November 23, 2015

ABC celebrates the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas on November 30 & December 24

It's been 50 years since the classic holiday special A Charlie Brown Christmas debuted, and ABC is commemorating the event with a new hour-long retrospective special, It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown, airing from 8 - 9 PM (Eastern/Pacific) on both Monday, November 30 and again on Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24.

Each evening, the uncut original 1965 special will air immediately following the retrospective, from 9 - 10 PM (the rest of that hour will be filled out, as usual, by Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales).

It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown
will be hosted by Kristen Bell and produced by Lee Mendelson, who produced the classic special 50 years ago. According to the press release, the show will feature "spectacular live performances, from the memorable music of Vince Guaraldi, to Kristen Chenoweth singing 'Happiness' from the Peanuts Broadway hit 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown,' and a performance from Matthew Morrison of an original song, 'Just Like Me.' Other musical guests set to perform classic songs are Sarah McLachlan, Boyz II Men, Pentatonix, David Benoit and The All-American Boys Chorus." There will also be "Hollywood notables reminiscing about their most treasured A Charlie Brown Christmas moments."

So tune in one or both nights for two hours of Christmas memories with the Peanuts gang!

Also this holiday season, ABC will show I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown on Saturday, December 19, 2015 from 8 - 9 PM, and Happy New Year, Charlie Brown together with She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown on Monday, December 28, 2015 from 8 - 9 PM (all times Eastern/Pacific).

Here's the full upcoming schedule of Peanuts TV appearances on ABC (all times Eastern/Pacific):

Mon Nov 30  8-9 PM   It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown
Mon Nov 30  9-10 PM  A Charlie Brown Christmas
                     + Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales
Sat Dec 19  8-9 PM   I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown
Thu Dec 24  8-9 PM   It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown
Thu Dec 24  9-10 PM  A Charlie Brown Christmas

                     + Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales
Mon Dec 28  8-9 PM   Happy New Year, Charlie Brown

                     + She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown

And don't forget that A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving airs Tuesday November 24 at 8 PM (Eastern/Pacific)!

November 20, 2015

New Peanuts float debuts, Snoopy balloon returns in 2015 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade

Look for Peanuts characters both in the air and on the ground in this year's 89th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

A returning favorite, the Snoopy and Woodstock balloon will make its third consecutive appearance sailing above the crowds - and the 39th time overall a Snoopy balloon has appeared in the parade, starting with the first appearance in 1968.

Meanwhile, down below on the road, a new "Snoopy's Doghouse" float will celebrate the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas.  The float will feature elements from the classic television special, including Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree and Snoopy’s prize-winning decorated doghouse, along with several of the Peanuts characters themselves.

Preview of the new float. Photo courtesy of Mitsu Yasukawa/

(A Peanuts-themed float has appeared at least once before in the parade; it also featured Snoopy's doghouse, but this is a completely new float.)

If you can't be in New York City in person, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be televised from 9 AM - Noon on Thursday, November 26, 2015 on NBC. (All time zones; the Macy's Parade broadcast starts at 9 AM, regardless of which time zone you're in.)

The parade balloon and float aren't the end of Macy's celebration of Peanuts in 2015; this year, the store's traditional holiday window displays will feature a Charlie Brown Christmas theme.  According to the company's press release, "the Broadway windows at Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square in New York City will debut incredible animated scenes from the iconic television special [...] additionally, A Charlie Brown Christmas is the theme that will decorate the holiday windows at Macy’s downtown stores in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C."  So you might want check it out if you live near one of those locations!

You can see a preview of the NYC windows and a peek at how they were made in this video from USA Today.

November 15, 2015

Correction: ABC to show A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Warm up the popcorn maker so it's ready on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 (note corrected date) for ABC's annual broadcast of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, together with This is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers, from 8 - 9 PM (Eastern/Pacific).

(The advance information I received, and passed on in my previous post, saying the special would air November 25 turned out to be wrong.  Tuesday November 24 is the officially announced, and correct, date.  I apologize for the confusion and for sending out incorrect information.)

