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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving could become a great family tradition

Updated on November 21, 2011

When you think about Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts gang, two particular things typically come to mind: A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. They've easily been accepted into classic American holiday celebrations for decades now. From Snoopy's little "I gotta pee" dance to Charlie Brown's pillowcase full of rocks. From staying up in a pumpkin patch to choosing the most pathetic Christmas tree you'll ever see. These holiday specials are beloved by children of all ages.

But there's also A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and it deserves real recognition too. It doesn't have quite the same level of instantly classic scenes, but it still has charm. And it does have one thing going for it that the other two don't: lack of competition.

When I made my month long blast of Halloween-themed movies, there were oh so many that I had to leave off of my list. And as I plan out what I'm going to do for Christmas, the same issue keeps popping up. But try to name ten well-known Thanksgiving movies. There are those that simply have a scene set around Thanksgiving, but even then, I bet you're having a hard time filling up the list.

Not that this one wouldn't be able to hold its own against real competition. The Peanuts specials work because, still after all these years, they're very unique and iconic.

For one thing, the decision to use actual children to voice the characters rather than adults playing children creates quite a unique sound to the recordings. Some of the children, for instance, couldn't even read, and had to be prompted for their lines a few words at a time.

And if you get it on DVD, at least with the DVD release I got, it comes with an episode of the 1988 series "This is America Charlie Brown". It's titled The Mayflower Voyagers and is about the first Thanksgiving with the Peanuts gang playing the roles of some of the Pilgrim children.

Both shorts together come to just under an hour long and they can be used to distract the children and provide parents with just enough time to clean up some of those Thanksgiving spills in time for pie and more spills.

This one gets a 7 / 10.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is unrated and has nothing at all objectionable, except for promoting the idea that popcorn, pretzels and jelly beans can be a well-rounded dinner.


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