Some things, though they become dated and quaint, still remain classic and timeless. Charles Schultz's Peanuts TV specials are no exception to this. Every year I look forward to one of the major television networks airing the Peanuts holiday specials, especially A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
Recently, Warner Brothers has released a remastered collection of the 1960s specials on a two-disc set. This set contains six half-hour specials, each disc containing three (although the box erroneously indicates that there are four on the first disc and two on the second disc). Also included in this set is a featurette profiling the composer of the Peanuts music, including the famed "Linus and Lucy" track, Vince Guaraldi.
The specials are included in chronological order, and the last two have never before been released on DVD. Here are the specials included:
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
The classic, beloved story of the Peanuts gang's Christmas pageant and Charlie Brown's quest to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas.
Charlie Brown's All-Stars (1966)
Charlie Brown and his hapless baseball team can't catch a break on the diamond. Ever the shrewd manager, Charlie Brown believes new uniforms and entry into a real league will provide the inspiration his team needs to get over the hump. However, there's a catch: he must get rid of the girls on the team, as well as Snoopy. How will he handle such a conundrum?
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
Another beloved Peanuts holiday special. This time it's Halloween and time for the gang to go trick-or-treating. The dumb luck of Charlie Brown, however, will bring him more tricks than treats. Meanwhile, Linus patiently awaits the arrival of the Great Pumpkin, a lesser-known holiday gift-bringer.
You're in Love, Charlie Brown (1967)
It's the end of the school year and Charlie Brown is distressed about not being able to have fun like the rest of his friends. After complaining and venting to Linus, Charlie Brown realizes that his frustrations are due to his as-yet unrequited affections for The Little Red-Haired Girl, and it becomes his quest to talk to her (interesting side note: this is the first Peanuts special to feature the "trombone voice" of the schoolteacher).
He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown (1968)
The gang has become frustrated with Snoopy and his disobedient way, so Charlie Brown decides to send him back to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm for obedience training. With Snoopy, however, nothing ever goes as planned.
It was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown (1969)
The Peanuts kids all go to summer camp, but the boys have a rough time. Unfavorable conditions and repeated losses to the girls in sports get them down, but everything could change based on the outcome of the wrist-wrestling match between Lucy and Snoopy "The Masked Marvel."
Since the 1960's there have been dozens of additional Peanuts TV specials, but there's something about these first few that keep us coming back to them time and time again. This is an excellent, inexpensive collection of these timeless treasures.