November 6, 2015

The Peanuts Movie opens today...

...and you'll want to get your tickets early; all indications point to a smash opening weekend.

Do make a point of finding a theater showing it in 3D; this marvelous film makes excellent use of that third dimension.

As it happens, our tireless staff of 5CP researchers includes a full-time film critic, whose review will appear later today in his daily Northern California newspaper. But you can read it immediately.

(He kinda-sorta liked the movie. Just a little!)

October 27, 2015

Snoopy Becomes a Star (Again!)

Charles M. Schulz’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame soon will have an equally prestigious companion.

Our favorite beagle, Snoopy, will be honored with his own star, which will be unveiled during a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. (PST) Monday, Nov. 2. The event will be streamed live at the link below.

Snoopy himself — and longtime Peanuts Collector Club members know what that means — will be on hand to acknowledge this honor in his own inimitable way. He’ll be joined by our very own Craig Schulz, co-writer and co-producer of The Peanuts Movie, scheduled to hit theaters nationwide on Friday, Nov. 6.

Paul Feig, another of the film’s producers, will give a short talk.

The dedication of the world-famous beagle’s own star — the 2,563rd star along the Hollywood Walk of Fame — will take place at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard.

What will Snoopy wear?  A tuxedo, of course!

Additional details are available at this Walk of Fame site.

October 21, 2015

Dark Hall Mansion's It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown limited edition prints for 2015

While Linus may wait in vain for the Great Pumpkin each year, fans of Dark Hall Mansion's Peanuts art prints have much better luck - for the fifth year in a row, they're back with two new limited edition designs based on the TV special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, just in time for Halloween 2015.

Note that these prints go on sale Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM Pacific time - less than 24 hours after this is posted - so if you're interested, be ready to head over to Dark Hall Mansion's webstore as soon as possible after that time.

First, there's a moody piece by Tom Doyle & Ridge Rooms, showing the aftermath of the evening. This print will be available in a standard edition, a variant edition with silver metallic ink highlights, and a small glow-in-the-dark edition.  As a bonus, all editions will be signed by artist Tom Doyle.

The second print, by Australian artist Florey, focuses on the Halloween party scene from the show. This print will be available in a standard edition and a variant edition with a somewhat different color scheme.

Tom Doyle & Ridge Room Standard Edition
(click to enlarge)

Tom Doyle & Ridge Room Variant Edition
(click to enlarge)

Tom Doyle & Ridge Room Glow-in-the-Dark Edition
(click to enlarge)

Florey Standard Edition (click to enlarge)

Florey Variant Edition (click to enlarge)

All these officially licensed editions will measure 18" x 24"; Tim Doyle & Ridge Room's editions will be screen printed and Florey's editions will be giclee printed.

The prices and print run sizes for the 2015 It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown prints will be as follows:

Tim Doyle & Ridge Room Standard Edition of 280 - $65
Tim Doyle & Ridge Room Variant Edition of 50 - $100
Tim Doyle & Ridge Room Glow-in-the-Dark (GID) Edition of 25 - $125

Florey Standard Edition of 280 - $65
Florey Variant Edition of 50 - $100

All the prints go on sale Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM Pacific time at Dark Hall Mansion's webstore. They're usually fast sellers, so be ready to act when they go on sale!

Visit Dark Hall Mansion's Facebook page and their blog for more information, larger pictures of the artwork, and behind-the-scenes photos.

October 18, 2015

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown broadcast update

Announcements from last week that both of this year's broadcasts of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on ABC would be edited have turned out to be incorrect.

In a new press release, ABC says that the full, original length version will be shown on Thursday, October 29, from 8:00 - 9:00 PM (Eastern/Pacific), accompanied by You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown.

So you may want to skip the first showing on the 20th and make plans to see the full show on the 29th!

October 13, 2015

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown to air October 20 & 29, 2015 on ABC

ABC will be showing It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown twice this month.

First it will be shown in a version edited to fit a half-hour timeslot on Tuesday, October 20 from 8:00 - 8:30 PM.

