|Index||3 reviews in total|
After the disappointing "A Charlie Brown Valentine," the Peanuts gang
bounces back with an enjoyable outing on the baseball diamond. We're
not talking "Great Pumpkin" here, but "Lucy Must Be Traded" is at least
a fun entry in the series, even if it is ultimately a forgettable one.
While it would be hard to call the storyline of "Traded" a bona-fide plot, at least there is a definite time frame and an identifiable conflict--two things "Valentine" lacked. Once again the special has been woven together using existing Peanuts strips, but this time, at least, they all work together to move us progressively through Charlie Brown's baseball season. And we get a few laughs along the way. (As much as I love Peanuts, it has never been as funny as such laugh riots as Garfield and Dilbert, but there is charm in its simple humor, which is what I enjoy most.)
The only real problem with "Traded" is the lack of transition between the segments. Some portions work well. The sections where Charlie Brown trades Snoopy to Peppermint Patty and the title conflict that culminates in Lucy being traded for Marcy flow nicely. But how many times do we have to see Charlie Brown wind up for a pitch only to be interrupted by someone? (It's a good thing this league doesn't call balks!) Yes, that happened a lot in the strip, but that's because Schulz only had a single frame to establish the fact that a baseball game was being played. An animated show has considerably more time. For instance, Sally's comment about the baseball magazine was totally out of place--no matter how it appeared in the strip. Why not have her talking to her brother at home? (Maybe she just wanted to publicly humiliate him, but we never get the impression anyone else heard the conversation.) And wouldn't it have been funny to see Lucy miss a fly ball because she was on her way to the mound to talk to Charlie Brown? But we never see any of that. It's: joke, reset, joke, reset. Even the weakest Peanuts features have had a flow to them.
I admire how true Melendez has been to Schulz's vision; it couldn't have been easy to carry on after his passing. ("Valentine" seems to confirm that.) We're almost back in the groove. "Lucy Must Be Traded" is a worthy entry in the Peanuts franchise. It's certainly better than the two outings that preceded it.
I originally wrote this review before "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown" premiered. So my thoughts on what "Traded" may indicate for the franchise are no longer applicable, but since "Dog" was possibly even better than "Traded", it is starting to look like the Peanuts specials may truly be returning to form.
This "Peanuts" animated special was filmed after the strip's creator, Charles M. Schulz, had died in 2000. Despite that, there was no rewriting here, just taking the action and dialogue directly from the newspaper comic while veteran co-director Bill Melendez did the rest with as smooth a transition to film as possible. In this one, Charlie Brown's team faces another losing season in baseball to Peppermint Patty's unless some kind of trade is done. I'll stop there and just say that while nothing extraordinarily happens, the vintage punchlines and gags provided by the late Mr. Schulz do work to the point of always bringing a smile and chuckle to my face in pleasing memory of growing up with such iconic characters. So on that note, Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown should provide enough enjoyment to anyone who loves these characters as much as I do.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I brought Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown on DVD and I was glad that
Because you also got two bonus Charlie Brown shows on the DVD.
I always have been an huge Charlie Brown and Preanuts fan.
Personally, my favorite is Snoopy.
The story is this: Charlie Brown's Baseball team is not doing great.
Lucy has been part of Charlie Brown's Program with the team.
But, Charlie Brown isn't the only one who having trouble with his baseball.
Patricia "Peppermint Patty" Reichardt is also having troubles with getting her best friend: Marcie to understand how to play baseball.
The story is great and very true to what Charlie Brown and the Preanuts are about.
The music and voice-acting is very good and the jokes are so funny.
If you get an chance to buy Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown, Buy it! It's just good Charlie Brown and Preanuts fun.
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