I recall, as a child, gathering around the television to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas with my brothers and sister. In my memory, it feels like it was always snowing. Of course, that may be because those were what my kids now refer to as "the olden days," which is to say the time before TV had remote controls or cable or "hi-def" was available, back when "snow" on the screen was part of the package. And that's OK, because that was just the way it was. But times have changed, so has TV, so have consumer expectations, and so has Charlie Brown.
Warner Home Video has re-released A Charlie Brown Christmas in the form of a "Remastered Deluxe Edition." And brother, deluxe it is! Immediately apparent is the improvement in color quality. The colors burst off the screen with vibrancy I never expected from Charlie Brown -- from Lucy, Sally or Snoopy, maybe, but not Chuck. I have to say, the difference suits him.
In addition to the main feature, this DVD includes the 1992 television special, It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown, and A Christmas Miracle: The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Neither the kids nor I particularly enjoyed It's Christmastime Again: it struck us as disjointed and unclear. But, again, the colors are great. The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas is interesting and I imagine inveterate Peanuts lovers will be delighted with it. It immediately brought to mind my friend since pre-pre-school, Megan, who loved Peanuts when we were kids. She would probably get a kick out of the behind-the-scenes look at the genesis of the original
Charles Schulz TV special.
For my family and me, the bright, remastered 1965 classic A Charlie Brown Christmas is the best part of A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Remastered Deluxe Edition. To narrow it down even further, our favorite part of A Charlie Brown Christmas is when Linus takes center stage to explain what Christmas -- bright and remastered, old and snowy, plain and simple -- is really about, by reciting from the King James Bible, Book of Luke:
Editor's note: This edition of A Charlie Brown Christmas (and I agree with Sue that it has never looked better) is now available singly and as part of the Peanuts Holiday Collection, which also includes a beautifully remastered new edition of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (reviewed here) and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (appreciated here). As someone for whom A Charlie Brown Christmas and Great Pumpkin are long-time holiday staples, I'm pleased to give all of these a high recommendation indeed. Official site: www.peanutsdvd.com