Written by Fantasma el Rey
Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts gang is back on DVD and as enjoyable as ever in this television special from 1968, He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown. This remastered deluxe edition also features a bonus TV special, Life Is A Circus, Charlie Brown from 1980. Both feature that lovable pup Snoopy and showcase two different sides of his personality but no matter what he does the gang as well as the rest of the world adore that beagle like he was their very own.
In He’s Your Dog Snoopy’s pranks become too much for the gang to handle and they turn to Charlie Brown (who asks why he has to do something to which the gang shouts loudly the title of the special) to put his dog straight. To accomplish this, good ol’ Chuck decides to send his pup back to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm where he was born for obedience training. Snoopy doesn’t make it past his first stop though, Peppermint Patty’s, where he spends a week with no rules, doing nothing but playing all day and living well.
When Chuck finds out Snoopy hasn’t made his destination, he heads over to Peppermint Patty’s, leash in hand, to bring his dog home. More trouble ensues as Snoopy dislikes the leash very much and see’s Chuck as a warden escorting his prisoner of war, the World War I fighter ace, off to prison. Snoopy escapes back to Patty’s but this time he’s forced to pull his own weight and do chores around the house, ranging from scrubbing floors and doing dishes to vacuuming and yard work. Yet even though he starts to miss Chuck and home he would still rather do all that than be put in “chains.”
Meanwhile the gang begins to miss his antics around the neighborhood and is glad when he finally decides to comes home, after having to sleep the night in Peppermint Patty’s garage. After reuniting and making good with Chuck, he’s back on the block and raising a ruckus, stealing Linus’ blanket and spinning him around, then showing his boxing skills by slipping and dodging Lucy’s punches while landing his own barrage of licks and kisses. Another great example of classic 1960s Peanuts fun.
The bonus feature, Life Is A Circus, Charlie Brown, is another cute and enjoyable Peanuts romp. This time Snoopy wakes up early to the sounds and music of the arriving circus train. He wanders over to the circus grounds to watch them set up and see all the strange animals. One in particular catches his attention and makes him starry-eyed. An attractive show poodle named Fifi puts Snoopy in a love trance he can’t break and he winds up in the show where all his neighborhood friends see him and wonder how he got there? Snoopy discovers that, as with many other things in life, he has a knack for this circus stuff and finds success as “Hugo The Great,” a highwire unicycle-riding, back-flipping part of the dog show.
Alas stardom and show business go too far when the circus owner wants to dye Snoopy and his lady love pink! Snoopy grabs his gal and they flee, making it to the bus stop just in time to catch a lift but to his dismay Fifi finds the call of the Big Top irresistible and heads back to the life she has known for so long. Heartbroken, Snoopy boards the bus and heads for home, where all his friends and that boy named Charlie Brown anxiously await his return.
An enjoyable entry in the Peanuts television specials, it’s great entertainment for the whole family although some may argue not as good as the ‘60s and ‘70s shows.
Also on the DVD is a new featurette “Snoopy’s Home Ice: The Story Of Redwood Empire Ice Arena.” It is a half-hour look at the ice rink that Charles M. Schultz rebuilt for the community in Santa Rosa, California and where Shultz loved to spend many of his days skating and playing hockey. Many Snoopy ice shows where preformed and televised there as well as the annual Snoopy’s Senior World Hockey Tournament. A nice look at what Shultz did and loved in his daily life and one more reason to add this DVD to your Peanuts collection even though I’m sure true fans have He’s Your Dog on the Peanuts 1960s two-disc set already.