But the good news is the full, original length version will be broadcast on Thursday, October 29, from 8:00 - 9:00 PM (Eastern/Pacific), accompanied by You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown.

(Previous information that the second showing would also be edited turned out to be incorrect.)

July 17, 2015

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown is coming to DVD at last

On October 6, 2015, fans will finally be able to complete their collection of Peanuts theatrical movies on DVD, when Paramount Home Video will release the fourth and final classic Peanuts animated movie, Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown. In this 1980 film, Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, and Snoopy travel to France as exchange students, and encounter mystery, history, and humor (of course).  The film's main setting is based on the chateau that Charles Schulz was billeted at for six weeks in World War II.

This release was promised last year when Paramount announced the Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown DVD, but it didn't have a firm release date or details until now.

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown will be presented in 16:9 widescreen on the DVD, which will also include the movie's theatrical trailer and a new making-of featurette with new interviews with Jean Schulz, Lee Mendelson, and Steve Melendez (son of animator Bill Melendez). It's nice to see Paramount actually including a bonus feature!

While Paramount's press release touts that the film has been "digitally remastered in 4K," there will only be a DVD release - no Blu-ray release is planned. (A high-definition download is available from iTunes. Still, that's not the same as a real disc.)

The Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown DVD has a suggested retail price of $14.99, and can be pre-ordered now from Amazon and other retailers.

Warner Home Video has also announced a "new" Peanuts DVD for October, although it's less exciting, since all the shows have been released previously. The DVD is titled He's a Bully, Charlie Brown, and features that 2006 television special as its main feature, together with It's a Short Summer, Charlie Brown and The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show Episode 2: Snoopy - Team Manager as "bonus" episodes. There are no bonus features. The DVD is due out October 6, 2015, has a suggested retail price of $19.97 and is available for pre-order now.

(He's a Bully, Charlie Brown is also available on the You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown Deluxe Edition DVD; It's a Short Summer, Charlie Brown is available on the Peanuts 1960's Collection box set; and the Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show episode is available on the complete Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show DVD set. So if you have all those, you don't need this repackaging; and if you don't have them, it seems like they're better choices than this DVD.)

June 16, 2015

Time to order that Snoopy license plate!

We haven’t checked in on California’s drive to issue a Snoopy license plate since Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to launch the effort back in October 2013, and it’s definitely time for an update.

Since then, progress has been both hopeful ... and a bit discouraging.

You might want to read this earlier post, for some back-story. (Go ahead; we’ll wait for you to come back.)

All set? Very good.

First of all, it’s necessary to understand that California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has a policy of not stamping a specialty plate until it’s ordered by at least 7,500 people. While well over that number officially expressed interest in the plate via its web site, the next phase — securing a $50 deposit from at least 7,500 of those folks — hasn’t been moving as rapidly. As these words are typed, slightly more than 5,500 people have done so.

Unfortunately, the clock is ticking. The first “soft deadline” for sign-ups was January 24 of this year. The California Cultural Historical Endowment was granted an extension, but — and here we’re quoting — “Typically, the DMV issues a one-year extension.”

Existing DMV rules don’t allow for more than one extension, so that means a final deadline of January 2016 ... roughly seven months away. The bottom line is obvious: California’s Peanuts fans need to more aggressively promote this program to their families, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

Public service has been a great selling point, from the very beginning. Once the sign-up threshold is achieved, every non-personalized Snoopy plate sold will give $40 to the California Cultural and Historical Endowment, which expects (hopes) to collect roughly $300,000 for California’s museums, during the first year the plates are stamped. The news is even better when purchasing a personalized plate: $50 to museums, and $48 to the California Environmental License Fund.

In an effort to further sweeten the deal, the program recently introduced a “Beagle Backer” bonus. The first 7,500 purchasers will become Beagle Backers, and receive one-time discounted or free admission to 58 museums throughout the Golden State. The list of participating museums keeps climbing, and the current retail value of this incentive is more than $850 ... which is a pretty sweet return for the initial license plate fee.

