Christmas Movies

It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown – Just Your Ordinary Christmas Fare

When I saw this special, I thought I’d missed out on another classic similar to A Charlie Brown Christmas. I couldn’t remember ever seeing this special on television, so I thought I would latch onto something new I could enjoy with my children during the Christmas season.

Rather than a cohesive story like A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown is a series of snippets featuring the memorable characters from the comic strip over the years. I think that the scenarios have been in strips throughout the years during the holiday season as they felt familiar to me.

The Peanuts gang is all here, interacting with each other in cute little vignettes showcasing their eccentricities. As usual, there are no adults in this world to guide them, but the characters often come out with lines that make them seem more like adults than children.

Some of the vignettes include:

• Linus and Sally climb a hill with an empty box. Sally chickens out and Linus ends up going through a series of mishaps before bouncing down the hill and ending up bruised with the box on top of a snowy pine tree.

• Charlie Brown is out trying to sell Christmas wreaths. Every house he stops at turns him down since it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.

• Peppermint Patty is in a state because she has an assignment to read a book over the vacation. She’s outside in the snow (in sandals?!?!?!) building a snowman instead of reading her book.

• Snoopy is out on a corner ringing a bell and dressed as Santa. He switches over to a horn with some funny results. None of the kids seem to think he’s real nor recognize him as Snoopy. When Sally challenges him on his helpers, Woodstock and his friends parade by holding signs that say HELP. Linus later finds the birds hiding under a snowman’s hat acting as an orchestra.

• Sally writes an essay on the true meaning of Christmas, on the theme that it’s “the joy of getting…”

• When all the candy canes disappear from Charlie Brown and Sally’s Christmas tree, they find Snoopy and the birds out doing a tap dance number with them.

Probably the sweetest tale in the bunch is the subject of Charlie Brown wanting to buy gloves for Peggy Jean, a.k.a. “the little red-haired girl” of his dreams. The problem is, they cost $25, which he doesn’t have. He’s even winning to sell his comic book collection and his Joe Garagiola baseball to get the money. In the end, however, he’s disappointed once again in his attempts to do something thoughtful and considerate.

The animation is good, although it seems a little more polished and in a way, it loses some of the character that the first special had in terms of the roughness of the animation. It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown was produced in 1992 and shows up as more modern in many ways.

The stories are sweet and nice, but it just doesn’t carry the impact of A Charlie Brown Christmas or any of a host of other Christmas specials which seem to delve into meaning and spirituality and questions of our character during this season. It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown is cute and funny – Peppermint Patty as a sheep when she really wants to be Mary is a hoot – and the worst thing I can really say about it is that it’s ordinary.

Your family won’t go wrong watching It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown. There’s nothing offensive about it and it’s cute to watch. My kids weren’t as into this as they were A Charlie Brown Christmas, but it did provide a half hour of family time as a prelude to the holiday season and to take a step back from all of the craziness which seems to start earlier and earlier each year.