Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown Deluxe Edition
Skip the chocolates this holiday…instead, grab a handful of Peanuts! Re-mastered with an updated look that still maintains the integrity and feel of a true Peanut’s classic, Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown is packaged with two additional episodes and a bonus featurette making it a truly special offering. The Peanuts gang brings sweetness to matters of the heart. Will Schroeder ever notice Lucy? Will Linus find a Valentine gift for his favorite teacher? What about Charlie Brown? Aside from his continual fear of approaching the Little Red-Haired Girl, will he ever be confident enough to connect with that football? Whether you are a Peanuts fan or not, the affection and nostalgia the gang offers with Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown; bonus episodes It’s Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown and You’re in Love, Charlie Brown, and the special documentary featurette, Unlucky in Love: An Unrequited Love Story will warm you like Linus’s blanket. Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown originally aired on January 28th, 1975 and was nominated for an Emmy Award. It was later re-mastered in 2008.
“Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz retired from the cartoonist’s life early in 2000, and indeed left a few loose strings hanging among his chronically dissatisfied characters. He never did, for instance, cut Charlie Brown much slack in the romance department (or let him kick Lucy’s football, for that matter). Sympathetic readers might have taken note of a story in the press just before Schulz said farewell, in which the inspiration for Charlie Brown’s unrequited love interest–the never-seen, too-distant, “little red-haired girl”–was identified as a woman who turned down a marriage proposal from Schultz a half-century ago. That bit of biographical detail now adds poignancy to Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, a 1975 television special built upon years of Valentine’s Day “Peanuts” strips. This half-hour show finds Charlie Brown suffering, typically, the ignominy of receiving no hearts-and-flowers greetings while the rest of the gang, including Snoopy, spend their day sorting through piles of love notes. Worse, Schulz’s famous sad sack can’t get up the nerve to approach his unapproachable angel, though there may be–just may be–a glimmer of hope this time around. It may be Valentine’s Day, but not much else is different in the “Peanuts” neighborhood. –Tom Keogh
On the DVD
The 2008 remastered DVD has the two additional specials that were on the previous DVD, You’re in Love, Charlie Brown (1967), in which our hero tries to meet the little red-haired girl, and It’s Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown (1977), a vastly more complex production that has two focuses for CB: win the big football even though Lucy keeps pulling the ball away, and escort–and kiss–the little red-haired girl to the homecoming ball. New for 2008 is a 15-minute featurette on the theme of unrequited love in the “Peanuts” world, with interviews of the Schulz family, Lee Mendelson, and others. –David Horiuchi