You're in Love, Charlie Brown (1967 TV Short)
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I very much enjoyed Your in Love Charlie Brown, It had a good plot (one all of us could relate too) and like in most Peanuts specials and films, good music. Charles C. did good with this special, all of us has that red headed girl we adore from a far but don't have the guts to talk to. This is one of my favorite peanuts specials, I had this one on VHS and I watched it all the time. The tape broke though, but I still have the memory, thank you You're in Love Charlie Brown, you gave kind nerds everywhere hope for the future.
The emotional turmoil Charlie suffers is alarmingly true. Everybody remembers their first crush and how awkward it made them feel. It's little touches of reality like this in the far-fetched but wonderful world of Peanuts that make it so timeless. Though it was made in 1967 there is nothing in this TV special that dates it in any way.
Though some (unintended) humor comes from odd animation: in one scene with children boarding a school bus, several characters can be seen boarding twice. More bizarre is a scene of Linus walking, as if he were a ghost, through 3 girls swinging in their schoolyard. I guess the animator though no one would notice.
At times the story takes strange turns, like with the previously mentioned Charlie Brown-Lucy tryst. Were it not for some sloppy animation, this would probably rank as a classic. Overall, though, this 1967 special, well scored by Vince Guaraldi, is cute, watchable, and often uproarious. I can't remember the last time a Peanuts cartoon made me laugh out loud!
What made YOU'RE IN LOVE, CHARLIE BROWN so shocking (to the extent that it was never again aired on CBS after its 1967 debut) was the emotionally sadistic ruthlessness which Charlie Brown is subjected to. No other PEANUTS special is so brutally faithful to the psychotic self-loathing of Charles Schulz's 1960-70s PEANUTS strips when his chronic depression was at its worst -- and his artistry the best.
This remains one of the great artistic triumphs in US TV animation, because it teaches you something about the artist who made it.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about it is that it is clearly a "try-out" of sorts for "A Boy Named Charlie Brown". In both that feature-length animation and in this half-hour special, we see Lucy, Violet and Patty dancing around Charlie Brown singing a mocking song. I suspect that the dance in "You're In Love" was done to see whether the animators could make such a musical sequence "work". It's notably less effective here, but the practice made perfect.
This was also the TV introduction of the newest member of the "Peanuts" family, Peppermint Patty. In this one, as yet unaccompanied by Marcie, she's very much as she was in her introduction, and the other characters aren't quite sure what to make of her -- "Chuck?" wonders Charlie Brown aloud, while Lucy is perplexed by her reference to her as "Lucille".
Probably the worst part of it is the frankly creepy scene where Charlie Brown crawls, spider-like, over the school fence as he tries to sneak into school. This is a kid who's supposedly one of the worst athletes in history, and he's able to do that? Come on. Also, why does the Little Red-Haired Girl sign her note to him, "The Little Red-Haired Girl"? (On the other hand, considering the low quality of one of the few episodes that featured her as an active character, 1977's "It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown", maybe I should be more thankful that the animators didn't see fit to give her a name yet ...)