Paramount // 1974 // 25 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // March 20th, 2003
Something's funny about this "bunny"!
It' that time a year again when people get their Sunday best on for church, color eggs, and, if you're Linus, wait around for the Easter Beagle to strike! After a disappointing run with The Great Pumpkin, Linus is at it again with his stories of the grand and all-powerful Easter Beagle. As many of the Peanuts characters prepare for the spring holiday season, Linus tells of the Easter Beagle and how he'll bring all the good little boys and girls eggs, candy, and other assorted goodies for this most festive of occasions. At the same time Lucy is planning her own Easter egg hunt, specifically for only herself! Peppermint Patti is attempting to show Marcy how to prepare eggs for coloring, but poor Marci just can't seem to get it right -- first she fries the eggs, then sticks them in a waffle iron, then cracks them open into boiling water! And poor old Woodstock enlists Snoopy to help him build the perfect birdhouse. Everything will culminate to the arrival the famed Easter Beagle in yet another adorable Charlie Brown special.
It seems that we've finally got all the major holidays covered with the Peanuts gang. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Valentine's Day, and now Easter is the next in line for the Charlie Brown makeover. While some of the specials (It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown) are better than others (I'm not a huge fan of the Thanksgiving special), overall the late Charles M. Schulz's warm and winning cartoons are what nostalgia is made of. What person between the ages of 10 to 30 can't recall watching one of these specials on TV? It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown may not be as good as the Christmas or Halloween specials, but in its own cute way it features a endearing storyline (Snoopy as the Easter Beagle) and some genuine laughs with the tomboyish Peppermint Patti attempting to teach a befuddled Marci how to produce the perfect looking Easter egg. Surprisingly, Charlie Brown isn't featured quite as prominently this time around, though he does make a noble attempt to help his sister Sally buy some new shoes for the holiday. My favorite storyline featured Woodstock and Snoopy in their attempts at getting together a sturdy birdhouse. When I was a kid, Woodstock was my favorite character, mostly because he was yellow and at the time that was my favorite color (hey, as a child you didn't need monumental reasons to like a fictional character...a favorite color sufficed). Clocking in at around 25 minutes, this is the perfect Easter distraction for both children and adults alike. With his passing in 2000, Charles M. Schulz left a great legacy behind of wonderfully funny characters and a bald headed-boy who never did get to kick that football...
It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame. Because this special is now nearly thirty years old, the source materials sometimes shows limitations and imperfections. However, these can be overlooked due to the fact that this transfer appears to be in excellent shape, all things considering. The colors and black levels are sharp and solid with only a slight amount of grain. Otherwise, Peanuts fans will be happy as Charlie Brown catching a fly ball to own this disc. The soundtrack is presented in a mediocre Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono track. Though this sound mix isn't exciting, it is in keeping with the original experience of the show. The feature is void of any hiss or excessive distortion. Also included on this disc are English subtitles.
Only two extra features are included on this disc: a short interactive game for the upcoming sequel Charlotte's Web 2, and a bonus Peanuts episode titled "It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown," which is most likely the least interesting holiday you could make a TV special about.
Review content copyright © 2003 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2015 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 25 Minutes
Release Year: 1974
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Charolette's Web 2 Interactive Game
* "It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown" Bonus Episode
* Peanuts Official Site