Bernardo Villela is like a mallrat except at the movies. He is a writer, director, editor and film enthusiast who seeks to continue to explore and learn about cinema, chronicle the journey and share his findings.
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.
This is a Peanuts special that was made several years after the original Thanksgiving tale which sees the characters we have come to know assuming the roles of Pilgrims.
It does a rather admirable job of recounting the tale of both the journey across the Atlantic and also the Pilgrim’s first few years on the new continent, albeit a somewhat sanitized one.
The voice over in this tale is very persistent as it is truly a storybook type tale and save for one or two slips in pacing it’s nearly impeccable and a very admirable feat.
Over the years the voice casting of these specials was tremendous overall as the actors frequently had to be switched to have them sound genuinely like children and not adults imitating kids’ voices. To keep the same quality of voice in each character is quite a feat and it was nearly always seamless. Here though you will notice that there was quite a departure in the casting of Marcy.
It is for all that still a very worthwhile and humorous look at the early origins of the holiday and, in fact, our nation, that is worth seeing and it is usually included as a bonus feature on Happy Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown DVDs.