Granted, you’d need to travel a bit, to take advantage of every opportunity ... but who wouldn’t enjoy an ambitious museum road trip? On top of which, the participating venues are an impressively varied bunch, including the California Science Center, the Japanese American National Museum, the Aerospace Museum of California, San Diego’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’ Museum of Tolerance, the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Western Railway Museum and — of course — the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center. You can see a complete list of participants here.

As of 2013, California boasted 24,390,236 licensed drivers. We find it hard to believe that there aren’t at least 7,500 eager to put a beagle on their vehicle of choice.

Consider this a reminder, then: Encourage all your California Peanuts fans to stand up and be counted. Send ’em to, to sign up.

As California goes, so goes the nation ... and the faster we get the World-Famous Beagle on those plates, the sooner folks in the other 49 states may be inspired to do the same!

May 19, 2015

Peanuts #28 arrives Wednesday, May 20

The comic book Peanuts #28 goes on sale Wednesday, May 20, 2015. New stories in this month's installment from Boom! Studio include "Studs," "Sunny Disposition," and "Happy Any Day." The issue also includes a "Comic-Con Pull-Out Poster" and several classic Peanuts Sunday strips. Comic Book Resources has a five-page preview.

Look for the mag at your local comic book store, but if you can't find it and they can't order it for you, you can purchase it from Boom! Studio's website.

It appears that the Peanuts comic book will be taking an extended break after this month - no issues are scheduled to come out in the next two months.  Whether the comic book will return eventually or not is unknown.

May 6, 2015

Peanuts Emmy Honored Collection DVD set, featuring DVD debut of two specials, announced

Coming this September from Warner Home Video is the Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection, a two-disc DVD collection of 11 Peanuts specials that were either Emmy Award winners or nominees.

The set features two specials that are being released on DVD for the first time in the U.S.: What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown? and Why, Charlie Brown, Why? Somewhat inconveniently, however, you'll also get nine other previously released specials that may already be in your Peanuts DVD collection.

The full list of specials included in the collection are:

You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown (1975) (Emmy winner)
You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown (1979) (Emmy nominee)
She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown (1980) (Emmy nominee)
Life is a Circus, Charlie Brown (1980) (Emmy winner)
It's Magic, Charlie Brown (1981) (Emmy nominee)
Someday You'll Find Her, Charlie Brown (1981) (Emmy nominee)
Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown? (1983) (Emmy nominee)
What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown? (1983) (Emmy nominee) (new to DVD)
It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown (1984) (Emmy nominee)
Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown (1985) (Emmy nominee)
Why, Charlie Brown, Why? (1990) (Emmy nominee) (new to DVD)

Note that this set is neither a complete collection of Emmy Award winning Peanuts specials, nor of the Emmy nominated specials. The better known specials A Charlie Brown Christmas and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving also won Emmy Awards, and 13 other animated specials not on this collection received nominations. You can see a complete list of all the winning and nominated Peanuts shows at the Peanuts Animation and Video Page.

Warner touts that the shows have been "brilliantly remastered in all-new 4K Ultra HD transfers," and while that is true, the difference in quality between this release and earlier Warner DVD versions of the shows is likely to be small. All the previously released shows had already been remastered and looked quite good for their initial appearances on Warner Home Video DVDs, and more to the point, since DVD is a standard-definition format, it cannot take advantage of the high resolution of the remasters. Sadly, no high definition Blu-ray version of this set, which would have shown the remasters to much better effect, has been announced.

There are no bonus or special features on the set.

The Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection DVD set will be release on September 15, 2015 has a suggested retail price of $26.99, and can be pre-ordered from Amazon and other stores now.

March 18, 2015

Peanuts #26 in stores Wednesday, March 18

Issue #26 of the Peanuts comic book from Boom! Studios went on sale Wednesday, March 18. This month's installment contains two new stories - "Revenge is Sweet" and "Dirty Dancing" (featuring cover boy Pig-Pen), plus the usual handful of classic Sunday comic strips. Comic Book Resources has a five-page preview of the issue.

