Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang are such American icons that just seeing them on the screen makes adults and children alike smile. The whole family will be delighted with this new collection, Happiness is Peanuts: Go Snoopy Go!
Baseball is the main theme of the collection, with the ’90s TV special “It’s Spring Training, Charlie Brown,” and the short cartoon, “Rainy Day.” There are so many great classic Peanuts lines in these stories, but my favorite is when Lucy really believes she can catch a ball, but then fails as usual. “Hope got in my eyes,” she says. Anyone who has ever loved baseball but failed at it can empathize.
There are non-baseball shorts here, too, featuring Peppermint Patty, Snoopy, Linus, and Rerun. Peppermint Patty has trouble with school in “Peppermint Patty,” but Marcie won’t let her give up. Snoopy swoops and looms from trees thinking he is a “Vulture” and “Rerun” lets us experience what it is like for a very small kid riding on the back of his mom’s bike. Linus struggles with blanket issues in “Blanket.”
But baseball, for the most part rules. Charlie Brown is determined to keep the gang motivated through rain and snow, and failure after failure. In “It’s Spring Training, Charlie Brown, it all finally pays off with the help of the littlest and incredibly cute youngest team member ever, little Leland.
The colors on the DVD seem much brighter than I remember from seeing these cartoons on TV in the ’80s and ’90s. The mouths of the characters do not always move at exactly the same time as the actors’ voices, as they do on computerized animations, but this reviewer found this charming, and kids will probably never even notice it.
In the long run, it’s the humanity, endless hopefulness in the face of all the odds, and real heart of Peanuts that has made it so popular for so long. These cartoons were created in more politically correct times, so the insults are toned down from the earlier ’60s and ’70s scripts, and the kids say “Charlie Brown” a lot less. But they are still Charles Schulz scripts and they are still completely delightful.
Get Go Snoopy Go and get ready to be charmed and entertained. It’s a winner, Charlie Brown!