The latest release in the Happiness is…Peanuts series follows the same formula as its predecessors. One 26 minute special is accompanied by a similarly themed episode of the mid-‘80s television program The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show for a total running time of 48 minutes. The format for these DVDs could be seen as a bit of a cheat, despite a reasonable retail price. After all, it would be preferable to have a full collection of Peanuts specials on a multi-disc set, along with one containing both seasons of the TV show. But this piecemeal strategy must be working out for Warner Home Video because they haven’t changed their approach.
The main feature here is a relatively recent special, “Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown,” which originally aired in 2003. In this special, Charlie Brown is dreading baseball season because Lucy represents a defensive weak spot on his team. Even stuck out in right field, Lucy’s poor fielding skills have caused nothing but trouble. Charlie is so stressed out, he even trades Snoopy, his own dog, to Peppermint Patty’s team for five players that will hopefully ease his team’s woes. Unfortunately, the trade doesn’t work out. Nothing goes Charlie’s way as his team continues to lose again and again.
This isn’t a classic special by any means, but it may prove entertaining for younger viewers. The plot is a bit sketchy and doesn’t really have much of a conclusion. The included episode of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show (which originally aired in 1985 as part of the show’s second season) is actually more entertaining, despite being the also-ran on the disc. The sports theme is continued in two of the episode’s three segments. “The Pelicans” finds Charlie Brown recruited to sell popcorn for Peppermint Patty’s baseball team, though he longs for a chance to play. In “Great Pumpkin,” in which Linus once again spends Halloween night waiting for the mythical figure to appear, the Peanuts gang goes bowling.
The best segment, “Spike,” concludes the episode. Snoopy’s older brother Spike comes to visit and turns out to be unhealthily thin. Lucy takes it upon herself to play nurse, feeding Spike milkshakes to beef him up a little. There isn’t much of a story arc to the short segments in any given episode of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Snow. But on Happiness is…Peanuts: Team Snoopy, the main special actually feels like an overextended segment from that ‘80s show.