeks at Charlie Brown's school, while Charlie Brown, Linus van Pelt, Peppermint Patty, and Marcie go to France. At the airport, the kids, Snoopy, and Woodstock are seen off by their best friends. Before leaving, Lucy van Pelt tells Charlie Brown not to come back. During the flight, Charlie Brown produces a letter he received that was written in French. 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 Chateau du Mal Voisin (The House of the Bad Neighbor). Peppermint Patty asks who Violette could be, but Charlie Brown has no idea. Just before landing, Linus looks over the landscape and remarks they must be flying over Scotland. The flight 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 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 (which does not include French toast for breakfast), 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 Chateau du Mal Voison, 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 Chateau 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; a thunderstorm erupts. When they arrive at the Chateau, 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 Chateau. 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 chateau light up, but he fails to notice as he is so sleepy. The Baron explains to Violette that he is going to the cafe for a bit and that he does not Violette to let the boys inside, but Violette protests that they must be hospitable. 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 later go to investigate by entering the Chateau to find Violette, who 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 Chateau. When Silas received his marching orders, he promised to write letters which 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 in 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 Chateau. Linus takes Violette towards a pair of casement windows, throws them open and shouts 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 Chateau and Charlie Brown continues running to the farmhouse to call Peppermint Patty, Marcie, and Pierre. Pierre calls the Fire Department, while Peppermint Patty and Marcie follow Charlie Brown towards the flaming Chateau.
When Snoopy and Woodstock arrive at the Chateau, it is engulfed in flames, while the Baron begs for someone to save his niece. 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. While Snoopy is still working with the hose, a fire truck with three firemen arrive and the fire is finally extinguished. Thankful that the gang eventually rescue Linus, Violette, and the Chateau, 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 Chateau 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.
- Arrin Skelley as Charlie Brown
- Daniel Anderson as Linus van Pelt
- Patricia Patts as Peppermint Patty
- Casey Carlson as Marcie
- Annalisa Bortolin as Sally Brown
- Michelle Muller as Lucy van Pelt
- Bill Melendez as Snoopy, Woodstock
- Pascale De Barolet as Pierre
- Roseline Rubens as Violette Honfleur, Patty, Violet
- Scott Beach as Waiter, Baron, Driver, Tennis Announcer, English Voice, American Male
- Mel Blanc (uncredited) as assorted vocal effects
Adult appearances and story halves
Unlike most other Peanuts animated adaptations, this film is one of the few to prominently feature adults in both on-screen and speaking parts, without the use of the signature trombone speech ("wah-wah") sound effect (the first being She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown). The four adults that are featured include a London black cab driver who takes Snoopy to Wimbledon, a waiter in a London restaurant (with such a strong Cockney accent that the kids cannot understand him), a French teacher, and an anti-American Baron (who is seen only as a silhouette).
In addition, the scene in the classroom involving an escalating confrontation between Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty, who are forced to share a desk, was based on a series of Peanuts strips originally published in 1975, where Charlie Brown and his friends were sent across town to Patty's school after their own school collapsed (or "committed suicide", as Sally maintained). That storyline in its original form would later be recreated for the "Snoopy's Cat Fight" episode of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show.
- Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!) at the Internet Movie Database
- Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!) at the TCM Movie Database
- Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!) at allmovie
- Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!) at Box Office Mojo
- Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!) at Rotten Tomatoes