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
Lucy gives Snoopy Charlie Brown's red kite and he flies it. Cut to a long shot, where the kite Snoopy is holding is yellow. 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....
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All of the Peanuts characters actually get onscreen credit! See more »
A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN has got to be the ultimate Peanuts animation ever made! It's so epic, and it does a great job of showcasing the original Peanuts characters, especially the central character, Charlie Brown! It told a tragic story of Charlie Brown, the milquetoast little boy who works hard to be the best (trying everything from kite-flying to baseball to even competing at a spelling bee), so that he can be loved and respected by his friends, when, of course, he usually loses and his friends berate him. And only his best friend Linus tries to help Charlie Brown succeed in life. There's also Snoopy, Charlie Brown's wonderful pet beagle, who does his usual crazy thing, from playing a WWI Flying Ace to skating on ice. Aside from creator Charles Schulz's screenplay, the great music score and songs by legendary jazz musician Vince Guaraldi, conductor John Scott Trotter, and gifted musician/poet/singer Rod McKuen really shines, and is the best score of any animated Peanuts project since the scores from all of the previous animated TV specials (only with more dimension)! It really needs a CD soundtrack! There's also some "artsy-fartsy" moments throughout the movie, including the Peanuts Gang saluting the National Anthem, Charlie Brown and Linus practicing "I before E, except after C," Schroeder playing Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata (2nd movt.) on his piano, and Snoopy skating at the Rockerfeller Center in NY, where Charlie Brown goes for the national spelling bee, but these are great images that make this movie all the more unusual! This movie made its premiere at the Radio City Music Hall in December of '69 (incidentally Rod McKuen performed one of the movie's songs months earlier at his birthday concert at Carnegie Hall, which can be purchased on a CD called "Rod McKuen: At Carnegie Hall"). There was also a documentary of the same name (the soundtrack of which is available on CD), which was transformed into CHARLIE BROWN AND CHARLES SCHULZ the same year this movie was released.
In summary, A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN is the best of the Peanuts movies, and the best Peanuts animated project since A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (the first Peanuts TV special)! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
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