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Thursday, July 07, 2016

The Peanuts Film Festival : A Boy Named Charlie Brown


    While our Peanuts TV specials lookbacks  are taking  nice well deserved rest , we decided to delve in to some of the Peanuts  movies , and unlike our TV specials lookbacks where we just go in any order we decided here to start at the beginning.  "A Boy Named Charlie  Brown" was the first Peanuts feature movie that came out in 1969.

       Charlie Brown is playing baseball and his team looses their first game of the season and of course ole Chuck is not happy with that result. ( Don't worry Chuck, alot of  MLB teams have the same experience) Later on,   he tells Linus that it would be nice to win one time (insert team that's not doing too well right now in some sport here)  and Linus tells him winning isn't everything,  and that we learn more from losing than winning. Linus assures him that he will win sometime then beats him at tic-tac-toe, unknowingly.
 Next Charlie Brown, found another use for that stick /copyright Peanuts 

     That night Snoopy has a nightmare where he is the famous World War I flying ace and he is being shot down. which gives him a terrible  awakening and he sleeps inside for the night.  It's a new day and Charlie Brown is still feeling down and he visits Lucy (that's not the best idea) . As expected , it didn't work.  The Next Next day , Lucy jokes that Charlie Brown should do the spelling bee ( ha ha ha ?)  Linus ,on the otherhand, suggests yeah he should do it.  
wait wait wait...Charlie Brown is an Esquire? /copyright peanuts

   So , Charlie Brown e-n-t-e-r-s  t-h-e  s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g b-e-e  (s-o-r-r-y)  and he wins the class bee , with the word insecure. Now he gets to be part of the School  championship , so he studies.  After being crowned champion , everyone does cheers for Charlie Brown and Lucy  even makes herself ,his agent.  Being champion he  gets to go to the national  in New York City.  Charlie Brown studies some more though the  big Day to go NewYork City  he feels a little down on himself so, Linus gives his blanket to Charlie Brown for good luck. (oh my )
The Bus is ready... for the 60's  to end /copyright Peanuts 

     That may have not been a good idea for Linus because he is having blanket with drawls so , he and Snoopy take a bus to New York City. (ahh the 60's)  Charlie Brown continues studying to point he looks like he hasn't slept.  Finally , when Linus makes it to Charlie Brown's hotel room when C.B tells him he doesn't know where it is. (Darn it Charlie Brown)  Linus searches New York City for it , while Snoopy goes ice-skating at Rockefeller Center. ( Good thing it was 1960 , or he would have run into the Today show)   Linus becomes distraught that he couldn't find , so he and Snoopy go back to the hotel room.  Charlie was preparing for the contest and since , Charlie Brown seems out of his mind he uses the blanket a shoe shine cloth. Linus is reunited now.
 Charlie Brown used too much starch/ copyright Peanuts 

   It's the big event  and  Charlie Brown is doing pretty well and it's down to him and some kid that looks like Schroeder . then gets the word beagle , he messes up the le part as el.  Poor Charlie Brown, especially as Snoopy is a beagle. Lucy and the others at home are disappointed.

Hey where'd our bodies go? and What's  Schroeder doing here?/copyright peanuts 

     Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Linus  make their sad ride home.  The next day, Sally tells Linus that Charlie Brown hasn't gotten out of bed all day and has the shades closed.  Linus tells him that the other kids missed him at school and they had a baseball game and their first win of the season. (Linus is not helping) Linus peps him (We think)  by telling him the world didn't end.  Charlie Brown gets out of bed , goes outside, and sees Lucy holding a football  he sneaks up and runs to kick it and then Lucy moves it out of the way and she says "welcome home, Charlie Brown"
She Smiles now...wait til I call my lawyer.../Copyright Peanuts 

 That's the movie.

But we have more, come  jump with us (you know after the jump)
     Being the first feature Peanuts film  it doesn't disappoint but one thing I have to really talk about for this movie is the art work.
  Like this scene here for the National anthem...
      The Red,White and Blue  art changing with every beat  it's very energetic and works well.

Also , Schroeder's piano playing scene which has that flowing feel to it as it take us and Schroeder away in the music.   The colors are  very sixties and the water color effect really fits well with the music and really a  nice  break in the movie.

   The Movie also made some great use of split screen  was prevalent and used effectively.

  Snoopy's dream scene uses both  split screen and color changing. The color changing goes well to show the dramatic fast events going on.


  Also using the mixture of live-action pictures with cartoon  coloring added some nice flairs.

    The music in the special is great mixture , it fits with the time it was made , yet doesn't date the special too much.
The Opening theme is written and sung by Rod McKuen , it has a standards sound to it , not overpowering.

Rod McKuen also wrote the song called Failure Face, this is the song used when the girls make fun of Charlie Brown , when they joke about him being in the spelling bee.

  He also wrote "Champion Charlie Brown" which is in the where the kids celebrate is winning the school bee.

   Vince Guaraldi of course, also had musical scores in the movie for the instrumentals.

  The spelling song  "I Before E ,except after C" was written by  John Scott Trotter who also arranged the instrumentals.

 The entire soundtrack is available ,even now  , for purchase.  The movie received  $12,000,000 and was nominated for  Best Original score in the Academy  awards.

    That was a Boy Named Charlie Brown.... now we wait for them to make a gritty reboot called The Man named Charlie Brown ... who fights crime.  

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