Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection is out on DVD September 15 and, if you enjoy the Peanuts comics strips or holiday specials, you will want to check out this collection of rarely seen specials in an all new remastered edition. The Emmy Honored Collection includes 11 episodes regarded as the best of the best, with nine Emmy-nominated episodes and two Emmy-winning episodes on two disks.
As someone who grew up reading Peanuts comics, collecting the books, and checking out every book and VHS title the library owned multiple times, I was really looking forward to seeing what this DVD had to offer. I had not seen any of these titles before and actually have not seen many of the animated specials – outside of the few tapes our library owned when I was a kid – so I was curious to see how these episodes would play to me now.
I have to say, the episodes in the Emmy Honored Collection actually held up pretty well. Every episode had the same innocent charm that I remembered from my childhood, but without too much of the saccharine sweetness that mars most kid’s fare (especially kids fare from the Peanuts era). It’s sweet to be sure, but it has enough self-deprecating humor and character imperfections that it provides a nice balance in the storytelling.
This disk contains six episodes: five Emmy-nominated episodes, and one Emmy-winning episode.
“You’re the Greatest, Charlie Brown”
Charlie Brown is persuaded to enter a decathlon in which he finds himself competing against Marcie, the Masked Marvel (Snoopy), and the reigning champ, Freddie Fabulous. Will he be able to pull off a victory for his school?
“She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown”
Peppermint Patty trains for a figure skating competition with Snoopy as her coach. Will she be able to pull off a win?
“It’s Magic, Charlie Brown”
Snoopy finds a magic book at the library and turns Charlie Brown invisible. Will he be able to reverse the trick, or will Charlie Brown be doomed to wander the earth as a lost soul for the rest of his life?
“Someday You’ll Find Her, Charlie Brown”
Charlie Brown sees a little girl on TV and falls madly in love with her. Will he be able to track her down?
“Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown?”
Linus and Lucy’s father gets a new job in another town, forcing them to move away from Charlie Brown and all their friends. Will Charlie Brown be able to cope with the loss of his best friend?
“Life is a Circus, Charlie Brown”
This episode was the Emmy-winner from the first disk, and sees Snoopy captured by a little girl who lives and works with a traveling circus. Snoopy is forced to join her troupe of trained poodles. Will he be able to escape from his new life of servitude?
This disk contains four Emmy-nominated episodes and one more Emmy-winning episode.
“What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?”
This episode sees the gang travel to France for a vacation. There’s the usual fish out of water type humor, but the main focus of the episode comes after Linus realizes that they’ve found themselves on Omaha Beach. From here on out, the episode becomes a World War II memorial.
“It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown”
This episode does not have much in the way of plot, but the plot it does have is there to prop up the many musical numbers that make up this episode. Even in the absence of story, this is a fun episode with a lot of catchy musical numbers.
“Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown”
Snoopy falls in love with a poodle named Genevieve, and plans a wedding. He writes to his desert-dwelling brother Spike to ask him to be the best beagle in his wedding. As the big day draws closer, Snoopy begins to have second thoughts. Will he be able to go through with the marriage?
“Why, Charlie Brown, Why?”
Linus discovers that his friend Janice has leukemia, and has to stay in the hospital for a long time. This episode is much more somber than most, as Linus must learn to cope with what this diagnosis means for his friend.
“You’re a Good Sport, Charlie Brown”
In this final, Emmy-winning episode, Charlie Brown competes in a Motocross race. He’s up against Peppermint Patty, as well as a huge number of other competitors including the Masked Marvel – Snoopy’s sporting alter ego that we last saw in You’re the Greatest, Charlie Brown. Will Charlie Brown be able to pull off a victory?
All the episodes in this collection had something special about them, but two in particular stood out to me as being a cut above the rest and, surprisingly, they were not the two that won the Emmys! “What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?” and “Why, Charlie Brown, Why?” are both much different than the rest of the specials. They both have the same gentle humor, but also have really powerful messages about two completely different topics.
In “What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?” Linus teaches us about the importance of remembering the past, and gives a rather moving history lesson on World War II. In “Why, Charlie Brown, Why?” Linus (and the audience) learns how to cope when someone they care for becomes deathly ill. The episode is very moving at times, and is a great way to introduce kids to the concept of diseases like cancer.
Peanuts is a timeless cartoon with timeless messages and timeless appeal for kids of all ages. For a show made from the 60s through the 90s, these episodes don’t feel very dated or like they are from those specific eras at all. If you are a fan of Peanuts, either the comics or the holiday specials, you would do well to check out this collection.
Are you a Peanuts fan? Will you check out this release?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes