HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Bag Boy Lover Boy
Sleepless Night
Willy McBean and His Magic Machine
Robbery
Tag
Never Back Down
Doraemon: Nobita's Little Star Wars
Kriminal
It Comes at Night
Strangled
Mojin - The Lost Legend
Poison Ivy
Celine and Julie Go Boating
Union Station
My Brother Talks to Horses
Storks
Big Sick, The
Phantom Creeps, The
Houseboat
White Dress for Mariale, A
Wall, The
Deadline at Dawn
Batman vs Two-Face
56, rue Pigalle
Mermaid, The
Fear No Evil
Caribbean Dream, A
Nightbeast
Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe
Human Cobras
   
 
Newest Articles
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
Alpha Males and Females - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 1
Animated Anxieties: From the Era of the Creepiest Cartoons
Manor On Movies--Clegg (1970)
Plans for Nigel: The Crunch... and Other Stories on DVD
   
 
  Boy Named Charlie Brown, A Good GriefBuy this film here.
Year: 1969
Director: Bill Melendez
Stars: Peter Robbins, Pamelyn Ferdin, Glenn Gilger, Andy Pforsich, Sally Dryer, Ann Altieri, Erin Sullivan, Bill Melendez
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Animated
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: If young Charlie Brown (voiced by Peter Robbins) didn't have bad luck, he'd have no luck at all, and this gets him down. Take the time he tried to make a kite, he assembled it properly, but it collapsed when he took it outside; undeterred, he made another one, but couldn't get it to fly and when it finally did take off, it flew out of his hands and started buzzing him like a haywire, remote controlled aeroplane until it crashed. Then there's his local junior baseball team, of which he is a member: they haven't won a game all season, and now there are dandelions on the pitcher's mound. Will nothing break Charlie's run of ill fortune?

A Boy Named Charlie Brown was, of course, adapted by Charles M. Schulz from his celebrated comic strip and merchandising empire which still endures to this day and comfortably outlasts its creator. The age old question about the strip is whether it is intended for children or adults; the adults don't use the Snoopy lunchboxes, but the children don't get the subtleties and ironies of the humour, which takes the form of a sort of philosophical despair at the world, and Charlie's inability to be anything other than a feeling-sorry-for-himself loser. Perhaps "loser" is a little harsh, underachiever might be kinder.

Nevertheless, "loser" is the opinion of the boy's classmates and only his best friend Linus (Glenn Gilger) remains optimistic about his chances, even if his loyalty is tested during this film. Most of the Peanuts gang are present, but some are noticeably missing, with Snoopy's accomplice Woodstock nowhere to be seen, and how come the piano playing Schroeder gets a whole musical number to show off his talents when Peppermint Patty appears for mere seconds in a non-speaking role? There's no Marcie, either. There is a nod towards Disney in the film's efforts to incorporate songs and music, along with some trippy visuals that are indicative of the times and a "words" set piece that looks better suited to The Phantom Tollbooth.

A story eventually emerges, but not after Charlie Brown is put through the mill of depression after going to see Lucy (Pamelyn Ferdin) for a psychiatry session. She points out his shortcomings in a not terribly helpful manner, and video records her patient's attempts to kick a football, which, as is traditional, she pulls away at the last moment leaving him a crumpled heap on the ground. After being demeaned in song, Charlie has a moment of inspiration in school - he will enter the spelling bee to prove himself and provide a rebuttal to the taunts he endures. After getting words like "failure" to spell (talk about rubbing it in) he succeeds in front of the whole class.

However, Charlie soon learns the price of success which takes the wind out of his sails. Having won in class, he is sent on to the national spelling bee finals, and the pressure is on; Lucy dreams of being his agent and taking her own sizeable cut of his profits, and Linus gives him his beloved security blanket as a good luck talisman. Will Charlie silence his critics and be spelling champion? Well, what do you think? In the meantime, Linus is missing his blanket so much he's suffering fainting spells, and Charlie learns that not being the underachiever for once means that people's expectations of you are much higher. The film captures the spirit of the comics without adding much to it, but has a measure of whimsical, sympathetic charm in its favour. Music, as in the first few Peanuts television specials, by Vince Guaraldi, with songs by Rod McKuen.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5812 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Keith Rockmael
Paul Shrimpton
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: