It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown [1966]

Two of the all-time cartoon classics It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) and A Charlie Brown Christmas (a Peabody and Emmy winner from 1965) highlight this three-disc, six-episode set. Although the DVDs contain no extras (good grief!) and could have been combined on a single disc (drat!), the collection looks and sounds wonderful on DVD. The content is the same on the VHS and DVD sets, with two episodes per tape or disc. Accompanying Pumpkin is You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown, a cute spin on politics that has aged very well since its 1972 release. Christmas sports a lackluster sequel of sorts, It's Christmas Time Again, Charlie Brown (1992) that has Sally dwelling on getting (instead of giving), Charlie Brown facing a spending dilemma, and everyone suffering stage fright before the annual school play. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973) also won an Emmy but is not as well known as others; it also suffers from not having the original cast. Snoopy is foremost in helping to put on an impromptu feast (toast and popcorn) as the gang keeps forgetting the true meaning of the holiday. Also on the disc is a better Thanksgiving venue, The Mayflower Voyages (1988), part of the This is America, Charlie Brown series that breathed new life into the franchise. Mostly narrated by Linus, the show traces the Pilgrims' plight and doesn't talk down to youngsters on the hardships they faced. It's a treasure of a gift (for others or yourself), all nicely packaged. --Doug Thomas

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