Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Charlie Brown Yuletide Friday (One Day Seriously Removed)

Shit, it's already Saturday.

I was laid up with a phenomenal headache Thursday, then busy shopping Friday, then trying to edit the latest 3x2cast (which saw my editing software crash a few times).  Finally, I squeezed that out.

Then, after a couple hours of vegging out (since I also had to work and I don't have kids this weekend), I finally got down to this.

And this week, I want to visit the symbol of everything that is right about the Charlie Brown Christmas special.  Note of history: there are several jumbles of shorts of the Peanuts gang thrown together to make specials, and several of these fall under the Christmas heading.  The one I'm talking about, however, is the original, the first special, the one made before all others and before I was born.  The one with the crappy production values, the ending cut to remove the original sponsor, and everything that a Christmas special should have.  Allow me to enumerate.

First, there's the innocence.  he movie is all kids, only kids, voiced by kids.  Of course, this makes shit a bit choppy in the dialogue department.  However, as I've learned from my own editing, you can make sunshine out of shit.  And if there is a way to look at Christmas (again, getting more experience at that), it's through the eyes of children.

Second, there's the idea that the obsession with commercialism drains what makes Christmas Christmas.  Not that I don't see the value in the glory of commercialization (especially when we need it to kick the economy in the ass).  However, since I got old enough to not obsess over the goodies under the tree (which my kids are beginning to do, FINALLY), it's never been about commercialism.  It's been about the spirit the season brings.

Third, there's the speech by Linus.  Regardless of your faith, it's best heard, not described:

Then there's the free-range issue.  Yeah, I'm dragging that into this as well.  Here's kids going out to skate, throw snowballs, dispense psychiatric help (even though Lucy sucks at it), putting on a play, dancing repetitively (it IS rough animation, after all), buying and decorating a Christmas tree, and figuring out the value in someone they generally ridiculed the shit out of for the whole show.

Which brings us to the final lesson.  There is an inherent goodness in Man that transcends politics, race, class, age, philosophy, psychology, and the like.  And Christmas, above all other holidays, is the personification of this.  And in the children that inhabit the world of Peanuts, we see this clearly, and most of all in this special.

So if you missed it (don't know when it's on) and don't have it on DVD or downloaded, get it and watch it.  And if you lack the desire or find it a gargantuan meh, then obviously, you suck most supremely. 

(Wow, 15 minutes left before Sunday.  Got it posted.)

1 comment:

dmarks said...

"First, there's the innocence. he movie is all kids, only kids, voiced by kids."

I always wondered if some of them were weird gnomish adults, like the ones who voice the Simpsons kids.