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Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown (2011)

Austin Lux , Amanda Pace , Andy Beall , Frank Molieri  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Austin Lux, Amanda Pace, Trenton Rogers, Grace Rolek, Shane Baumel
  • Directors: Andy Beall, Frank Molieri
  • Writers: Craig Schulz, Stephan Pastis
  • Producers: Margaret M. Dean, Craig Schulz, Stephan Pastis, Paige Braddock, Linda M. Steiner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 46 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004H83IIM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,673 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Linus is pushed to his limits when he learns grandma is coming to visit and plans on ridding him of his childish security blanket. As grandma’s arrival looms closer the Peanuts gang tries to help Linus learn to cope without his fuzzy crutch. Lucy is particular eager to cure Linus’ dependency using her own psychiatric techniques, and while Charlie Brown tries to help he just doesn’t have the heart to see Linus suffer. All the while Snoopy is constantly agitating matters because he wants the blanket for himself. In the end, insightful Linus points out that everyone has their own type of “security blanket” and in life a little security is a valuable thing.

More than a decade after Charles Schulz's death (February 2000), his strip continues in reruns and the characters can be seen everywhere. But the key artists who made the classic TV specials have passed away, and their absence is evident in Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown. The film was cowritten by Schulz's son Craig and Pearls Before Swine creator Stephan Pastis, who based it on two old continuities about Lucy trying to break Linus of his blanket habit. In early 1961, she buried it; she made the blanket into a kite that blew out to sea in mid-1962. Those stories don't really mesh, and the slack direction by Andy Beall and Frank Molieri doesn't help. The film rambles amiably but aimlessly, pausing at familiar scenes of Shroeder playing Beethoven, Charlie Brown trying to fly a kite, and Lucy at her psychiatry stand, but it never attains a sense of momentum. The well-known characters sound cross and sarcastic--more like the cast of Pastis's edgy, mean-spirited Pearls than Schulz's whimsical creation. Mark Mothersbaugh's score lacks the upbeat charm of Vince Guaraldi's classic jazz tracks, and the animation is uneven. During one of the many false endings of Warm Blanket, Linus stands atop Snoopy's doghouse and decries the insecurities of Lucy, Sally, Schroeder, and Charlie Brown in a moment that's completely out of character. Is this really supposed to be the Linus who set the tone for years of specials when he quietly recited the Gospel of St. Luke in A Charlie Brown Christmas? (Unrated: suitable for ages 5 and older) --Charles Solomon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Did This Get Made? April 1, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Here are a few important things to know about Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown:

* There are no pop culture references or cheery pop songs. The music isn't rehashed or remixed Vince Guaraldi tunes -- it's warm, reminiscent and composed by Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO fame.
* The Peanuts gang has not been "rebooted," "rebranded," or remodeled in 3D CGI. The hand-drawn characters are a seemingly clever blend of Schultz's originals and Melendez's specials. The camera moves are subtle, with a few clever twists that seem perfectly fit into the narrative (including a Snoopy vulture point-of-view).
* The Peanuts do not fight social ills, or attempt to grow an organic garden or welcome a strange newcomer to town. There are no self-congratulatory messages about the kids being "special" or needing to build their "self-esteem." (Not that any of these things are wrong in their own right, but the messages in the film, as in Schultz's strip, are subtle, gentle and belong to the viewer, not the creators)
* The film is an absolute pleasure to anyone who values Schultz's work, the Melendez specials, and/or their childhood from the 1960s through 1970s. And the really cool thing: hip preschoolers dig it too (at least mine did).

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how Warners let this get made. It's counter-intuitive to every decision entertainment executives have made in the last twenty years regarding children's entertainment. They most have lost a bet, or taken a dare, or something. But here's my message to the people who got this DVD produced: thank you. I sincerely hope there's more to come.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happiness is, Happiness is a Warm Blanket March 29, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Happiness Is a Warm Blanket Charlie Brown was highly anticipated, and it does not disappoint. If you're looking for a light, fun animated Peanuts special in line with all of the holiday classics, Happiness Is a Warm Blanket Charlie Brown is NOT it. It is, however, perhaps the most true reproduction of Schulz' Peanuts comic strip I've seen in animation.

Cartoonist Stephan Pastis' (Pearls Before Swine) writing is very much felt in the darker more melancholy mood of some of the scenes in this film. This reflects the darker tones present in the Peanuts comic strip in a very honest way that hasn't been done in any of the previous Peanuts animation.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of this film is the painstaking efforts to harken back to Peanuts golden age, effectively freezing the characters as they looked and sounded in 1964. The beautiful way in which this was accomplished almost makes this film a period piece.

One hopes that there will be many other new Peanuts animated productions of this caliber from the Craig Schulz/Stephan Pastis production team.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happiness Is A New Peanuts Special, Charlie Brown February 22, 2011
Another peanuts special has been produced and is now coming to DVD (and Blu-ray for those interested in that). Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown is a great new special for those who love Peanuts specials or those who love wholesome family entertainment. While, admittedly, nothing can capture the magic and pure simplicity of the original specials (from the 60's and early 70's) this new special comes awfully close and comes highly recommended.

The story:

Linus learns his Grandma is coming to visit and plans to rid him of his blue security blanket. As her visit draws closer Lucy and the rest of the Peanuts gang try to help Linus learn to cope without his blanket. Lucy attempts to use her psychiatric service and good old Charlie Brown tries to help in his own way but can't stand to see his best friend Linus suffer. While all this is going on our favorite beagle has motives to obtain the blanket for himself. In the end Linus realizes that everyone has their own "security blanket" and isn't a little security is a good thing?

A great story based on a Charlz Schultz original.

The Specifications:

Anamorphic Widescreen (1:78:1 Aspect Ratio). English Dolby Digital 5.1 sound or Spanish Stereo

The Special Features:

Deconstucting Schulz: From Comic Strips to Screenplay - How the Peanuts comic strip was made into a special

Happiness is...Finding the Right Voice - Meet the stellar new voice cast (Peanuts Specials, for those who may not know, have always employed children actors for the voices).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I hardly know where to start with this one. When this came out,my first reaction was "another not so great new Peanuts special" like the ones they've put out since around 2000. You know how it is,you're raised on the old school classics,and the newer ones they've put out the past years or so,eh. Still cool to see the old strips put to movable "skits",but still,not the same as the ones we grew up with

Then I read online how it was REALLY well done and totally made in the style of the old specials. I just got through watching it,and I'm telling you,it's seriously like if they found an old lost early 70's Peanuts special. The look & feel is just like the classic ones. They went above and beyond to make this as basically an homage to old school Peanuts. not just in the style,but in all the great references. As Snoopy's scanning the neighborhood looking for Linus and his blanket,there's Freida and her cat Faron. Then the 2 dancing twins from A Charlie Brown Xmas jumping rope. Then Shermy & Patty(not Peppermint) playing in the sandbox

There's a GREAT part where Linus asks Charlie Brown if he has any bad moments in his past that would require a security blanket (or something like that) and it shows in 2 color flashbacks so many great classic 'poor Chuck" moments including the animated version of the very first Peanuts strip ever [...] but in the 70's style

There was not ONE SINGLE to reference to anything from present day. It was an incredible mix of the classic 70's Peanuts special style & super polished top notch animation. You could tell it was a top drawer newer production but you completely felt the old school vibe 100%.
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