Look for the mag at your local comic book store, but if you can't find it, you can purchase it from Boom! Studio's website.

And if you didn't get it already, also look for last month's Peanuts #25, a special extra-long issue featuring one 32-page long story, "It's Summer Camp, Charlie Brown" (see preview).

March 8, 2015

Limited edition A Boy Named Charlie Brown prints from Dark Hall Mansion

As you'll know if you've a regular reader of this blog, Dark Hall Mansion has produced many high-quality "movie poster"-style prints for the well-loved classic Peanuts television specials. Now they've turned their talents to creating a fantastic limited edition print for A Boy Named Charlie Brown, the very first Peanuts theatrical film itself.

Tom Whalen, artist for several of Dark Hall Mansion's previous Peanuts prints, has drawn a wonderfully complex and detailed work, chock full of many of the 1969 movie's memorable moments, deploying a clever use of symmetry to balance all the elements together. There's even a shout-out to Vince Guaraldi, whose music you'll probably be humming while you admire the artwork.

The print will be available in three editions: a standard edition; a variant edition with a different color scheme; and a very limited wood editions of each color scheme.

Standard edition (click to enlarge)
Variant edition (click to enlarge)

These officially licensed editions will measure 18" x 24" and are screen printed.

The standard edition will be limited to 280 prints, the variant edition will be limited to 50 prints, and the wood editions limited to just 10 prints of each color palette.

The prices will be as follows:

Standard: $65
Variant: $100
Wood (Standard): $250
Canvas (Variant): $250

The A Boy Named Charlie Brown prints go on sale Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 9:30 AM Pacific time at Dark Hall Mansion's webstore. The prints are always very fast sellers, so be ready to act when they go on sale!

Visit Dark Hall Mansion's Facebook page and their blog for more information, larger pictures of the artwork, and behind-the-scenes photos.

February 12, 2015

Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown DVD is now out!

The much-anticipated DVD of the third Peanuts theatrical movie, Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977), is now available.  Released on February 10, 2015 by Paramount Home Video, the DVD presents the film in 16:9 widescreen, and the only bonus feature is the film's theatrical trailer.

(The trailer is something of a curiosity, featuring narration by a voice that sounds an awfully lot like Bill Hinnant, who played Snoopy in the original 1967 off-Broadway production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.  Either that or it's his brother Skip, of The Electric Company fame.)

Interestingly - as was the case with the A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Snoopy Come Home DVDs - the Race For Your Life DVD actually shows less picture than the VHS release of the movie. The entire movie was originally drawn as a 4:3 (square) image, like the Peanuts TV specials, and that is what was released on VHS.  When the movie was presented in theaters, the top and bottom of the image were removed, and the DVD replicates that 16:9 (rectangular) image. This is not necessarily good or bad, but just noting the difference, since typically DVD releases include more of the picture than the VHS tape.  Regardless, it's great to be able to add a DVD with better picture quality to our collections.

While there isn't a Blu-ray disc release of the movie to go with the DVD (alas), Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown is now available in high definition as a digital rental or purchase from iTunes or Amazon Instant Video (and possibly other providers). None of the other three theatrical movies are available as digital files at this time, although many of the TV specials are.

While the initial announcements of the Race For Your Life DVD said that the fourth movie, Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown would also be coming out this year, so far there's no sign of it - no release date has been announced and no preorder listings have appeared. But keep your fingers crossed!

The website ToonZone has an interview with producer Lee Mendelson about Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown in honor of the new DVD release.

In related news, at the 42nd "Annie Awards" ceremony on January 31st, the International Animated Film Society (ASIFA-Hollywood) awarded Lee Mendelson the Winsor McCay Award for career contributions at to the art of animation, in particular, his work on the Peanuts specials.  A justly deserved award, and you can watch the presentation and Mr. Mendelson's acceptance speech on YouTube.

Finally, don't forget that Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown together with A Charlie Brown Valentine air at 8 PM (Eastern/Pacific) on ABC on Friday, February 13th, 2015!