Monday, November 14, 2016

I've got a lovely bunch of "Peanuts"

(0:36-end mark from the theme from the final season of American Gladiators original run play the camera moves back to see James on top of the slab with the words “The Last Of The Americans” on it then cutting to The Last Of The Americans)

TLOTA: I'm James Faraci The Last Of The Americans and the views that I'm about to express are that of my own and some of yours. (Cut to clips of the Charlie Brown Specials as "Linus & Lucy" play in the foreground and James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (Voiceover): Oh How many of us wished Charlie Brown kicked that elusive football that Lucy pulled away every single time. How many of us wished we had a beagle like Snoopy. How many of us had those feelings we could relate to Chuck or Linus. And yes, my associate The Rowdy Reviewer has done reviews on the Specials and made mention to movies based on the Peanuts Comic Strip. That's right, there are movies based on the beloved characters created by Charles M. Schulz and every one of them are amazingly incredible. (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: And guess what I'm reviewing all of them. The qualifications is that they HAD to have been theatrically released and it HAD to be made specifically for a theatrical run AND I WILL TRY to keep the Spoilers down to the most bare minimum! With that said let's start off with "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" (Cut to clips of the movie as James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (Voiceover): Released the same year "It Was A Short Summer, Charlie Brown" aired on CBS, 1969.  The film centers on Charlie Brown as he discovers his talent for Spelling and everyone encouraging him to develop that skill as it takes him to friggin' NEW YORK CITY for a National Spelling Bee championship! While I won't spoil the ending let me say that after the twist when Charlie Brown comes home, he takes what happens SO HARD it takes Linus saying "The world didn't end because of what happened" that he actually decides to get back out there and this also is the first time we hear possibly the best interpretation of the Charlie Brown "ARUGH!" and let me say the Animation is awesome but there are some moments in which it gets....Trippy! For example, What was up with the animation for the Star Spangled Banner moment? Or how about when Charlie Brown is in the National Spelling Bee finals! We only see a brown background Charlie Brown & the other contestants from the shoulders up! There's actually a video on youtube that has music that just adds to the creepy when the kids are eliminated ONE BY ONE until it's just him and one kid then as the rest of the Peanuts save for Linus & Snoopy who just so happen to be in the audience are watching on the TV when we see Charlie's head! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?! But overall it is an amazing movie about a kid we all can relate to, A Boy Named Charlie Brown! (Cut to the ending in which Charlie Brown tries once again to kick that damned Football only for Lucy to pull it away before cutting to James physically)

TLOTA: Because this movie was successful Charles Schulz took his time to make the follow up to it just as enjoyable but not with as much trippy animation with "Snoopy Come Home"(Cut to clips of the movie as James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (Voiceover):  The film focuses on Snoopy as he goes to find his original owner, A Girl named Lila who is in the hospital and all of the misadventures he has with Woodstock who just so happens to Debut in this movie and in the special released the same year "You're not elected Charlie Brown" aired, 1972 though in the Comic Strips he had been around since the early 1960's unnamed though. Also interesting is who does the music and it wasn't Vince Guaraldi. It was in fact The Sherman Brothers! Yes, the same duo who brought Disney some of it's greatest songs tried to do the voodoo they can do with the Peanuts gang and they made some great songs, need proof look up The episode of "Music Movies" which Paw talks about the music and the movie in much better detail. Another interesting note about this movie is that this movie is credited as the last film produced by Cinema Center Films and one of the last released by it's distributer National General Films and the movies they made would be a part of Paramount's library a few years later. And again the animation is awesome I swear if you pause this movie and "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" at the right still frame it looks like a piece of art! That is how freaking amazing the artistry in the animation is in these movies. However there was one moment that made me, a conservative Republican WANT TO CALL PETA AND HAVE THEM GIVE A LITTLE GIRL SOME HELL FOR WHAT SHE DID TO SNOOPY & WOODSTOCK! THAT IS HOW VICIOUS IT IS! DON'T BELIEVE ME. WATCH FOR YOURSELF! (Cut to the Clip in which Clara torment Woodstock & Snoopy before cutting to James physically)

