Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Charlie Brown Christmas

I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas “live” (on network TV as it was being aired) for the first time in what I suppose has been decades now. A Charlie Brown Christmas was a Christmas season stable when I was a kid. It first aired in 1965 when I was just five and no one under 12 missed it when it was shown each year. Of course the was back when you had to see it “live” or you missed it until the next year -no reruns, no video recordings- catch it or miss it for the year. A few comments and observations:

The show seems a lot shorter than I remember it. But then everything at my age seems to go by frighteningly fast.

The animation is so dated that an animated Pampers ad during a commercial break seemed like it was placed there to steal the show.

I’m surprised at how the show still evokes the emotion of winter as a child in me. I suspect I could watch this in July and still feel that.

I’ve always wondered what kids in warmer places like, say, Florida or Southern California think of the winter theme that they don’t get to experience. Or are they outside playing and couldn’t care less?

In what I see as a plot flaw, I don’t believe Lucy or any of the Peanuts characters would ever have put Charlie Brown in charge of the Christmas play.

At one point, one of them calls Charlie Brown “stupid”. I’m betting no kids show today ever uses that kind of language toward a child character. Maybe I’m wrong about that.

OK, Snoopy is still kind of funny.

IMB has trivia about the show here. Apparently, there was some product placement (Coca-Cola) in the original show that has long since been edited out. Also there is an entire scene removed form the original to make more time for commercials (which may partially account for why the show seems shorter to me today).

2 comments:

ThirtyWhat said...

Mr. ThirtyWhat gave me the Peanuts Box Set for my birthday ... it's supposed to have the entire Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Halloween specials. I'll have to watch the Christmas DVD tonight and see if it looks any different from what they show on television.

Russ said...

I have the same box set, TW. They all seem so much shorter (and so much more primitive) than I remember.

It would have been the mid-70's when I watched them on tv. And they were always preceded by this ID...
CBS SPECIAL PRESENTATION

...and then the piano would kick in. Heaven for a 4 year old.