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on February 25, 2007
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. Indeed, when Rerun tells big sister Lucy that he got "fired" from school for making the suggestion to the little girl, Lucy says "Let me guess: harassment?" with a tone of cynicism that indicates that she understands fully the occasional stupidity of political correctness. Again, it was exactly the opposite of "pushing a PC agenda"; it was ridiculing political correctness. Was it a little less subtle than usual? Yes. If I were advising the makers of the program, would I have told them to leave that part out? Probably. But did it upset me? Not at all.

One last thing. Smart people know better than to attempt to compare this to "A Charlie Brown Christmas". It's completely different, and it wisely doesn't attempt to recapture the magic of that classic special. Watch this video and judge it solely on its own merits. You may love it, you may hate it, but give it a chance.
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on December 25, 2004
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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on November 7, 2004
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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on January 1, 2010
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. The New Year's special actually feels like a coherent whole equipped with bona fide characters rather than just talking heads. In short, it's got the good ol' Peanuts charm.

In summary, if you're considering purchasing this disc, I'd recommend considering the New Year's Special to be the main feature and the Christmas special to be the bonus. If you're looking for great Christmas special I'd recommend picking up the original 1965 "Charlie Brown Christmas" instead, but if you're interested in getting a charming New Year's special (with a so-so Christmas special tossed in as a bonus) then this disc may be for you.
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on December 6, 2004
Great bonus material here-"The Making Of A Charlie Brown Christmas" is wonderful. It would have been a great bonus to the "Charlie Brown Christmas" DVD, but that release was a year before the featurette was made, so its lack is understandable. "Dog" is well-done for the most part, but suffers as most programs do that include "Peanuts" strip material from app. the mid 70's to mid 80's; the tone became very bitter and mean during that time. During one segment, Rerun is suspended from school for sexual harrassment-how could they think this was funny, especially in a Christmas special? It is easy to skip, though.
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on December 30, 2004
The feature show is good for Christmas. Despite the lack of new material, it has a good plotline and some funny moments. However, the music in this one is often the same and a little melancholy; not upbeat as Peanuts should be. Rerun wants a dog, so tries to make a friend out of Spike, Snoopy's brother. You can tell most (all) of it's from old comic strip gags, but that's not bad and it flows nicely.

The "Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas" is a ho-hum documentary, but it's fun to meet original cast members and see the early commercial with Linus and Lucy.

"Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales" is my favorite on the DVD (It might even be my favorite Charlie Brown Christmas show). It is about 15 min. long with various sketches, each relating to a specific character at a given time. My only complaint is Sally's very high voice, but I think it's better than her voice in "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown". That voice sounds whiny.

If you like Christmas and/or Peanuts, you will like this.
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on January 19, 2014
Need something when i have the grandkids visiting this is great. Also great for adults the lines are so classic. You just laugh and laugh. My grandson is always saying a line from this movie and can watch this all year not just Christmas.
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on May 16, 2011
I'm in my 40's and still love Snoopy and the whole Peanuts gang. In this movie ReRun decides he wants a dog. Since he is not allowed to, he decides he will play with Snoopy. If you have watched any Snoopy movies or read the comics, we all know Snoopy is not your average dog. There is a part where "harassment" is mentioned. No worry - even if you are watching it with children of all ages, it isn't in a way that you would have to explain the birds and the bees to them. He just asked her to go to Paris and gets suspended for harassment. I would still consider this a family movie that eveyone would enjoy.
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on May 8, 2015
How come I did not know that Lucy and Linus had a younger brother? Rerun is a sweetheart. Rerun wants a dog of his own but his mom won't let him have one. Along comes Snoopy's brother Spike, this was just so cute and sweet and enjoyable for everyone.
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on August 2, 2009
To anyone who might be interested, the soon to be released "I Want a Dog for Christmas Charlie Brown" contains the bonus episode "Happy New Year Charlie Brown." I notice that the bonus episode is not listed but I have looked it up for anyone who might be interested. I have been waiting a long time for "Happy New Year Charlie Brown" to be released. Now I can donate my "Happy New Year Charlie Brown" VHS tape to the library as well as "I Want a Dog for Christmas Charlie Brown" dvd and have more space for other dvds.
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