February 19, 2016

The Peanuts Movie coming out on DVD, Blu-ray, and 3D Blu-ray on March 8, 2016

The Peanuts Movie, 2015's CGI feature film starring the Peanuts gang, will be released on home video on March 8, 2016 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The film will be available in several formats and packaging:
  • A DVD "combo pack" - includes DVD disc and HD digital download (list price $29.98)
  • A Blu-ray "combo pack" - includes 2D Blu-ray disc, DVD disc, and HD digital download (list price $39.99)
  • A 3D Blu-ray "combo pack" - includes 3D Blu-ray disc, 2D Blu-ray disc, DVD disc, and HD digital download (list price $49.99)
  • A "limited edition gift set" - includes a Blu-ray disc, DVD disc, HD digital download, and a Snoopy dressed as the WWI Flying Ace plush toy (list price $39.99)
Actual sale prices will almost certainly be cheaper than the list prices. Note that you need a 3D television and 3D Blu-ray player to play and watch the 3D Blu-ray.

The Fox press release lists a variety of bonus features that will accompany the film; note that a couple of them are only available on the Blu-ray discs. Sadly, it doesn't sound like the film's amusing trailers will be included at all. Descriptions are from the press release:
  • Snoopy Snippets – Can’t get enough of your favorite Peanuts characters? These six all-new Snoopy Snippets will brighten your day!
  • You Never Grow Up, Charlie Brown (Blu-ray only) – In this fascinating documentary, you’ll learn about Charles Schulz, the history of the Peanuts gang, and their journey to the big screen!
  • Snoopy’s Sibling Salute (Blu-ray only) – It’s a Snoopy family reunion as The Peanuts Movie filmmakers introduce viewers to Snoopy’s siblings: Andy, Olaf, Spike, Belle and Marbles.
  • Learn To Draw Snoopy, Woodstock and Charlie Brown – Director Steve Martino provides fun, step-by-step tutorials on how to draw Snoopy, Woodstock and Charlie Brown.
  • Get Down With Snoopy and Woodstock Music Video – Clap, dance and sing along with Snoopy, Woodstock and Charlie Brown to an all-new version of everyone’s favorite Peanuts song!
  • “Better When I’m Dancin’” Meghan Trainor Music Video – Escape to a wonderful, whimsical world with Meghan Trainor’s music video for her hit song “Better When I’m Dancin’.”
  • “Better When I’m Dancin’” Meghan Trainor Lyric Video – The Peanuts gang is dancing up a storm with moves like you've never seen before—and on-screen lyrics so you can sing along.
  • Behind The Scenes of “Better When I’m Dancin’” – Meghan Trainor takes you on an exclusive tour behind the scenes and on the set of her “Better When I’m Dancin’” music video!
  • Snoopy’s Playlist – Now the music from the movie is at your fingertips—use Snoopy’s Playlist to jump directly to your favorite songs.
The Peanuts Movie is already available as a digital-only download from Amazon and iTunes and similar services; however, considering those downloads cost $14.99 and the discs will only cost around $18-22 and include an HD digital download, you probably want to wait and get the physical discs too!

After I first wrote this blog post, two more home video versions were announced - a Target exclusive with "25 minutes of extra content," and an Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack.  See this follow up blog post for further details about them.

In other home video news, now that all four classic Peanuts movies have been released on DVD, Paramount has put them together in one box set, titled Peanuts: 4-Movie Collection. Released on February 16, 2016, the set contains:

A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)
Snoopy Come Home (1972)
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977)
Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (1980)

The movies are on 4 separate discs. No new bonus material is included with this set (although presumably it includes the few bonus features that are on the individual DVD releases), so if you have the previous DVD releases of the movies, you don't need this set. But if you don't, the set's a good deal - list price is $26.99, but you can get it for around $20.

February 4, 2016

A History of Peanuts Balloons in the Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

(This special post is by 5CP Associate Editor Gayna Lamb-Bang.)

After watching last year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and anticipating the oversized balloons of our pals Snoopy and Woodstock, I wondered about the Peanuts balloon legacy in this annual celebration.

1968 WWI Flying Ace Snoopy
I quickly discovered that information was both scarce, and frequently inaccurate.

In the interests, then, of providing an authoritative chronology of the association between Macy’s and the Peanuts gang, I spent considerable time researching the topic. The goal was to find and provide an absolutely accurate listing, at all times cross-checked with photos and news coverage from reputable sources.

Let’s start with a few fun facts:

• New York City’s famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade began in 1924, complete with live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. Beginning in 1927 — not 1928, as numerous Internet sites incorrectly claim — the live animals were replaced by large balloons designed by famed puppeteer Tony Sarg, and built by Bil Baird. A terrific Smithsonian Magazine article profiled Sarg in November 2013, and the Norman Rockwell Museum mounted a delightful exhibit devoted to him from June 10 through November 5, 2023.

• Snoopy, in various personas, has been in this parade more than any other character. 

Newspaper ad for the 1969 parade
• The average height of the large balloons, like our pal Snoopy, is roughly six stories.

• The ground-based balloon handlers must weigh at least 125 pounds.

• For many year's, Macy's promoted the parade with detailed, full-page newspaper ads that sometimes even listed the scheduled balloons and floats.  

• Until 2011, the floats and balloons were built in a former Tootsie Roll factory in Hoboken, New Jersey. The parade construction facility then moved to a larger warehouse in Carlstadt, also in New Jersey. 

• During the very early hours of parade day, everything travels through the Lincoln Tunnel, to get to the parade’s starting point in Manhattan. Once there, the balloons are inflated with a mix of helium and outside air, just a few hours before the parade begins.

• These days, roughly 2 million spectators line the streets of Manhattan, to view the parade. The event lasts approximately three hours, and covers two and a half miles.