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Peanuts Deluxe Edition: Touchdown Charlie Brown on DVD in Time for Super Bowl

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As NFL fans from coast to coast gear up for Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seahawks and the Broncos (as a Seattleite I have only two words: Go Denver!), families can revel in the football-themed Peanuts Deluxe Edition: Touchdown Charlie Brown!. Now on DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the release contains the 1977 TV special, It’s Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown. There are also three episodes of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show as bonus material (though they’re all mislabeled on the DVD menu).

Keep in mind, this special has been on DVD previously, first in 2003 as part of Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (reissued in 2008) and again in 2011 on Peanuts: 1970s Collection Vol. 2. At any rate, the 24-minute special was the first to be produced following the untimely passing of jazz great Vince Guaraldi. It was Guaraldi who composed the famous “Linus and Lucy” theme and many other classic pieces heard throughout 17 Peanuts specials. Ed Bogas and Judy Munsen assumed scoring duties, though Guaraldi’s inimitable theme still opens It’s Your First Kiss.

Peanuts First Kiss.jpgThe special is a good one, featuring some of Lucy’s most vicious antagonizing of poor, hapless Charlie Brown. For the big Homecoming football game, Lucy deploys her signature move (pulling the ball away just as Charlie’s about to kick it) several times. The game is lost and, as always, Charlie Brown is humiliated. The “first kiss” of the title occurs between Charlie and the Little Red-Haired Girl of his dreams at the Homecoming Dance. But a rather unfortunate turn of events keeps this event from being the triumph it should be.

Whereas these bargain-priced Peanuts DVDs usually include one or two bonus specials, Touchdown generously includes three episodes of the The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show. Despite originally airing between 1983 and 1986, the series lasted only two short seasons for a total of 18 episodes. The show took its plotlines directly from Peanuts creator Charles Schulz’s comic strips.

Peanuts Charlie Brown Snoopy Show.jpgThough listed as episode three, the first one included on the DVD is the show’s premiere episode. It’s actually baseball-themed, rather than football, which is kind of weird. Another big error is made when the DVD lists episode ten, when in fact the included episode is number four (another baseball-themed outing). Strike three (since these are baseball-centric) occurs when the DVD lists episode 12, when the actual episode is 11. At least this one has a football segment instead of just baseball. Perhaps someone who put together the DVD was going by production date rather than air date.

Oddly, the DVD also includes a trailer for (among other titles) a reissue of the Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown DVD which, as mentioned, includes the main attraction of Touchdown Charlie Brown! (the 1977 special It’s Your First Kiss). In other words, I think Warner is starting to run out of ways to repackage these specials.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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