Monday, December 08, 2008

You're A Genius Charlie Brown!

Could there be any other Christmas special more endearing, timeless and heart-warming than "A Charlie Brown Christmas?" I can't bring myself to make one snarky or disparaging remark about this classic Christmas special. Not even about the choppy. broken. halting. dialogue that must have come from hours of coercing those child actors with Necco Wafers and the promise of polyester jumpers. Okay, so maybe one snarky comment.
Just seeing the little forest of angular brightly colored trees and the watercolor soaked joy of those backgrounds makes me melt away as if I had been dipped in some magic inkwell. There is, however, one very special moment in this film (twice to be precise), that is my favorite of all.
The Christmas play rehearsal. I think you know where I am going with this. Eight totally cool kids dancing without abandon to the funky beat of their own drummer. There's the girl who continually looks at her right hand, then her left hand, then her right hand (WTF!). The boy in green doing the "Sleep Walk," and of course the happy bobsie twins! My favorite though is the little guy in the orange shirt. Best. Dancer. Ever. Charlie. Brown.

It's hard to imagine just what kind of environment those United Features Syndicate animators were working in back then, or what they were thinking exactly; but for 43 years, they have kept the Christmas spirit alive for millions of little kids across the globe...and for yours truly, a stocking stuffed with slick dance moves.


Gashapon said...

Holla! Wonderfully written. Did I ever mention I was a member of official Peanuts fan club?

Beta Mike said...

Say it ain't so! I keep forgetting how much I love the Peanuts characters. I think that they are probably one of the best intellectual properties out there. It's just that there was a period of time when they weren't in control of their licensing and they pretty much got bastardized in the market.

But all is forgiven now and I would die for Charlie Brown.