TLOTA: Again CALL PETA!(Cut to clips of the movie as James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (Voiceover): But despite that moment there is a reason that this movie is still so awesome that I put it on I can sit back, relax & enjoy it for all the Jasmine Tea in China! Because it is just an awesomely animated movie. (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: But fans would have to wait five years for the next movie between Vince Guaraldi's passing and as I said before Cinema Center Films having been absorbed by Paramount would we get the next movie which came out in 1977 the same year the Peanuts special.... Wait which special aired that year? (Cut to the Opening credit scene of "It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown" is shown as Dramatic music is heard before cutting to James grabbing a bottle of Liquid I.Q. and downing it in a breath before cutting to the movie as James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (Voiceover): "Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown" was possibly one of those great movies that for a long time wasn't available on DVD or Blu-Ray that is until 2015. Possibly having been released in time for the final movie that I will be reviewing but it was out in the home market on VHS & CED. The Film shows the Peanuts gang going to Summer Camp and the gang have to outwit Bullies who want to show their dominance over Charlie Brown, Sally, Lucy & Linus Van Pelt, Schroder, Franklin, Peppermint Patty and Marcie. Both who made their first appearances cinematically in this movie but Marcie made her TV Debut in the 1973 Special "No Time For Love, Charlie Brown" and in the comic strip in July 1971 and Peppermint Patty made her TV Debut with "You're in Love, Charlie Brown" in 1967 and in the Comic Strip in 1966 the major bulk of the movie involves a river race that nearly gets the Peanuts blown up, tossed down a waterfall and trapped on a Water Wheel and throughout all of this Charlie Brown gets blamed but also develops leadership skills in the process that everyone says Charlie needs to develop and again not going to spoil the ending to this movie but let me say there's a reason why people love this movie and for some is considered one of the best animated movies ever made and I can see why. Give it a watch and you'll know why.(Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: And three years later the same year "She's A Good Skate, Charlie Brown" & "Life is A Circus, Charlie Brown" we'd get the last movie with the Peanuts gang until 2015 with "Bon Voyage Charlie Brown" (Cut to clip of Lucy Van Pelt shouting "And Don't Come Back!" before cutting to James physically as he gives Lucy the EVIL EYE before cutting to the movie as James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (Voiceover): The plot involves Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Snoopy and Woodstock being foreign exchange students going over to France and in a sub plot involving Charlie Brown and where he's staying and who wrote Chuck a letter inviting him to stay at where he's staying while Charlie Brown in France and that is as far as I dare go without giving EVERYTHING away. But I will say that like all the other movies up to this point the Animation is AMAZING! And even though Vince Guaraldi passed away Ed Bogus and Judy Munsen did an incredible job by invoking the way Vince Guaraldi's musicality is done in this and in "Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown". Plus there's something incredible that would eventually happen a little more in certain specials and some of the episodes of the "This is America, Charlie Brown" miniseries!

Ticket Agent: Tickets Please!

