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I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown

4.6 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown might otherwise be called "Peanuts: The Next Generation" for its sprightly emphasis on Linus and Lucy's younger brother, Rerun, and his quest to be worthy of a pet pooch. Like a, well, dog with a bone, Rerun is intent on forging a happy friendship with a canine as cool as Charlie Brown's Snoopy--in fact, he keeps coming around to see if Snoopy wants to play. (Of course, Snoopy's idea of playing is making Rerun his co-pilot in the imaginary cockpit of his imaginary World War Ibomber.) This holiday season television special is not the wise, enduring classic that is 1965's A Charlie Brown Christmas, but it is charming and sweet, particularly when Snoopy's brother, the desert-dwelling Spike, comes to stay. Schroeder fans will enjoy the usual shtick between love-struck Lucy and the piano genius' detachment. --Tom Keogh

Special Features

  • Also includes "Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales" (2002)
  • "The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas" (2001)

Product Details

  • Actors: Jimmy Bennett (III), Hannah Leigh Dworkin, Adam Taylor Gordon, Kaitlyn Maggio, Bill Melendez
  • Directors: Bill Melendez, Larry Leichliter
  • Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: ABC Television Center
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 2004
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002V7O4C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,673 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
After reading some of the negative reviews posted here on Amazon, I decided to first watch this DVD myself before allowing my kids to see it. I found it to be delightful, even as I watched it a second time with my kids. The documentary on the making of A Charlie Brown Christmas is a nice extra, and I especially enjoyed the animated short "Christmas Tales".

I feel the need to address some of the other reviews. Yes, Rerun gets suspended for "harassment", but the word "sexual" is not used, for starters. I was worried I would have to explain that word to my kids. Wasn't an issue. The "harassment" consisted of Rerun suggesting, innocently and jokingly, to a disillusioned girl in his kindergarten class, that they run off to Paris. That's it. Not only does Rerun not know where Paris is, he doesn't have the first clue what it would mean to "run off" there. For her part, the girl thinks it's funny, so she tells her mom about it. Presumably her mother was the one who took issue with it and reported it to the school, who then took action (though it's possible that the mother thought it was funny and the school just over-reacted, who knows).

As for the comments regarding the "PC agenda", obviously those viewers either are new to Peanuts or they never understood what Peanuts was all about in the first place. It is exactly the OPPOSITE. Peanuts has always managed to weave social commentary into the fabric of what, on the surface, were always simple, charming tales of the everyday lives of a group of children. It was obvious to me that Rerun's being suspended was a swipe at today's sometimes ridiculous political correctness. And it was a subtle reminder that kids are often the "mature" ones in this world, and it's the adults that mess everything up.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 40-minute TV special tells the story of Rerun, Linus and Lucy's very cute younger brother (I loved the scenes with him stuck on the back of his mother's bicycle). As the smallest child he feels left out of playing around with the other kids and wishes for a dog for Xmas. He starts a great friendship with Snoopy but Charlie Brown is reluctant to let him go. I felt so sorry for Rerun. He's just so desperate for attention, to be taken seriously. He's got a lot of love inside him and needs a best friend to let it all out. Jimmy Bennett's voice acting is spot-on and makes him so real.

It's all harmless fun, if not completely in-disposable. I've made it a Xmas tradition already as well as the other seasonal Charlie Brown specials. Though the DVD is where the real worth comes in. Included is a decent documentary on the original Charlie Brown Christmas, with interviews with cast members and the filmmakers. Also included is Happy New Year, Charlie Brown in which Old blockhead gets nothing right. And nothing goes right for him either. This New Year themed special is no exception. All Chuck wants to do is prepare for a New Year's Eve party and ask out the little red-headed girl he's long had a crush on. Only his luck would land him with the task of reading War and Peace in just a few days with a book report due as soon as he goes back to school.

While the others are having fun, dancing, drinking root beer, and counting down to midnight Chuck can do nought but slave away through the pages of a Russian epic. You can't help but feel sorry for him. His bad luck doesn't end there though, or ever come to think of it.

Makes for a perfect double-bill with any of the Peanuts Xmas specials in the week between Dec 25th and Dec 31st.

The DVD is in 1.33:1 full frame, as drawn, with Dolby 2.0 sound.
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Format: DVD
This hour-long Christmas special aired on ABC in prime-time last year, and it's now out on DVD with two featurettes that were produced specifically to be tacked on to ABC's recent airings of "A Charlie Brown Christmas". One of them is a brief documentary on the creation of the original 1965 Christmas special with rarely-seen animation from the early sixties, making it a must-see for Peanuts historians.

There's no underlying religious theme here - just a string of family-friendly gags recycled from strips dating back to the sixties. The only thing here that might confuse your pre-schooler is why any parent would name their kid "Rerun". (It's actually a nickname; Lucy felt alienated when Linus was born, and she experienced a "rerun" of those feelings when her new baby brother joined the family. The kid's real name has never been revealed.)

Long-time Peanuts fans are making unflattering comparisons between this special and the 1965 holiday classic, but I think there's room on your shelf for both of them. This is a cute and funny cartoon that the whole family can enjoy together.
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Format: DVD
The last of the three Charlie Brown Christmas specials, "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown" was made 38 years after the original "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and is composed almost entirely of gags lifted directly from 1990s "Peanuts" strips. It's not an awful Christmas special by any means, but it's not nearly as good as the original. (I'd say it's about on par with 1992's "It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown".) My main gripe with it is how disjointed it feels. Most of the film is made of 60-second vignettes pasted end-to-end into a loose plot. It really is just a string of animated versions of the daily strips played one after the next. At times it isn't too noticeable, but during some sequences (especially the two scenes wherein Rerun is riding on the back of his mom's bike) it's painfully obviously and quite distracting. Some viewers may also be somewhat put off by the focus on Rerun as opposed to more familiar characters from the Peanuts brand. To be fair, some of the jokes are funny, and it's fun to see Snoopy's brothers depicted in animation, but overall the experience (while not unpleasant per se) is rather forgettable.

If "I Want a Dog for Christmas" was the only show on the disc then I probably wouldn't be able to recommend it, but one of the bonus features is a second full TV special, 1986's "Happy New Year Charlie Brown". It's far superior to the main feature in that it not only showcases the more iconic Peanuts characters but that it has a far more engaging plot and much better pacing. I'm aware even as I type this that using words like "plot" and "pacing" in reference to a children's holiday special sounds kind of silly, but I really cannot over-emphasize how cobbled together "I Want a Dog for Christmas" seems.
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