A Charlie Brown Christmas review: Even better than it was 50 years ago

charlie brown birthday forward Peanuts Special, drawing on the popularity of the comic strip in 1965. At this point, Charles Schulz Peanuts He’s been running for 15 years with the same basic premise: Here are some kids, one of them has a dog. Not much happens normally Peanuts Piece. The larger children’s world hardly exists.

gravity Peanuts He was and still is just being with these kids and understanding their rhythms. As Umberto Eco wrote in New York Review of Books In 1985, “On this basic scheme” of watching children and the dog go about their daily lives, “there is a constant flow of variations, according to a rhythm … and thus you can never understand the poetic power of Schulze’s work by reading just one, two, or ten episodes Episodes: You must fully understand the characters and situations, because grace, tenderness, and laughter are born only from the changing repetition of patterns, and from sincerity to basic inspiration.”

The daily animation tape turns out to be the perfect way to change the infinite repetition. first continuous Peanuts The gag is perhaps the most famous of them all: Charlie Brown has lost football every fall season. While the first iteration wasn’t a stunt, it quickly became a routine: Lucy Van Pelt holds a soccer ball for Charlie Brown and comes up with some excuse to convince him to kick it. Charlie Brown comes to believe her excuse, and decides to get close to kicking a soccer ball with all his might. As he prepares for a powerful kick, Lucy flies away and Charlie Brown flies through the air, deluded again.

As Sarah Boxer noted in The Atlantic, Lucy was for Schultz, “at heart, the community itself.” She was manipulative, ruthless and seemed more interested in helping with transactions, as shown in her psychiatric booth where you’d see any patient who “has a pickiness problem.” Described in a funny article published in the medical journal The Lancet as “the best known psychiatrist of the 20th century,” Lucy’s advice is sometimes more concerned with getting five cents more than any actual help.

This is how things begin charlie brown birthday. Charlie Brown is depressed, even though it’s Christmas time. After he fails to bring down a tray of snowballs, he goes to Lucy’s booth and falls for a nickel. Before she could help him, she’d walk around her can and declare how much she loves the sound of nickels walking around. But in the end, it puts Charlie Brown on a path: it takes action. Fortunately for her, the Christmas play needs a director.

Children work hard on their toys.
Courtesy of Apple

Prior to broadcasting on CBS, animator Bill Melendez and network executives were concerned about several aspects of charlie brown birthday. Everyone thought it was too slow, the plot sounded shabby, the music didn’t match the setting, the animation was choppy, and the children’s voices sounded amateurish.

All of these criticisms are valid to an extent. The show is disjointed and centered around Charlie Brown discovering the meaning of Christmas. Snoopy thinks he decorates his kennel, and Lucy thinks it’s about getting a big shiny aluminum tree that she can paint pink. But the true meaning of Christmas is uttered very clearly: Christmas relates to the birth of Jesus, as described in the Book of Luke.

Linus, the center of the stage, introduces the true meaning of Christmas in A Charlie Brown Christmas

Linus introduces the true meaning of Christmas
Courtesy of Apple

However, the stoic nature of the pioneer simply adds to the charm half a century later. Perhaps the fact that there were only three TV channels when charlie brown birthday It first aired solidifying it as a classic. But even today, as an Apple TV Plus exclusive, and in a sea of ​​family-friendly content, it stands out. The kids look like real kids. They spend time doing anything in worlds of their own making, like real children. And like real children, they feel sad.

There’s also the soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi Trio, which has a richness that holds the punch. The haunting sounds of “Christmas Time Is Here” allow the viewer to head into Charlie Brown’s head as we watch the kids skate (the pig pen dust clouds that follow him on the ice are a nice touch), and, on the other hand, the soaring optimism of “Linus and Lucy” seems to encourage warmth and friendship intimate;

Like individual panels in a strip, a Christmas Charlie Brown It’s all about the little moments. Children dance when they should be practicing. The cute pattern of this aluminum Christmas tree (an actual fad during the ’60s this particular helped kill it). Charlie Brown abandons his sad little tree after a decoration that makes it dangle, and the rest of the gang gather together and fix it.

Linus is right, Charlie Brown finally decided: Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. Yet he does not make his way into the church. Rather, he sees that his friends, cruel and irresponsible as possible, have found something broken and given him the love he needs in order to thrive. This kind of seriousness can transcend any culture, at any point in time, and any viewer.

Charlie Brown’s Birthday is available to stream Apple TV Plus.

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