Paramount // 1975 // 25 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // January 17th, 2003
"She loves me, she loves me not. She loves me, she loves me not..."
"I find it hard to believe that a flower has the gift of prophecy."
Everyone's favorite animated loser is about to find out that Valentine's Day isn't all it's cracked up to be. With all his friends (including Lucy, Pig Pen, Schroeder, Sally, and Linus) getting into the spirit of the holiday, Charlie Brown is sure to get at least one valentine, right? Right?!? Wrong. When he gets to class (complete with a briefcase so he can carry all his cards home), poor old Charlie Brown discovers that not one of his peers has given him a Valentine's Day card. What's a blockhead to do? As Charlie Brown learns the lessons of love and heartbreak, Linus pines for his teacher's affections while Snoopy and Woodstock wage a never-ending war with red paper valentines. It's all just another day in the Peanuts neighborhood.
You just can't go wrong with a Charlie Brown animated special. From the warmly entertaining A Charlie Brown Christmas to the spooky happenings in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, the Peanuts cartoons have always instilled a sense of nostalgia in viewers. It had been quite some time since I'd seen Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, and it's still a funny, spirited little short. Once again Charlie Brown is cut no slack in the romance department -- he still pines for the little red haired girl and gets absolutely no respect from his friends. The laughs are light-hearted and enjoyable for both children and adults alike. In the two bonus features also included on this disc -- "You're In Love, Charlie Brown" and "It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown" -- we also get to see the misadventures of Charlie Brown and the little red haired girl who he so heavily pines for (however, while these two features are nice, they aren't nearly as good as the title cartoon). Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown was written by creator Charles Schulz and bears his good-natured trademark. It was a great loss to cartoon fans everywhere when he passed away in February of 2000. Though we may not have any more new Charlie Brown comics in the future (contractually, Schulz made sure that in the event of his death the Peanuts strip was completely finished), the animated cartoons and drawings live on for generations to enjoy.
Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown and the subsequent extra episodes are presented in 1.33:1 full frame. These are all very nice looking transfers that sport solid colors and dark black levels. Though there are some inherent imperfections in the images (including some grain and dirt), this is to be expected due to the age and production vales of the features. Overall this is the best these presentations have ever looked. The soundtracks are all presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono in English. None of these soundtracks will blow away your sound system, though they do work well within the confines of the features. Most aspects of the mix are free and clear of any distortion. Also included on this disc are English subtitles.
The supplements on Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown are floating at the bare minimum -- aside of the two extra episodes, there's also a "Meet the Animals" game promoting the new straight-to-DVD animated film Charlotte's Web 2.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 25 Minutes
Release Year: 1975
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* "You're in Love, Charlie Brown"
* "It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown"
* Charlotte's Web 2: Interactive Game
* Official Peanuts Site