It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown
|It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown|
Original 1974 title card
|Also known as||A Charlie Brown Easter|
|Genre||Animated TV special|
|Created by||Charles M. Schulz|
|Directed by||Phil Roman|
|Voices of||Todd Barbee
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Lee Mendelson|
|Running time||30 min.|
|Original channel||CBS (1974–2000)
|Original airing||April 9, 1974|
|Preceded by||It's a Mystery, Charlie Brown|
|Followed by||Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown|
It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown is the 12th prime-time animated TV special based upon the popular comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. It originally debuted on the CBS network on April 9, 1974 at 8 p.m. CBS aired it annually from 1974 to 2000, and since 2001 it continues to air in some years on ABC.
While most of the Peanuts Gang is getting ready for Easter, Linus, certain it is all a waste of time, tries convincing everyone the Easter Beagle will take care of everything, but his pleas fall on deaf ears. Only Sally believes him, though she still has some suspicions after the Halloween failure.
Peppermint Patty and Marcie attempt to color eggs, but as it is Marcie's first time, she does not know how to prepare the eggs properly. Marcie's first attempt fails as she fries the eggs on a griddle and flips them with a spatula. In their second attempt, Marcie tries cooking four eggs on a waffle iron, then she unsuccessfully tries to put one in a toaster, then she takes that egg and the others and tries roasting the remaining eight eggs in the oven. In their third and final attempt, Peppermint Patty points out to Marcie the eggs have to be boiled. But Marcie breaks the eggs into a pot of boiling water, inadvertently cooking egg soup. At the end of that attempt, Peppermint Patty is out of money, so they can't buy any more eggs and thus can't make any more attempts.
Woodstock, waking up shivering from a chilly spring rain in his open-air bird's nest, goes to Snoopy for help, so Snoopy goes to the department store to buy Woodstock a birdhouse. At first Woodstock hates it, but he soon renovates the interior into a quintessential 1970s bachelor pad, complete with a television, contemporary artwork, a sunken bed, carpeting and a quadrophonic stereo system. Curious to see more of the inside, Snoopy's nose gets stuck in the door causing the birdhouse to break. So he goes back to the department store to buy another house for Woodstock.
Lucy, unwaveringly believing that Easter is the "gift-getting season" much to Schroeder's chagrin, decides to have her own Easter egg hunt, hiding each egg she paints to find them all on Easter morning. Unknown to her, Snoopy follows behind her and takes the eggs.
Easter morning arrives, and so does the Easter Beagle (Snoopy), tossing eggs to everyone, even tossing one into Woodstock's new bird house. Unfortunately he runs out of eggs by the time he gets to Charlie Brown, and responds with an embarrassed smile as he gives his friend the now empty basket. Peppermint Patty and Marcie's whole situation ends with the delivery of their eggs, upon which Marcie asks Peppermint Patty what to do with the eggs at this point, and she tells her that you put salt on them and eat them. Marcie follows this order, but gets it all wrong by eating it shell and all, after which she tells Peppermint Patty "Tastes terrible, sir," driving Peppermint Patty to slap her forehead in exasperation.
It does not take long for Lucy to realize that the Snoopy gave her one of her own eggs, and 10 weeks later, Lucy is still brooding about it, so Linus suggests she go and talk about it with Snoopy. She goes out to Snoopy's doghouse to pick a fight, but Snoopy takes the fight out of her with a disarming kiss on the cheek.
- Todd Barbee – Charlie Brown
- Melanie Kohn – Lucy van Pelt
- Stephen Shea – Linus van Pelt
- Greg Felton – Schroeder
- Linda Ercoli – Peppermint Patty
- Lynn Mortensen – Sally Brown
- Jimmy Ahrens – Marcie
- Bill Melendez – Snoopy/Woodstock
The program's rights are held by ABC Television, where it runs annually. It ran annually on ABC from 2000 up to April 11, 2006. In 2007, the network, without any explanation, did not air the program, but it returned on March 18, 2008, as filler programming against American Idol. The TV special was watched by 6.32 million viewers, in fourth place behind Idol, NCIS and The Biggest Loser, and fifth place if Spanish-language Univision is counted. ABC didn't air the special in 2011 or 2012, but it aired on Easter Sunday 2013 along with Charlie Brown's All-Stars (1966), watched by 2.56 million people, tied for fourth place behind the end of the NCAA Championship Basketball Game between Duke and Louisville and a rerun of The Voice.
To make room for more commercial advertisements, ABC cuts off the following scenes in this special:
- The part where Lucy had a talk with Schroeder.
- The escalator scene in the department store was cut, as well as the parting of the friends when they are done shopping.
- The part where Linus explains to Peppermint Patty and Marcie about the Easter Beagle was cut.
- The last minute of the scene (a fight between Lucy and Snoopy) was cut.
- The credits for this special was shown for a short time until ABC's own credits took over, until the 2013 airing where the credits were shown in their entirety.
Video and DVD releases
It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown was released to DVD twice, first on March 4, 2003 by Paramount Home Entertainment and again on February 15, 2008 on a Remastered Deluxe Edition DVD from Warner Home Video. It was also released in the UK by Firefly Entertainment in 2004, with Life Is a Circus, Charlie Brown.
VHS releases of It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown have, in the past, been available in the 1980s from Kartes Video Communications, Media Home Entertainment and subsidiary Hi-Tops Video and in the 1990s by Paramount.
In the second mall scene, Peppermint Patty, Marcie and Snoopy dance to a band quartet music box including an angel, a triplet band, and a spinning duck carousel, all which play Johann Sebastian Bach's "Menuet from the Anna Magdalena Notebook (BWV Anh. 116.)." Snoopy arrives as the Easter Beagle to the sound of the first movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, a rare occasion in a Peanuts specials in which Beethoven's music is heard but Schroeder is not playing it. The music played in the scene immediately before the Easter Beagle arrives, in which Sally accuses Linus of ruining her Easter, is the funeral march from the second movement of the same Beethoven symphony. The music heard when the dancing bunnies went in circles was later heard in Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas during the Belles on Ice episode as a set of bars heard in the credits with the train scene's music. The rest of the music score features funk-inspired guitar riffs, a departure from the usual Vince Guaraldi jazz compositions used in previous Peanuts specials.
- It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown - Home - ABC.com
- FOX Cuts In on ABC Tuesday. Zap2It.com. 19 March 2008. and Fitzgerald, Toni. Miss Guided lands short of the mark. Media Life. 19 March 2008.
- Sunday Final Ratings: 'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice' Adjusted Up & Unscrambled CBS Numbers 2 April 2013.
- Peanuts Animation and Video List. 30 March 2013.