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These chronological collections are the best way to own the Peanuts specials.

DVD Review: Peanuts 1970’s Collection Vol.1

Picking up right where the 1960’s Collection left off, Disc 1 opens with Play It Again, Charlie Brown (1971), appearing on DVD for the first time. The story focuses on Lucy trying to win Schroeder’s affections although he has no interest in her. To get on his good side, she volunteers him to play a recital for a PTA benefit show, which he is thankful for until it turns out Beethoven isn’t allowed on the program.

School is tough for the gang in There's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown (1973), and an upcoming report on an art museum field trip will determine if Charlie Brown passes or fails the term. Unfortunately, he and some others get lost from the rest of the students and end up in a supermarket, which they assume contains Pop Art exhibits, so Charlie Brown only has Linus’ photos to rely on. This special marks Marcie’s television debut.

Also included on Disc 1 are previously released specials You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown (1972) and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973), available separately and in the Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection, which have been reviewed elsewhere.

Disc 2 features two specials from 1974: It's a Mystery, Charlie Brown making its DVD debut and It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown. In Mystery, Snoopy dons his Sherlock Holmes outfit and comes to the aide of his pal Woodstock whose nest turns up missing after a storm. Easter Beagle finds Linus once again trumpeting an alternative holiday figure that no one else believes in, but this time he has better luck. This special also features subplots of Woodstock getting a birdhouse, and Marcie’s many failed attempts at learning how to color Easter Eggs.

As bonuses to this collection there is the all-new, 13-minute feature, “Woodstock: Creating Snoopy’s Sidekick,” and two free iTunes downloads from the Charlie Brown’s Holiday Hits soundtrack, “Thanksgiving Theme” and “Charlie’s Blues.”

All six Peanuts specials are very funny due to creator Charles Schulz’ great wit and insight into human nature. While it’s understandable from a marketing perspective why the studios had grouped together the classic Peanuts specials with the later, mediocre ones to move and maximize product, these chronological collections are the best way to own them as they clearly demonstrate the talents of all involved.

From "Thanksgiving":

About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS

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