Depressed at the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find a deeper meaning to Christmas.

Director:

Bill Melendez
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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Ann Altieri Ann Altieri ... Frieda (voice) (uncredited)
Chris Doran Chris Doran ... Schroeder / Shermy (voice) (uncredited)
Sally Dryer Sally Dryer ... Violet (voice) (uncredited)
Bill Melendez ... Snoopy (voice) (uncredited)
Karen Mendelson Karen Mendelson ... Patty (voice) (uncredited)
Geoffrey Ornstein Geoffrey Ornstein ... Pig-Pen (voice) (uncredited)
Peter Robbins Peter Robbins ... Charlie Brown (voice) (uncredited)
Christopher Shea ... Linus Van Pelt (voice) (uncredited)
Cathy Steinberg Cathy Steinberg ... Sally Brown (voice) (uncredited)
Tracy Stratford ... Lucy Van Pelt (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism that he sees amongst everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas paegent. Charlie Brown accepts, but it proves to be a frustrating struggle. When an attempt to restore the proper spirit with a forlorn little fir Christmas tree fails, he needs Linus' help to learn what the real meaning of Christmas is. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown! (2008 DVD re-release) See more »


Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

None of the children who voiced the characters received credit at the end. See more »

Goofs

The back of Charlie Brown's head is drawn with three hairs in some scenes and with no hair in others. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Charlie Brown: [Charlie Brown and Linus stop at a wall on their trip to the pond for ice skating] I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I'm not happy. I don't feel the way I'm supposed to feel.
[begins to walk with Linus again]
Charlie Brown: I just don't understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I'm still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.
Linus Van Pelt: Charlie Brown, you're the only person I know ...
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Alternate Versions

After the special's first airing in December 9, 1965, it was revised with several instances of new and overhauled animation (most famously the entire final shot with end credits was redone; Snoopy was shown to be singing in the original version, while in the revised he does not), different music placement (some scenes originally played in silence), as well as slight picture and sound editing to fix some awkwardly paced scenes. The revised version has been used as the base for all subsequent broadcasts and home video releases. A 16mm print of the original 1965 version resurfaced in 2018, and extensive comparisons between the original 1965 and the revised version can be found on YouTube and Vimeo in videos by 'Maxine C.'. Its worth noting that this print of the original 1965 version also contained the above-mentioned Coca Cola footage. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Futurama: Xmas Story (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Hark the Herald Angels Sing
(uncredited)
Written by Charles Wesley and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
[Incorrectly credited as Traditional]
Performed by members of the choir of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, San Rafael, California
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User Reviews

 
As spiritual as you will see come the next millennium
25 December 1999 | by VarlaamSee all my reviews

This morning I turned on the television to find something with just the right atmosphere for opening Christmas presents. But in the 500-channel universe, could I find the Queen, or the Pope, or anything? I could find practically anything but Christmas.

The most inappropriate programme on wasn't the infomercial for the miracle juicer, no, it was the annual Parade of Expensive Children's Merchandise direct from Disneyland, in case there were some kids left who hadn't coerced a Mickey, or Terk, or Pumbaa from their beleaguered parents. One of the French channels did have a service from Notre Dame in Paris which was the right sort of thing, with an actual church and choir, but it was entirely in French. But then I found "A Charlie Brown Christmas" on one of the stations.

Once upon a time, "Charlie Brown" was just a prelude for its television viewers, most of whom would be attending church closer to Christmas Day. Nowadays, it's probably more than just the prelude; it's likely to be the whole concert.

Thank goodness Charles Schulz and company did such a fine job of crafting this programme back in 1965. Thirty-five years later, Charlie Brown is still as earnest and sympathetic as ever. He was even decrying the commercialization of Christmas back then, decrying in the wilderness, it seems.

Vince Guaraldi normally gets a lot of credit for his music, but there is far more to the show than just that. It is extremely well-written with a lot of charming and funny lines. I particularly like Linus as "an innocent shepherd", but even Snoopy as a penguin is sure to get a big laugh.

But at the midway point in the programme, the tone changes from quality seasonal fun to something very sincere and deeply held. Linus delivers his heartfelt sermon from the pulpit (the school stage). The Peanuts gang renews its faith (in Charlie Brown, at the very least). The congregation assembled there together raises its collective voice in the recessional hymn "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" as we bid them farewell and take our leave. It is these parallels from the church service, I feel, that contribute to the strong emotion many of us experience whenever we view this small triumph of television programming.

Would I say that everything in the story conforms to a higher design conceived by Charles Schulz? I won't hazard a guess, but I do like to feel that he felt a little touch of divine inspiration with this one.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 December 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Charlie Brown Christmas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS (DTS-HD Master Audio)| Mono (Westrex Recording System)| Dolby Digital (Mono)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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