A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
The 2000 Paramount DVD cover
Created byCharles M. Schulz
Written byCharles M. Schulz
Directed byBill Melendez
Phil Roman
Voices ofBill Melendez
Todd Barbee
Stephen Shea
Hilary Momberger
Robin Kohn
Christopher DeFaria
Jimmy Ahrens
Robin Reed
Theme music composerVince Guaraldi
Composer(s)Vince Guaraldi
Country of originUSA
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Lee Mendelson
Bill Melendez
Editor(s)Bob Gillis
Chuck McCann
Rudy Zamora, Jr.
Running time25 minutes
DistributorUnited Feature Syndicate
Original networkCBS (1973–2000)
ABC (2001–present)
Original release
  • November 20, 1973 (1973-11-20)
Preceded byThere's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown
Followed byIt'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. As of 2018, the special continues to be aired every November in prime time, now on the ABC network.[1] It was the third holiday special after A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965 and It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown in 1966.


The special opens with Lucy enticing Charlie Brown to kick the football she is holding. Charlie Brown at first refuses, suspecting that Lucy will pull it away as always; but Lucy convinces him that kicking the football is a Thanksgiving tradition. 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 for Thanksgiving dinner when Charlie Brown gets a phone call from Peppermint Patty, who invites herself (as her father is out of town, he says that Peppermint Patty could invite herself over) over to Charlie Brown's house for the holiday dinner. Two quick subsequent phone calls from Peppermint Patty add Marcie and Franklin. But because 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 Thanksgiving dinners ("OK. That makes it easy. You simply have two dinners".); the first one for Patty and her friends and then the second one at his grandmother's house. Charlie Brown says he cannot make a Thanksgiving dinner. He says that all he knows how to make is cold cereal and toast. Regardless, Linus recruits Snoopy and Woodstock to set up a ping-pong table and chairs in the backyard. 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 toy 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 that details the First Thanksgiving in 1621. Snoopy serves up the feast which includes buttered toast, pretzel sticks, popcorn, jelly beans, and an ice cream sundae.

Patty's initial shock at the unconventional meal quickly turns to anger, and she loudly berates Charlie Brown; he timidly leaves the table, embarrassed and dejected. Marcie interrupts Patty's tirade and reminds her that Charlie didn't even invite her, but she had invited herself along with Marcie and Franklin. Coming to her senses, Patty asks Marcie apologize to Charlie Brown and Patty soon follows and apologizes to him herself.

In the midst of the quasi-feast, Charlie Brown loses track of time. The clock strikes four, reminding him that he and Sally are supposed to be at their grandmother's house for dinner. He says out loud that it is already four o'clock and they are supposed to be at grandmother's house by 4:30. Then he tells himself that he better call her and explain his dilemma. He calls his grandmother on the phone to explain his situation. When he mentions that his friends have not eaten yet, his grandmother invites them all to Thanksgiving dinner; the news is welcomed with cheers from everyone. As the kids ride in the car, they sing the song "Over the River and Through the Woods". Charlie Brown corrects the kids about the song ("Well, there's only one thing wrong with that"). Linus asks what Charlie Brown means by that ("What is that, Charlie Brown?"). The lyrics "grandmother's house" causes Charlie Brown to recall that his grandmother actually lives in a condominium.

After the kids 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. Over the end credits, the two friends each devour dessert (a large piece of pumpkin pie) 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 various days in the week leading up to Thanksgiving.

As the special runs slightly over a half-hour with commercials, ABC typically fills the remaining portion of the full hour with other Peanuts programming. Since 2008, the remaining time has been filled by a slightly abridged edit of "The Mayflower Voyagers," the premiere episode of the 1988 miniseries This Is America, Charlie Brown.

Voice actors[edit]


  • Written and Created by: Charles M. Schulz
  • Story by: Jeffrey Moss, Jon Stone, Ray Sipherd, Emily Perl Kingsley, Jon Stone, Jerry Juhl
  • Directed by: Bill Melendez and Phil Roman
  • Produced by: Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez
  • Music Composed and Performed by: Vince Guaraldi
  • Music Supervision: John Scott Trotter
  • Vocal by: Vince Guaraldi
  • Featured Musicians: Vince Guaraldi, Seward McCain
  • Graphic Blandishment: Bernard Gruver, Evert Brown, Ed Levitt, Frank Smith, Dean Spille, Don Lusk, Bob Carlson, Sam Jaimes, Bill Littlejohn, Al Pabian, Bob Bachman, Bror Lansing, Carole Barnes, Beverly Robbins, Eleanor Warren, Faith Kovaleski, Manon Washburn, Joice Lee Marshall, Adele Lenart, Chandra Poweris, Carla Washburn, Joanne Lansing
  • Editing: Bob Gillis, Chuck McCann, Rudy Zamora
  • Recording:
    • Voices: Coast Recorders, Radio Recorders
    • Music: Wally Heider Recording
    • Mix: Producers' Sound Service
  • Camera: Dickson/Vasu, Tony Rivetti
  • Production Manager: Bob Gillis
  • Production Assistant: Judy Freudberg
  • in cooperation with United Feature Syndicate, Inc. and Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, Warren Lockhart, President
  • THE END "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" © 1973 United Feature Syndicate, Inc. All Rights Reserved


The music for this special was composed by Vince Guaraldi and performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.[2]

  • "Charlie Brown Blues" (aka "Play It Again, Charlie Brown")
  • "Thanksgiving Theme"
  • "Thanksgiving Theme"
  • "Peppermint Patty"
  • "Little Birdie" (Vince Guaraldi vocal[3])
  • "Thanksgiving Interlude"
  • "Is It James or Charlie?"
  • "Linus and Lucy"
  • "Fife & Drums Theme"
  • "Is It James or Charlie?"
  • "Charlie Brown Blues" (aka "Play It Again, Charlie Brown")
  • "Thanksgiving Interlude"
  • "Over the River and Through the Wood" (a cappella, by the kids)
  • "Thanksgiving Theme"
  • "Thanksgiving Theme"


This special was released on DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment on September 12, 2000. It was re-released by Warner Home Video in remastered form on October 7, 2008.[4] It was released on a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack by Warner Home Video on October 5, 2010. The special was released in a 40th anniversary deluxe edition DVD by Warner Home Video with the same features from previous editions on October 1, 2013. The deluxe edition DVD also features "The Mayflower Voyagers". The Film was released on 4K UHD Blu-Ray on October 24, 2017.[5]


  1. ^ https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2017/11/17/tv-specials-holiday-season/870920001/
  2. ^ http://www.fivecentsplease.org/dpb/cuesheet.html
  3. ^ http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/little-birdie-the-best-thanksgiving-tune/Content?oid=1577166
  4. ^ A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (US – DVD R1) in News Releases at DVDActive
  5. ^ "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving 4K Blu-ray". Blueray.com. Retrieved 22 December 2017.

External links[edit]