Warner Bros. // 1996 // 46 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Paul Pritchard (Retired) // October 25th, 2012
It's Runaway Fun With Peanuts!
Happiness is Peanuts: Go Snoopy Go! continues Warner Bros' "Happiness is Peanuts..." line, which sees a Peanuts animated special paired with an episode of the The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show. This particular set, entitled Go Snoopy Go!, kicks off with an episode of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show that comprises of five mini-sketches:
* In "Vulture," Snoopy pretends to be the winged predator, but the sketch never really goes anywhere with the idea.
* Things pick up considerably in "Blanket," in which Linus tries to rid himself of his comforter.
* "Peppermint Patty" is a short, though no less fun, sketch in which the troubles of school life force Patty to reconsider her options.
* "Rerun" sees a dip in form, with a forgettable skit that is at least mercifully short.
* Finally we get "Rainy Day," a Charlie-centric caper that brings the episode to a close with a touch of quality.
Next up we get the main event, in which Charlie Brown and his Little League Baseball team must win the first game of the season to secure their new team uniforms. Nobody could ever confuse It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown with being vintage Peanuts. The thirty-fifth animated special based on the comic strips of Charles M. Schulz, It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown was originally scheduled to be aired in 1992, but was cancelled, only to reappear four years later on video. Although the show contains all the usual hallmarks of a Peanuts special, it simply lacks the wit or charm that makes the likes of It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown sparkle , and attempts to modernize the work of Schulz feel decidedly off.The most obvious example of this is when the gang breaks into an impromptu rap before their little league game. It's not that the rap is especially bad, but -- taking into account the special's intended airdate -- it reeks of an attempt to mimic "Do the Bartman" on The Simpsons and bring some street cred to the Peanuts brand. The many joys of Peanuts have never stemmed from its being cool. Rather, this is a series that revels in the misfortune of uncool kids enjoying the rare small victory. Of course, the special isn't a complete bust, with the character of Leland a real boon. Some wonderfully comedic moments come at his expense.
The full-frame transfers for these episodes are far from exemplary. Colors appear washed out, and the combination of grain, scratches, and general wear to the print means that the picture quality is found wanting. The audio track is slightly better, with dialogue coming through nice and clear, even if the mix is flat. No extras are included on this release.
Let's for one moment cast aside the quality of the episodes contained on this DVD, and focus instead on whether it offers good value for money. I'd have to argue that, with one special and a single episode of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show, your money can be better spent elsewhere. Admittedly, this particular release is not alone in being guilty of offering a lack of value -- Warner Bros has been following this formula for some time with the Peanuts back catalogue -- but that doesn't mean it should be exempt from criticism. Yes, the episodes do contain some replay value, but I don't think it's too much to ask for more than 46 minutes worth of content in return for my money, particularly in these austere times.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (Japanese)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (Portuguese)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (Spanish)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (Thai)
Running Time: 46 Minutes
Release Year: 1996
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* IMDb: It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown!