March 9, 2008

Reviewed by Julie

An animated world complete with dueling personalities, perplexing situations, and childlike impulses revealed through witty banter: what’s not to love about Charlie Brown and the gang? In this Emmy award nominated short, each of the peanuts deals with their own setbacks revolving around the Easter holiday. A determined Patti attempts to teach Marcie the childhood tradition of coloring eggs but is continuously irritated, as Marcie cannot grasp the concept and ruins dozen after dozen. Lucy’s objective of receiving the most gifts is rationalized by the fact that she is a woman needing to survive in the world. Poor Charlie has no hope for the season and once again feels lonely during a time meant to bring friends and family together. Good grief!

All of the storylines are bound with Linus’ optimistic prophecy that the Easter Beagle will arrive and take care of everything. After a great deal of skepticism, Sally finally tells him off wondering why she even listens to him in the first place. Obviously, the gang has swiftly forgotten Linus’ apt Christmas speech that revived their play as well as a poor little tree. No sooner has she cried, “Never trust a man with a blanket!” than Easter wishes are granted.

Comedic highlights include Woodstock’s transformation of a simple birdhouse into a 70’s style bachelor pad as well as the awesome spontaneous choreography that has been mastered by Charles Schwartz’s characters over the years. Though not the most famous of the series, ‘It’s the Easter Beagle Charlie Brown’ definitely warms the heart and brings laughter to children and adults alike.

On the same disk, ‘It’s Arbor Day Charlie Brown’, Lucy and Linus find themselves on a quest to figure out what Arbor day actually is. Meanwhile, Peppermint Patti attempts to flirt with Charlie but due to frustration, awkwardly makes challenging remarks regarding their upcoming baseball game. Pressure builds between the two opposing captains and Charlie becomes motivated to beat Patti for a change. Lucy and Linus’ research regarding the day of conservation and the protection of trees inspires the pair to become activists. They gather Lucy, Snoopy, and other friends to plant a whole garden and give back to the earth. Unfortunately for Charlie, the crew chooses their home baseball diamond as the workspace. While the gang is hard at work sowing, Charlie’s efforts are fixed on planning the lineup for the game. Just as the competition heats up with Patti, Chuck is taken to the ball field where his daydreams of victory are spoiled. However, in a profound lesson of turning lemons into lemonade, the blossoming new field becomes surprisingly beneficial to Charlie and his team. If anyone can create a story around a neglected day of remembrance, keeping it theoretically accomplished, Charles Schwartz is the man.

Special Features include interviews with members of the Schwartz family as well as producers and cartoonists who worked with the great “Sparky”. Their stories about this imaginative soul cause fans to fall in love with franchise even more.

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