Let me begin by stating that I am aware that this Charlie Brown animated special is based on the Clark Gesner Off-Broadway musical of the same name. That being said, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Charlie Brown get dumped on as much as he does in this animated special. In fact, it’s surprising they didn’t call this: You’re a Big Loser, Charlie Brown, given all the crap the guy is put through.
Yes, I understand that Charlie Brown has horrific luck and an even worse time in all manner of situations he finds himself in. From It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown to A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown never seems to get a leg up in life.
But in this particular special, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, our pal Chuck gets so viciously attacked by his “friends” in the first few minutes that my jaw literally dropped. With friends like these, I’m surprised Charlie Brown didn’t go postal on Lucy and company. I don’t even think fellow loser Al Bundy from Married with Children got slammed this much in an episode.
Why does Snoopy have a voice-over like he’s Garfield? I’m assuming that it’s due to the Snoopy character having a voice in the Off-Broadway musical. Despite this, it is rather odd to have a character who traditionally doesn’t speak in a human voice suddenly talk and sing.
I’m not sure what it was, but there was something about this particular special that just didn’t work for me. I am a fan of musicals, have no problem with characters breaking out into song and dance over the course of a story. Perhaps this is one instance where going from comic strip to musical to animated musical just doesn’t work all that well.
I can honestly say, that You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is, definitely my least favorite Charlie Brown special. And trust me I’ve reviewed a lot of them (see the links below).
The one bonus feature, Animating A Charlie Brown Musical is interesting, but did not lead to a change in my opinion about the special. Again, the vast majority of Peanuts specials are top-notch and a lot of fun to watch. This particular one just didn’t do it for me.
So what do you think? Am I totally off-base with my view of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown the animated special? What is the best Charlie Brown special in your view? Leave a comment and let us know!
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown on DVD Tuesday, January 26, 2010!
Other notable Charlie Brown Specials: