Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Wayback Machine: Holidays edition

So I meant when I said I need to start blogging more these days. So here is a holiday edition of the Wayback Machine.

This week we travel back to 1965 for what could be the greatest christmas special ever made. I'm talking of course about the wonderful slice of americana that is "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Now I just need to get this out of the way, I love Peanuts, I repeat Love and had somewhat of Linus complex as a child(I had security blanket). This is the one thing that I must watch every year without fail. Now that i've established that I can continue.

Now there are many things that make this a great special. Numero Uno is the music. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was scored by Vince Guaraldi and remains at the top of my holiday music. The music beautifully underscores the quietness of Peanuts and accuentates the dryness of the characters. In a way the music becomes it's own character. One of my favorite tracks "Christmas time is here" has made reoccuring appearances in popular culture most notably in "The Royal Tenenbaums". Aside from that how the hell can you not like Schroder and his piano. You have to figure he was kind of the stud in Peanuts or at least Lucy always was after him, so he at least attracted one psycho bitch.

I digress though "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is special because of the one of the main principals that Peanuts ran on and that was heart. Peanuts was somewhat personal for cartoonist Charles Schultz, the characters were based off of childhood friends, so in that way he cared, the characters meant something to him. Charlie Brown in this story is down in the dumps over the commercilization of christmas and he feels that he and everyone else has lost touch. in an attempt to get back in touch he becomes director of the school play, it doesn't go well...there's some rude kids, a terminally ill tree and snoopy is being a diva as usual. Anyways at the end Charlie puts it all aside and finds the spirit of christmas along with the other children. (I cut out all the parts about the christianity stuff, hmm wonder why)

It's funny to think though that "A Charlie Brown Christmas" did suffer alot of problems one of the things is that the special was used by its sponsor Coca-Cola to hock soda to families. Too bad no one has seen a print with this since the first three years that it ran. Anyways I leave you with the opening of "A Charlie Brown"

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