The previous Peanuts DVDs in the Deluxe Edition series have generally featured one classic and one clunker, but the collection now appears to have unfortunately jumped the beagle with this terrible twosome of Snoopy-centric specials.
Snoopy Reunion’s debuted in 1991 and it plays out like a cheap knock-off whipped up to capitalize on the Peanuts brand by people that know nothing about the comic strip and are just looking to make a quick buck from consumers off the brand name. It’s stunning that the talented trio of creator/writer Charles Schulz and producers Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez, who came off as geniuses with the early specials, were involved and allowed this to be shown with their names attached.
Charlie Brown decides to cheer up Snoopy by getting his brothers and sisters together for a family reunion at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm. Once everyone arrives with their instruments (they use to be some type of amateur old-time jug band), they take a bus to the farm only to find two parking structures on the property. Charlie Brown is disappointed, but Snoopy’s family doesn’t care as they start playing their music, happy just to be reunited. At the conclusion, Snoopy flies everyone home on his doghouse.
Through flashbacks in the episode we see Snoopy’s family all together, splitting apart as Lila’s family takes Snoopy only to return him, and how Charlie Brown and Snoopy came together. The production staff apparently had no continuity editor because the special makes changes to the story as it was first told in the comic strips and later the movie Snoopy Come Home. There’s also the oddity of seeing adult characters and having them speak instead of the traditional “wah wah wah.”
Considered one of the Special Features on the disc, It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown first aired in 1984 and presents a series of short vignettes, some of which capture that moment in time instead of being timeless like the classic Peanuts specials. Peppermint Patty has trouble in school, from staying awake to fighting with her notebook. She later leads the aerobic class during gym and sings a song reminiscent of Toni Basil’s “Mickey.”
At a party they play Simon Says, naturally led by Lucy, and dance the “Pigpen Hoedown,” whose namesake really kicks up some dust. Snoopy and Woodstock sip on the straws of the drinks they are serving to guests, making Charlie Brown a little nauseous. I might not know my Peanuts mythology well because I was surprised to see three Woodstock-looking birds dancing together.
One evening Snoopy goes to a disco dressed like Olivia Newton John from her “Let’s Get Physical” video and takes to the dance floor a la Saturday Night Fever. In the morning, Sally takes Snoopy to school for show and tell. Some kid turns on his boombox that plays “Flashbeagle,” which Snoopy danced to in the club. He and the kids start dancing in class and the teacher doesn’t bother to stop them.
This episode is filled with a lot of bad songs and the characters do nothing that equals their memorable exploits.
Instead of a feature that talks about either television special like the other Deluxe Editions offer, there’s “Together Again: A Peanuts Voice-Cast Reunion.” It contains the actors and Mendelson in interviews and a small portion of their panel recorded at the 2008 San Diego Comic Con.
I would never watch these two specials again nor recommend them, not even a rental. Even completists should skip this one because owning it may be a sign the Peanuts obsession has become unhealthy.