TLOTA (Voiceover): You heard correctly! The Adults in this movie are actually seen and heard! They are NOT just simply trombone Waa-Waas! We hear the adults as humans. As a kid who had seen a ton of the Specials hearing the Adults as Trombone Waa-Waa was pretty common so hearing the adult characters as no different as we could hear Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang was a bit of a shock for me when I was younger. But it doesn't detract from me LOVING this movie. Especially when Linus steps up with that Blanket of his and rescues a girl staying at the Chateau Charlie and Linus are unwelcomed guests at. Seriously, I was playing "Holding Out For A Hero" by Bonnie Tyler throughout that whole time that is how incredible Linus and that Security Blanket was! If Lucy hadn't been written out by the end of the  first act of the movie She would've been so surprised that she might hold the football long enough for Charlie Brown to kick it by the end of "Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown" even if it was a post credit scene. But I digress "Bon Voyage Charlie Brown" remains not only one of my favorite movies of all time but possibly one of the best movies and specials featuring The Peanuts Gang. (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: It's just a shame that we had to wait 35 years, which happens to be most of MY Life, a good fifteen years after Charles Schulz passed away in 2000, Nearly 13 combined years of my nieces lives and nearly three of them belonged to their little sister for the next movie and was it worth the wait? What do you think? (Cut to the title card of "The Peanuts Movie" as "Linus & Lucy" play in the foreground and James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (Voiceover): "The Peanuts Movie" for me IS the movie of 2015! And up until the movie came out I was afraid it was going to be a bastardization of everything Charles Schulz and his creations stands for! (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: As a matter of fact I made a checklist as to unfortunately what passes for "Family Entertainment in Movies" and just to see if it fails or passes. Okay, CGI Animation (Cut to a Still of the movie as it gets a check and a ding is heard before cutting back to James.)

TLOTA: Needless Pop Music in the soundtrack (Cut to the cover of "The Peanuts Movie" soundtrack before a Buzzer and a ding is heard before cutting to James physically)

TLOTA: WHAT? How much Pop Music is in the soundtrack (Cut to the Cover of "The Peanuts Movie" soundtrack as a ding is heard and the words "Two songs" is seen before cutting to James physically)

TLOTA: Okay, Celebrities being in this movie. There has to be pointless celebrity cameos. How many are there? (Cut to a Still of the movie as a ding is heard and the words Kristin Chenoweth as "Fifi" before cutting to James physically)

TLOTA: One? Just One? Okay how about the rating? It HAS to be rated PG in order for it to pass as "A Family Movie" (Cut to a Still of the movie as a Buzzer is heard before cutting to James physically)

TLOTA: WOW It's not rated PG? Then how could it succeed if it was rated G?(Cut to clips of the movie as James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (Voiceover): Simply put, it succeeded because it stayed true to everything Charles Schulz did! This is one of the few adaptations that was done correctly. Plus there are little nods and touches in this movie that made it more memorable. Like notice the names on the moving truck that the Little Red Haired Girl's Family stuff is in? "Melendez/Mendelson"? An Obvious nod to the Animation team that headed all the specials and the other movies Lee Mendelson & Bill Melendez. While I'm speaking about Bill Melendez archived recordings made by Melendez who voiced Snoopy & Woodstock are used as the voices of Snoopy & Woodstock in this movie. Then there is the plot of this movie. A Self-Discovery Journey in which being the best self you CAN be is Yourself and by staying true to yourself you can achieve greatness. That's a rare moral in a family film! If you haven't seen this movie then WHAT ARE YOU DOING SITTING CHECKING ME OUT? GET THIS MOVIE ON BLU-RAY, DVD & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD! (Cut to James calming down)

TLOTA: Sorry it's just that this movie has to be a part of everyone's movie collection as a matter of fact ALL of the movies starring Charlie Brown and The Peanuts Gang should be a part of everyone's movie collections. (Cut to clips of the Charlie Brown/Peanuts movies as "Linus & Lucy" play in the foreground and James does a voiceover)

TLOTA (Voiceover): Because they're so incredible they shouldn't be forgotten. The Animation is amazing, The Music is amazing, the plots are so incredible anyone ages one to 101 can understand them. The voice acting by the kids are impeccable and there is literally nothing else I can say to give these movies the praise they've earned. Except Get them on DVD, Blu-Ray or Digital Download and give them a watch. It's worth all the Peanuts in the world! (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: I'm James Faraci The Last Of The Americans and (Waa-Waas sound are heard that sounds like "That's My Opinion!"with subtitles saying "That's My Opinon" then James looks around before looking down at the subtitles as James does more Waa-Waas  and the subtitles say "This is gonna be something I'm going to have to get used to." as James walks away)

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