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It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown! (1996)

To get new uniforms, Charlie Brown's baseball team has to win the first game of the season.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Charlie Brown (voice)
...
Lucy Van Pelt (voice)
John Christian Graas ...
Linus Van Pelt (voice)
Gregory Grudt ...
Leland (voice)
Travis Boles ...
Schroeder (voice)
...
Girl Player (voice) (as Elissabeth Moss)
Michael Sandler ...
Kid - on opposing team (voice) (as Michael J. Sandler)
Noley Thornton ...
Ruby (voice)
Bill Melendez ...
Snoopy (voice)
Jessica Nwafor ...
Franklin (voice)
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Storyline

As springtime rolls around, Charlie Brown's team is performing the usual hopeless task of getting in shape for the new season. To improve the team's morale, Charlie Brown manages to find a potential team sponsor who agrees to provide uniforms, provided that the team wins the first game of the season. However, considering the usual competence of the team, including new members like Leland who is too young to even tie his shoes, the challenge seems impossible. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

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Release Date:

January 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vamos Treinar, Charlie Brown!  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Produced in 1992, and originally slated to be broadcast by CBS during the spring. However, the network canceled the airing, and the special was not seen until Paramount released it on video in 1996. See more »

Goofs

When Linus gets a hit, the gang - including Linus himself - cheers him on from the bench. See more »

Connections

Follows Someday You'll Find Her, Charlie Brown (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Can a Peanuts Special Succeed and Fail at the Same Time?
11 November 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown is another Peanuts special centered around baseball, as Charlie Brown and his team start up spring training in preparation for their first game of the new season. Even though it was produced in 1992 and was set to air on May 28th of that year on CBS, the network canceled the airing and became the first Peanuts special to not air on prime time. And 23 years later, you can see why. This special, which eventually got released it on video by Paramount in 1996 alongside Charlie Brown's All-Stars, doesn't have the animation or writing as strong as it was 30 years earlier. But the biggest thing that drags it down is the music. Unlike previous specials, which followed present-day setting, but always maintained the feel of the 50's and 60's (partially thanks to the Vince Guaraldi trio score), It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown is put off by a score completely drenched in the 90's. The composer for this special was Judy Munsen, and most of her composition contains electronic backgrounds that make it sound like a bad 90's Saturday morning cartoon. I understand that it is an animated special that came out in the 90's, but we're talking about a Peanuts special. It doesn't fit the overall tone at all, and given that it was on the shelf for 4 years, it sounds dated. But then, the music goes from bad to laughably bad. At the first game, the gang performs the Hokey Pokey (they can't afford the National Anthem?), and then Franklin comes in and inserts a rap song.

A RAP SONG! NO, REALLY! I'M DEAD SERIOUS!

I was laughing the entire time, just thinking about what it's all come to. Rap music exists in the Peanuts canon! It's hilariously dated like many other corny rap songs from the 90's. This performance is on par with Vanilla Ice's rap in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II.

So you can say that It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown feels like a typical 90's cartoon, in terms of animation, writing and scoring. And you may think I'm crazy, but it is worth a watch. The story and message still feels like a Peanuts cartoon, as the gang learns that they need to be motivated to achieve a goal, and they are able to finally win a game and earn jerseys. There are still comedic moments, both unintentionally and intentionally. And you definitely need to watch for the baseball rap. It's one of those things you need to see to believe.


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