A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
CharlieBrownThanksgiving.jpg
Created byCharles M. Schulz
Directed byBill Melendez
Phil Roman
Voices ofBill Melendez
Todd Barbee
Stephen Shea
Hilary Momberger
Robin Kohn
Christopher DeFaria
Jimmy Ahrens
Robin Reed
Theme music composerVince Guaraldi
Composer(s)Vince Guaraldi
Country of originUSA
Language(s)English
Production
Executive producer(s)Lee Mendelson
Producer(s)Bill Melendez
Running time30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelCBS
Original airing
  • November 20, 1973 (1973-11-20)
Chronology
Preceded byThere's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown
Followed byIt's a Mystery, Charlie Brown
 
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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
CharlieBrownThanksgiving.jpg
Created byCharles M. Schulz
Directed byBill Melendez
Phil Roman
Voices ofBill Melendez
Todd Barbee
Stephen Shea
Hilary Momberger
Robin Kohn
Christopher DeFaria
Jimmy Ahrens
Robin Reed
Theme music composerVince Guaraldi
Composer(s)Vince Guaraldi
Country of originUSA
Language(s)English
Production
Executive producer(s)Lee Mendelson
Producer(s)Bill Melendez
Running time30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelCBS
Original airing
  • November 20, 1973 (1973-11-20)
Chronology
Preceded byThere's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown
Followed byIt's a Mystery, Charlie Brown

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is the tenth prime-time animated TV special based upon the popular comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was originally aired on the CBS network on November 20, 1973, and won an Emmy Award the following year. As of 2011, the special is aired every November in prime time on the ABC network.

This special has previously been released on DVD by Paramount. It was re-released on DVD by Warner Home Video in remastered form on October 7, 2008.[1] It was released on a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack by Warner Home Video on October 5, 2010.

Contents

Summary

The special opens with Lucy enticing Charlie Brown to kick the football she is holding. Charlie Brown at first refuses, correctly suspecting that Lucy will pull it away as always; but Lucy convinces him that kicking the football is a Thanksgiving tradition, and that being asked to do so is an honor. Charlie Brown decides that Lucy would never pull her trick on a national holiday, and ends up getting deceived and landing flat on his back once again. (Lucy makes no further appearances in this episode).

Charlie Brown and Sally are preparing to go to their grandmother's place for Thanksgiving dinner when Charlie Brown gets a phone call from Peppermint Patty, who invites herself over to Charlie Brown's house for the holiday dinner. Two quick subsequent phone calls add Marcie and Franklin to the guest list, and since Charlie Brown cannot get a word in edgewise with Patty, he quickly finds himself in a quandary with no easy solution—at least not until Linus shows up.

Linus suggests to Charlie Brown that he could have two dinners: the first one for Patty and her friends, and then the second one at his grandmother's home, forcing Charlie Brown to admit that all he knows how to make is "cold cereal and maybe toast." Regardless, Linus recruits Snoopy and Woodstock to set up a ping-pong table and chairs in the backyard (setting the table has its own problems as Snoopy goes toe-to-toe with an uncooperative, folding deckchair that comes to life and torments him). It is interesting to note that Vince Guaraldi, composer of the jazz music heard in the Peanuts specials, contributed a rare, but memorable vocal track during this scene ("Little Birdie"). Snoopy and Woodstock set the table, then help Charlie Brown and Linus with the food. When the food is readied, Snoopy and a reluctant Woodstock go to Snoopy's doghouse and dress in Pilgrim clothing. They return to the house with Snoopy holding a musket, which fires unexpectedly and causes Charlie Brown to lose his patience.

The guests arrive, and they all make their way to the backyard for the feast. Linus leads the group in prayer. Each place setting includes a sundae in a large sundae bowl -- most likely jello topped with cool whip and a cherry. Snoopy serves up the food, throwing the plates to each guest Frisbee-style. Each person gets:

At first Patty is shocked, but her shock quickly turns to outrage, and she angrily berates Charlie Brown for the "meal." Embarrassed and dejected, Charlie Brown timidly leaves the table and goes back into the house. Patty's tirade continues until Marcie gently reminds her that Charlie Brown did not invite her to dinner; she invited herself —along with Marcie and Franklin. Realizing Marcie is right, Patty comes to her senses and begs Marcie to go and apologize to Charlie Brown on her behalf. Marcie reluctantly does so, but Patty soon follows her and apologizes to Charlie Brown herself.

In the midst of the quasi-feast, Charlie Brown loses track of the time. The clock strikes four, reminding him that he and Sally are supposed to be at their grandmother's home for dinner in half an hour. So he calls his grandmother to tell her that they are going to be a little late and to explain the situation—he has friends over and none of them have eaten yet. But his grandmother suggests that he bring all his friends with him for Thanksgiving dinner; the idea is welcomed with cheers from everyone. En route, the gang sings a chorus of Over the River and through the Woods, but Charlie Brown qualifies the title, adding that his grandmother lives in a condominium.

