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“Peanuts 1970's Collection, Volume 2 ”
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner
Release Date:
Special Features:



The lovable loser Charlie Brown captured America’s hearts in Charles Schulz’s original comic strips. The animated versions stayed true to Schulz’s original strips in concept and spirit elaborating with more complex plots that Schulz could not have carried on in his daily strip. Throughout the 1960’s the original “Peanuts” specials continued to garner excellent ratings even in reruns so it’s no surprise that CBS commissioned animator Bill Mendez to continue the traditional throughout the 70’s. “The 1970’s Collection, Volume 2” features six of the TV specials beginning in 1975 and concluding with the last one produced in 1979. While not a lot changed in the world of the Peanuts gang, the shows continued to stay true to the concerns and issues that were at the heart of the classic cartoons produced during the 60’s as well as the original strip. ***

“Be My Valentine”, “You’re A Good Sport, Charlie Brown (both 1975), “It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown”, “it’s Your First Kiss Charlie Brown” (1976), “What A Nightmare, Charlie Brown”, “You’re The Greatest, Charlie Brown” (1978 and 1979 respectively) all carry on the tradition of amusing stories involving these lovable characters with a message that doesn’t overwhelm the medium. That’s what’s special about the Charlie Brown specials—there IS a clear message in the scripts but they are told with such entertaining characters that the producers don’t beat us over the head wit them. ---

Image & Sound:

All the specials look quite nice—colors pop and detail remains fairly consistent throughout. Blacks are inky and solid throughout comparing well to Paramount’s previous releases of this title. Warner Brothers who currently hold the license for the specials has done a exceptional job on this set improving on the image transfer seen in the previous collections in small but subtle ways. ***

Dialogue is consistently clear throughout except in two specials were the dialogue is briefly muffled. I’m not exactly sure why this occurred and there’s no technical notes regarding this. It could simply be damage to the original dialogue tracks that Warner wasn’t able to repair or a transfer problem either way these are the only notable flaws here. ---

Special Features:

We get an excellent featurette on the production of the 70’s specials entitled “You’re Groovy, Charlie Brown” which features interviews with Jean Schulz (Charles’ widow), his son Craig, producer Lee Mendelson, animator Alexis Farjado and others discussing everything from the characters to the production of the specials. ***

A commentary track would have been interesting and helpful but we don’t get any. ---

Final Words:

An exceptionally nice job (except for the two specials that have some garbled dialogue in two brief sequences), this set sounds and looks extremely good. Fans should note that all but one of these specials were previously released in deluxe single editions and the special features from those sets unfortunately have not been ported over here. So if you’re buying this to get the single (“Valentine”) special that hadn’t previously been released to home video you may want to keep your previous DVDs for those special features.


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