A Boy Named Charlie Brown originally released in 1969 as the first Peanuts movie ever based on Charles Schultz Peanut comic strip. The movie is Peter Robbins’ swan song as the voice for Charlie Brown. Before the movie, he voiced Charlie Brown several times for television specials.
The story follows Charlie Brown who decisively demonstrates he can do something right. He wins the spelling bee in his class. All the kids regard him with their usual rudeness despite winning his class spelling bee. Then, he does everything in his power to win the championship of his school and wins. He gets to go to the city and be in the National Elimination Spelling Bee.
Vince Guaraldi, who composed the music for the six previous TV specials, creates new arrangements of the old music for the movie. He even spices it up with several new songs by Rod McKuen. McKuen wrote the title song “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” and sings it as well, which establishes the whole feel for the movie — there is a little bit of Charlie Brown in all of us.
One of my favorite scenes is Schroeder’s poignant gesture to Beethoven. The music plays as marvelous complex scenes with Technicolor come on the screen in a very fancy presentation.
Another really good scene is with Snoopy and Linus. It is a delightful setting where Snoopy and Linus are wandering around the city looking for his blanket, which he lent to Charlie Brown for good luck in his spelling bee. Snoopy encounters an ice skating rink and fantasizes being in a hockey match as he skates around the rink. He even has a confrontation with the Red Baron and those scenes are always fun to watch.
When the movie ends, let the credits roll because you get to view the principle voice actors with their animated characters.
I recommend this movie because it is so much fun to watch, though I have a hard time seeing Charlie Brown having such a bad time. But, he is happy at the end, and that counts for me.