A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is kind of like the middle child of the specials: it is often overlooked but it should not be. There is a lot that is good about the special which makes it deserving of more positive pub.
There is, as per usual, a good little bit of pedagogy in this short, however, there is so much more than that. In this special you get Snoopy’s funny, side-tracking antics playing very closely into the story as he not only sets the table but helps cook.
As Snoopy is making popcorn, there’s a New Wave like cut away from frozen popcorn exploding in mid-air but beyond film nerd things there is a charm to this one that is its own.
It’s due to two factors: first, these kids are having two Thanksgiving dinners. What’s not to like there? Second, I remember as a kid seeing Charlie’s plate and for the first time I saw a Thanksgiving meal where I could eat everything (I have a metabolic condition). However, even if your connection to his plate isn’t that close Patty is way harsh especially considering she invited herself and everyone else. Why does she expect Charlie to know how to cook, anyway?
Regardless, her coming down that hard makes the payoff even sweeter and makes this special at least as good as they other two.