Poor Charlie Brown. He can't fly a kite, and he always loses in baseball. Having his faults projected onto a screen by Lucy doesn't help him much either. Against the sage advice and taunting of the girls in his class, he volunteers for the class spelling bee...and wins! Next, it's the school spelling bee. Once again, a winner! Good grief! Now the pressure is on as he is off to New York City for the televised national spelling bee. With Snoopy and Linus present for moral support, can Charlie Brown spell his way to a national championship? Written by
The opening scene with Charlie Brown, Linus, and Lucy looking at the clouds in the sky (translated from one of Charles M. Schulz's "Peanuts" strips, became the subject for one of the songs, "Clouds," in the 1975 musical, "Snoopy, the Musical," one of two musicals based on Schulz's famous characters. (The other being "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," from 1967.) See more »
Charlie Brown is seen setting off for the spelling bee with a suitcase and a duffel bag. Upon arrival, he only has the suitcase. Upon return, the duffel bag reappears, but when he gets home, it's only the suitcase again. See more »
Lucy Van Pelt:
Aren't the clouds beautiful? They look like big balls of cotton. I could just lie here all day and watch them drift by. If you use your imagination, you can see lots of things in the cloud's formations. What do you think you see, Linus?
Linus Van Pelt:
Well, those clouds up there look to me look like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean.
Linus Van Pelt:
That cloud up there looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor. And that group of clouds over there....
[...] See more »
The movie's title, "A Boy Named Charlie Brown," is shown in separate words, shot-by-shot ("A" "Boy" "Named" "Charlie Brown" in colorful text), against a black background. Charlie Brown himself appears in the next shot, with his clothes' colors inverted (with the black background), and they fade to their normal color once the background changes to yellow. See more »
I saw this film first in 1969. I thought it was a cute little film then, as now.
This is the first Peanuts feature, and the last show using Peter Robbins as the voice of Charlie Brown.
In this film, Charlie Brown, our hero, has finally proved that he can do something right. He wins the spelling bee in his class. All the kids treat him with their usual lack of tact. He studies really hard and wins the championship at his school and gets to go to the "city" to be in the "National Elimination Spelling Bee" I will not spoil the ending.
Vince Guaraldi, the composer of the music for the six previous TV specials, is back for this one. There are new arrangements of the old music, plus several new songs by Rod McKuen. Guaraldi did not do the music for the next feature, Snoopy Come Home (1972) and that film suffers because of this.
Schroeder has a beautiful salute to Beethoven in this film. While the music plays, we see some beautiful abstract scenes and colors on the screen that look fantastic in Technicolor. Sadly, I have seen this sequence cut from TV showings.
Snoopy has a wonderful sequence while he and Linus are wandering around the city looking for his blanket that he sent with Charlie Brown for good luck. Snoopy discovers an ice skating rink and pretends that he is in a hockey match while he skates around the rink. He also has an encounter with the Red Baron that has some of the same animation that was used in "He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown! on TV.
One thing that I like about this film is when the closing credits are rolling, you get to see animated images of most of the principal creators of this film. Their names are on the right side of the screen, and their images appear on the left. Things like that entice me to sit through the credits instead of walking out as soon as they start.
If you have never seen this film, by all means rent it and see what you have been missing!
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