Tuesday, Dec 20, 2011
by Ned Wazowski
A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965
“I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It's not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.”
The holiday season hasn’t really begun until the Christmas Specials start running. And what better to kick it off with than A Charlie Brown Christmas?
The first animated Peanuts special, from Warner Bros./UPA animator Bill Melendez, seemed to be poised on the verge of failure. The tight budget meant some corners had to be cut during production, and working with the child voice actors was difficult – many of them had no experience and some of them couldn’t even read. Studio executives fought over the story elements, and even hated the Vince Guaraldi soundtrack.
Audiences, fortunately, displayed better judgment and the special has become a success, going on to win Emmy and Peabody awards. The special has been broadcast every year since it first aired, to the delight of little trees everywhere.
Lucy Van Pelt: I know how you feel about all this Christmas business, getting depressed and all that. It happens to me every year. I never get what I really want. I always get a lot of stupid toys or a bicycle or clothes or something like that.
Charlie Brown: What is it you want?
Lucy Van Pelt: Real estate.
The fish sticks sold by Oberpfaffendorfer in the early 1900s were very different from the...