If you held out and didn’t buy the previous Deluxe Remastered Peanuts DVD releases that presented a couple of specials thematically linked, then you will be overjoyed by Peanuts 1960’s Collection. The two-disc set is quite a gem, containing the first six specials.
On the other hand, if are a devout Peanutsphile who has been filling or upgrading your video library, you will likely, and rightly, be extremely outraged at Warner Brothers creating a double-dip situation so soon, especially because 1960’s Collection contains three specials remastered for the first time on DVD. It’s this type of business practice that takes advantage of people’s interests and hobbies that leads to entertainment companies having their product stolen.
Of the six special, three have been previously reviewed when they were part of holiday DVD releases and can be read at: A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and You’re In Love, Charlie Brown.
Charlie Brown’s All-Stars features Charlie Brown as the baseball team’s manager. Everyone quits on him because they always lose. Mr. Hennessy calls Charlie Brown and informs him he wants to order uniforms for the kids, so they can play in a league. Charlie Brown convinces the gang to get back together, and everyone takes to the idea; however, after they agree, Charlie Brown finds out the league won’t let girls and dogs play. Charlie Brown doesn’t want to kick anyone off the team, but figures if they can finally win a game, the team might stay together anyway.
He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown is the refrain as Snoopy drives the gang crazy with his antics. Charlie Brown decides to send him back to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm for obedience training. Snoopy has a long walk back to the farm, so Charlie Brown asks Peppermint Patty, who isn’t aware that Snoopy is a dog, if Snoopy can stay the night. He ends up staying a week like he’s on vacation. Charlie Brown picks him up to take him to Daisy Hill, but Snoopy escapes. He goes back to Peppermint Patty’s, but is forced to do chores, while the gang realizes they miss having Snoopy around.
It Was A Short Summer, Charlie Brown finds the gang back at school and working on a theme entitled “What I Did This Summer.” Linus, Lucy, and Charlie Brown reflect back on their summer camp experience, which found the girls clobbering the boys at every game. The boys have one final shot at redemption as the Masked Marvel (Snoopy) takes on Lucy in arm wrestling.
These three specials have a lot of funny gags, particularly Snoopy’s fantasies of surfing in a blow-up pool and as a WWI pilot. Plus, there was a lot of humor to be mined from that lovable loser Charlie Brown, who never gave up though he rarely succeeded.
Short Summer is the only one that I noticed flaws in the video. There are serious color issues when the boys toast marshmallows. The dark blue color of the night sky fluctuates, almost creating the appearance of lightening off in the distance. Another issue is the packaging incorrectly identifies what disc “You’re In Love” is on.
Schulz reveals himself to be on top of his game in the 1960s. The stories and characters present a great deal of insight and strike a great balance of emotions, which is why they have lived on and continue to be iconic four decades later. Another man responsible for the indelible imprint created by the TV specials is spotlighted in the all-new 37-minute featurette “Vince Guaraldi: The Maestro of Menlo Park.” Guaraldi’s jazz themes are essential components that make the programs excel.