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Peanuts - This Is America, Charlie Brown

4.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Jun 13, 2006)
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$29.98 $19.40

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This is America, Charlie Brown, the series is a special 2 disc set containing all 8 episodes of everyone’s favorite peanuts pals traveling through time to visit important places and events in American History. This release is both entertaining and educational.

An eight-part series from 1988, This Is America, Charlie Brown sets the familiar "Peanuts" characters into scenes of American history: on the Mayflower, at the signing of the Constitution, at Kitty Hawk with the Wright Brothers, on the NASA space station, etc. Mostly written by Charles M. Schulz and produced by the team of Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez, it's a mix of cartoon humor (Lucy will pull the football away in any era, and Ben Franklin can actually get Charlie Brown's kite in the air to discover electricity) and history lessons that are sort of like Schoolhouse Rock but longer and drier. Vince Guaraldi's famous music is now performed by jazz veterans Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, and David Benoit, plus pianist George Winston. A few episodes are structured a little differently, giving overviews of inventors (Alexander Graham Bell's telephone, Edison's phonograph), the Smithsonian and the presidency (Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt), and musicians (Stephen Foster, Scott Joplin). In the dullest episode, Charlie Brown narrates the building of the Transcontinental Railroad action in the form of a school report, and it feels like one. Endless recycled footage of people driving spikes alternated with vintage photographs splashed with pastel colors is somewhat rescued by the nice use of American classic songs performed by the Winans. This Is America, Charlie Brown isn't the most entertaining "Peanuts" you'll ever watch, but it's not bad as a sneaky way to teach history to kids. (One installment, "The Mayflower Voyagers," was previously released on the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving DVD.) --David Horiuchi

Special Features

  • Disc One: The Mayflower Voyagers, The Birth of the Constitution, The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, The NASA Space Station
  • Disc Two: The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad, The Great Inventors, The Smithsonian and the Presidency, The Music and Heroes of America

Product Details

  • Actors: Bill Melendez, Erin Chase, Jason Mendelson, Brandon Stewart, Gregg Berger
  • Directors: Sam Jaimes
  • Writers: Charles M. Schulz
  • Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 13, 2006
  • Run Time: 194 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ERVJN6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,363 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Peanuts - This Is America, Charlie Brown" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is a great way to teach your children about American history. This Is America, Charlie Brown was an 8 part miniseries in 1988-89. In it, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Peppermint Patty, Sally, Lucy, Linus, Marcie and others travelled back in time to witness events like the dreary Mayflower voyage, the signing of the Constitution, Ben Franklin discovering electricity, the Depression of the 1930's, the building of the Transcontinental Railroad and the Wright brothers' 1st flight. In addition, the Peanuts gang took a trip in outer space, travelled to the Smithsonian Institution, paid tribute to many American musicians like Scott Joplin and Stephen Foster and got to meet George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, Squanto, Alexander Graham Bell and others. Some "purists" may object to the showing of adults in an animated special but the caricatures of some of the famous historical figures look like something Charles Schulz would've drawn. This features music from Dave Brubeck, George Winston, the Winans, Lou Rawls, Ed Bogas, Wynton Marsalis, David Grusin and David Benoit (and of course, lots of standards from the late Vince Guaraldi). Enjoy the history lesson and try to be patient until July, when this video collection is released!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Charlie Brown and Snoopy and the rest take viewers on an eight episode tour of highlights in America's history (well, seven, and one look to the future, at Nasa's then current plans of a manned space station, which here becomes a fun adventure for the Peanuts kids.) The best of these episodes put Charlie Brown and the rest into entertaining retellings of events in history, such as The Birth of the Constitution and The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, or have the kids talking to historical figures like Alexander Graham Bell and Abraham Lincoln. Some of the episodes try to cover perhaps a bit too much material through narration by Charlie Brown and the others, which takes a bit away from episodes like The Mayflower Voyagers and The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad. The mini-series ends with a look at The Music and Heroes of America, in a co-production by Schroeder and Lucy (which was certainly NOT Schroeder's idea!) This was certainly a departure for Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez's long line of TV specials based on Schulz's famous comic strip, but for the most part they turned out well. In a few of these episodes, the drawing is a little sloppy, but not totally unwatchable. There are a lot of good character moments in these shows as well as all those facts...Snoopy and woodstock trying on powdered wigs in the Constitution episode, Charlie Brown loaning Ben Franklin a kite, Lucy pulling her old football gag on Charlie Brown in the Nasa Space Station and a lot more...One of my favorite parts is seeing just who drove the golden spike that connected the railroads (according to Schulz, anyway) I won't spoil it here, watch it yourself!
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Format: DVD
There are often times where the comics have done really well at projecting a great deal of joy and entertainment to so many young hearts. That has been the feeling with the Peanuts cast for so many eras. While the comic strips the late Charles Schultz have drawn for all throughout his lifetime, and until his retirement in 2000, continue to entertain al ages, the televisions specials have also gained a lot into the light as well such as A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Snoopy's Reunion. When it came to the moments of history, Schultz put them as if they were at those gracious eras too. Now, that series is on DVD for the first time.

This Is America Charlie Brown, the 1988 eight episode series take so many great moments as told by Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang. The collection includes special moments from the original flights at Kitty Hawk from the Wright Brothers, to the moments of NASA and the history of space, and the moment the pilgrims have stepped off The Mayflower. The collection of episodes from the CBS mini-series has been restored very well, and the animation looks and sounds better than ever. It still continues to enetertain for all ages, and portraits a lot of history that still hasn't been described enough in classrooms today.

All in all, This Is America Charlie Brown is a great DVD package for anybody who loves the Peanuts series from television, or for anyone who hasn't yet read even the comic strips. I loved watching this when I was seven years old, and I still enjoy the shows today.

Episodes: B

Price: A-

Remastering: B+

Educational Value: B+

Packaging: B+

Overall: B 1/2+
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Format: DVD
Let's face it, Peanuts has been slow getting onto DVD. Fortunately the holiday specials are out (and on the DVDs include extra shows). I'm still waiting for The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show from 1983 to hit DVD. Some viewers didn't like it, but I did because even when it missed (and it often hit) it had the same pacing as the comic (as did Garfield and Friends which began in 1988) which is so distinctive of the best Peanuts specials.

These eight specials ran on Nick under the umbrella title "You're on Nickelodeon, Charlie Brown" and made it out on VHS. This double DVD set saves more than $60 off the cost of the VHS videos. Pardon the 'e' word, but it's very educational. The shows are very different one from another. I very much liked the NASA space station show, which is sort of like a Peanuts take on the History Channel. But this set costs less than two of the VHS tapes, so it's like you get six shows free.

Of the 75 half hour Peanuts specials, some of the best had an educational bent, such as "What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?" about D-Day, which won a Peabody Award. The four best known specials are the feature length ones: "A Boy Named Charlie Brown", "Snoopy Come Home", "Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown" and "Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown". Then there was the live action Broadway musical, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," which I saw recently in its current revival. Charles Schultz didn't originally like the name "Peanuts" which was foisted on him by the syndicate. But like that addictive snack food, at least some of us can't get enough of his comic creations. Here's hoping more of them make it to DVD soon.
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Out of print and hundreds of dollars?!?
Sellers always try to capitalize on out of print titles. However, the joke's on them because this is being reissued in June 2014.
Apr 10, 2014 by Rushead 2112-Hemispheres |  See all 2 posts
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