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Sunday, December 2, 2012

'The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show: The Complete Animated Series' Wonderful Humor From the Peanuts Gallery

The recently released DVD set of the complete series of the 1983-85 Saturday morning cartoon series "The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show" makes a good supplement to the DVDs of classic Peanuts specials such a "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and the equally awesome "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown."

Similar to the great holiday specials mentioned above, "Snoopy" mines material from the "Peanuts" comic strip that the Mr. Rogers of the comics world Charles Schultz wrote for decades. 

The simple but hilarious concept of the strip was the daily life of a extremely cute and imaginative beagle, his bird friend, and neighborhood children who experienced the highs and lows of elementary school life and regularly offered highly insightful comments about the world around them.

The series quickly fully recovered from pilot error in the form of the first episode not being especially amusing and consisting of far too short segments that did not capture the true spirit of the Peanuts world.

The second episode was much better if only because it consisted of longer segments and mined better material from the scripts. The show truly hit its stride by the third season.

One of the best lines from the series came courtesy of Peppermint Patty who remarked that Charlie Brown must be rich because his father was a barber. Patty reasoned that all barbers were wealthy because they made a pure profit after paying off their scissors and combs.

A witty segment in which Rerun, the baby brother of bullying older sister nickel psychiatrist Lucy and bullied middle child and security blanket dependent Linus Van Pelt mused on being disappointed by life at the age of one also captured the spirit of both the strip and the show.

A third great segment also related to Rerun, who did not wear a beret or blindingly bright pants or shout "Hey Hey Hey" on entering a room. This one had Linus taunting Lucy by reminding her that she was already unhappy about having one brother and now had two of them.

A fourth classic moment had Linus getting his comeuppance in the form of Snoopy stalking him and then flinging him about by his blanket.

Snoopy additionally got to shine in perhaps the best few minutes of the entire series. This one had Charlie Brown's little sister Sally bringing Snoopy to school as a visual aid for a report on animals. 

Snoopy's presence prompted Sally's unseen second grade classmates to shout out hilarious remarks, such as "what kind of animal is that" and "he looks like a moose." Needless to say, the short-tempered Snoopy did not suffer those fools gladly.

The best remark from the toddlers was "here moosie moosie." For those of you who are tempted to try this at home, I can share that my cats did not appreciate that rudeness any better than Snoopy.

The bottom line is that this is a must-have set for members of the Peanut generation and their kids. You Joe Cools out there will like it if only to better understand what "South Park" has been mocking for nearly 20 years.

Anyone with questions regarding "The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show" is encouraged to email me.