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|
Ludwig van Beethoven
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Lee Mendelson|
|Editor(s)||Chuck McCann |
|Running time||30 min.|
|Original network||CBS (1974-2000)|
|Original release||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 on the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. In the United States, it debuted on CBS on April 9, 1974 at 8 PM. Thereafter, CBS aired it each Easter season from 1974 to 2000. ABC repeated the special in some years during the period 2001 through 2014.
While most of the Peanuts gang is busy getting ready for Easter, Linus futilely tries to convince them that it's all a waste of time, and that the "Easter Beagle" will take care of everything. Only Charlie Brown's sister, Sally, believes him, although she remains skeptical after their Great Pumpkin misadventure on Halloween.
Peppermint Patty and Marcie attempt to color Easter eggs, but as it is Marcie's first time, she does not know how. Their first attempt fails as Marcie fries the eggs on a griddle. The second attempt fails when she tries cooking more eggs on a waffle iron (for 4 of the eggs), then in a toaster (for 1 of them), and baking the rest of them (the same egg she tries toasting and the remaining 7) in the oven. In the third and final attempt, Peppermint Patty spends the last of her money on another carton of eggs, and in so doing explains to Marcie that the eggs are to be boiled, but instead of putting them in shells-and-all, Marcie puts the eggs into the pot of water (without the shells) resulting in egg soup. At the end of that attempt, Peppermint Patty is out of money and she and Marcie end up with no colored eggs (and cannot make any more attempts).
Woodstock wakes up shivering in his nest after a cold spring rain. He goes for help to Snoopy, who buys him a birdhouse. At first Woodstock hates it, but soon makes it over into a bachelor pad, complete with television, contemporary artwork, a sunken bed, modern furniture, and a quadrophonic stereo system. Curious to see more of the inside, Snoopy gets his nose stuck in the entry hole and accidentally shatters the birdhouse, and so he buys Woodstock another house.
Much to Schroeder's chagrin, Lucy believes that Easter is the "gift-getting season", so she decides to have her own private Easter egg hunt, painting and then hiding the eggs herself to find them on Easter morning. But unbeknownst to her, Snoopy follows close behind and snatches up each one of the eggs. Easter morning arrives, and so does the Easter Beagle, tossing eggs to everyone including Woodstock in his new birdhouse, to Lucy (whose hand Snoopy furtively shakes), and even Peppermint Patty and Marcie. But by the time he gets to Charlie Brown, Snoopy has run out of eggs, and he gives Charlie Brown an embarrassed smile.
Peppermint Patty instructs Marcie to put salt on her egg and eat it (after telling Marcie that you eat the eggs after you have received them), which she does without removing the shell. After the Easter Beagle's visit, Sally becomes a believer, but Lucy quickly realizes that the Easter Beagle gave her one of her own eggs; she is still brooding about it ten weeks later, and Linus suggests that she go and talk about it with Snoopy. She visits 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
- It was the last special for Todd Barbee. He would be replaced by Duncan Watson, respectively.
The program's rights are held by ABC Television, where it runs annually. It ran annually on ABC from 2001 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. The special aired again with Charlie Brown's All-Stars on Easter Sunday in 2014. To date this is the last broadcast airing of the special.
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 was cut.
- 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, almost 10 weeks later) 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 Christian Petzold's Minuet in G major.
Snoopy arrives as the Easter Beagle to the sound of the first movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, a rare occasion in a Peanuts special 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 Peppermint Patty and Marcie talk about their Easter preparations being a failure and 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 remainder 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 Archived 2012-07-07 at Archive.today
- FOX Cuts In on ABC Tuesday. Zap2It.com. 19 March 2008. and Fitzgerald, Toni. Miss Guided lands short of the mark Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine. 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.