After they leave, Snoopy and Woodstock go to the doghouse and cook up their own traditional Thanksgiving meal that includes a turkey complete with all the trimmings (they pull apart the wishbone, with Woodstock getting the bigger piece). Over the end credits the two friends each devour dessert: a large piece of pumpkin pie. They then sit back with contented smiles as Woodstock pats his full stomach.

Broadcast history

The show aired on CBS until 1992, with 1989 being the last primetime airing. It moved, along with the rest of the Peanuts specials, to ABC in 2001. Traditionally, ABC aired the special on Thanksgiving night until 2005. (2003 being an exception, when it aired on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.) The special aired once again on Thanksgiving night every year from 2008 onward.

In 2006, ABC decided to move the special to the Monday before Thanksgiving; this was in response to the success of regular Thursday programs Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy, coupled with CBS's decision to air regular programming on Thanksgiving night, with Survivor and CSI. ABC decided to directly engage in a ratings war with CBS (Thanksgiving lies in the middle of sweeps), displacing the Charlie Brown special to Monday and airing regular programming on Thanksgiving night instead. ABC repeated this in 2007 on Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but as of 2008, the ratings for Ugly Betty had fallen (to the point where the show was moved off Thursdays in 2009 and eventually canceled in 2010), and ABC decided to air the special in extended form and move the special back to Thanksgiving night in 2008. ABC also aired the special on Tuesday that year (immediately before the Dancing with the Stars finale), due to having an open time slot to fill after the cancellation of Opportunity Knocks. The special aired only on Thanksgiving night in 2009. For 2010, the show aired November 18, one week before Thanksgiving, to fill the void of another canceled show, My Generation, in addition to its annual Thanksgiving airing.

Due to the show's half-hour time slot, it has traditionally been paired with another half-hour show, often one from the Peanuts library, though not always so. In 2004 and 2005, ABC instead used A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving as the lead-in to a feature film (the 2000 adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 2004, and Finding Nemo in 2005), which was given an extended 2½-hour time slot. In 2006 and 2007, ABC paired the special with He's a Bully, Charlie Brown. Since 2008, it has been paired with "The Mayflower Voyagers" episode from the This is America, Charlie Brown miniseries.

To make room for their long commercial breaks during modern airings, ABC made cuts to two scenes (in 2005, it was extended for the network television premiere of Finding Nemo; but now, it was edited again in order to make room for He's a Bully, Charlie Brown and the Dancing with the Stars results show):

In 2008, when this was re-extended, the credits are slightly sped up in order to make room for "The Mayflower Voyagers".

Voice actors and their characters

Production credits

A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING

Charles M. Schulz
Bill Melendez
and
Phil Roman
Lee Mendelson
and
Bill Melendez
Kim Campbell
Gerald Baldwin
Hank Smith
Vince Guaraldi
John Scott Trotter
Vince Guaraldi
Seward McCain
Marty Paich
Ray Gilbert
Bernard Gruver
Evert Brown
Ed Levitt
Frank Smith
Dean Spille
Don Lusk
Bob Carlson
Sam Jaimes
Bill Littlejohn
Al Pabian
Bror Lansing
Carole Barnes
Beverly Robbins
Eleanor Warren
Faith Kovaleski
Manon Washburn
Joice Lee Marshall
Adele Lenart
Chardra Poweris
Carla Washburn
Joanne Lansing
Bob Bachman
Joe Roman
Patricia Joy
Rod Scribner
Bob Matz
Jack Schnerk
Ken Harris
Irven Spence
Kenneth Muse
Ray Patterson
Pete Burness
Larry Leichliter
Bob Bransford
Charles Downs
Ed DeMattia
Warren Batchelder
Ted Bonnicksen
George Grandpre
Tom Ray
Pete Alvarado
Irv Spector
Gary Hoffman
Craig McCracken
Jim Pabian
George Scribner
Lin Larsen
Bob Boyle
Mitch Schauer
Ed Ghertner
Robert Givens
Ellie Bogardus
William Butler
Celine Miles
Marie Ardell
Patricia Capozzi
Sheri Lonsdale
Brigitte Strother
Cheri Weber
Eve Fletcher
Bob Gillis
Chuck McCann
Rudy Zamora
Roger Donley
Bob Gillis
John Dunn
Carolyn Klein
Sandy Claxton
Lora Sacket
Voices: Coast Recorders -- Radio Recorders
Music: Wally Hedier Recording
Mix: Producers' Sound Service -- Don Minkler -- Howard Wollman
Camera: Dickson/Vasu -- Tony Rivetti
Color by: Technicolor
A LEE MENDELSON-BILL MELENDEZ PRODUCTION
in association with
CHARLES M. SCHULZ CREATIVE ASSOCIATES
and UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC.
THE END
"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving"
Copyright © 1973 United Feature Syndicate, Inc.
All Other Rights Reserved
PEANUTS SPECIALS
Produced In U.S.A. -- A Vitagraph Release

References

External links