->''"Once a beginner, now he's a winner\\
Champion Charlie Brown!"''

''A Boy Named Charlie Brown'' is a 1969 American animated film, the first ever feature film based on the ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' comic strip. It was directed by Bill Melendez and was produced by Lee Mendelson Films and the Creator/{{CBS}} network's film division, Cinema Center Films, for National General Corporation. This was also the final animated ''Peanuts'' production to feature Peter Robbins as the voice of Charlie Brown. (Robbins had voiced the character for all of the ''Peanuts'' television specials up to that point, starting with 1965's ''WesternAnimation/ACharlieBrownChristmas''.)

Charlie Brown can't seem to catch a break. Whether it being frequently humiliated by his other peers like Lucy, or causing his baseball team to lose the first Little League game of the season, it seems like nothing can ever go right for him. However, things change for him when Lucy jokingly tells him he should join the school spelling bee. Linus convinces him to join and, through determination, wind up making it from the school-wide spelling bee to the national bee. But can he make it through?

Earned an UsefulNotes/AcademyAward nomination for Best Song Score.


* AdaptationExpansion: The plot about Charlie Brown entering a spelling bee (and virtually all the dialogue and Chuck's inner monologue at the beginning of said spelling bee, as well as his inability to remember the "I before E" rule) is taken directly from the comic strip, but in the strip he only got to the first round as he blew the very first word he was given, the word "maze", which he spelled M-A-Y-S because he was thinking of baseball legend [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Mays Willie Mays.]]
* BetterByADifferentName: Since Bill Melendez had worked at [[Creator/ColumbiaCartoons UPA]] and brought a bunch of UPA animators with him when he started his own production company, and clearly took a lot of his style cues from UPA's early LimitedAnimation work, this can be thought of as the unofficial third UPA feature film (after ''[[WesternAnimation/MrMagoo 1001 Arabian Nights]]'' and ''WesternAnimation/GayPurree'').
* BigApplesauce: Charlie Brown travels to New York City to compete in the National Spelling Bee.
* BittersweetEnding: Charlie Brown [[spoiler:loses the spelling bee and his newly gained respect from the kids,]] but with some encouragement from Linus, he realizes [[spoiler:the world's not over and he still has a lifetime to be winner.]]
* ChampionsOnTheInside: Averted. Charlie Brown is [[HeroicBSOD devastated over his loss]] and gets [[DudeWheresMyRespect absolutely no hero's welcome or even consolation for his efforts]]. Then again, [[spoiler:no one is angry with him -- even Linus tells him that everyone ''missed him'' at school]].
* CoversAlwaysLie: The DVD cover shows Lucy clutching Charlie Brown's arm and staring up at him adoringly. Not only is ''the whole movie'' about the ways in which she ruins his life (without any JerkWithAHeartOfGold moments, either), this also makes no sense if you know anything about Lucy. This is a result of editing out important details. [[http://img.soundtrackcollector.com/cd/large/Boy%20Named%20Charlie%20Brown_6009104.jpg On the Laserdisc cover that it is sourced from, there's an extra bit where Lucy has a thought bubble of her own dressing room.]]
* DarkReprise: "Linus and Lucy," the BootstrappedTheme of the ''Peanuts'' specials, has a minor-key variation playing at various points throughout Linus' blanket withdrawal. Of course, once he finds it [[note]]in Charlie Brown's hands as he's using it to shine his shoes[[/note]], the regular version plays throughout his rejoicing, serving as a TriumphantReprise.
* DisneyAcidSequence: A lot of the musical numbers fall under this.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The effects that [[FelonyMisdemeanor separation from his]] SecurityBlanket have on Linus appear, to the audience, ''very'' similar to withdrawal symptoms.
* DramaQueen: Linus without his blanket, hoo boy.
* DramaticallyMissingThePoint: Charlie Brown fails to realize he not only won the ''state Spelling Bee championship'' but he came in second in the ''National'' championship.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: The dynamic between Charlie, Linus and Lucy are established in the very first scene. Lucy comes off as the authoritarian, Linus sees archaic, intellectual objects in the clouds, Charlie sees just a duckie and a horsie.
* FailureHero: Charlie Brown. Of all the ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' animated specials and movies, this is the one that ''really'' hammers in what a miserable failure he is. [[{{Determinator}} It never stops him from trying.]]
* {{Fainting}}: Linus, suffering from blanket withdrawal, goes to New York to get it back from Charlie Brown, with Snoopy in tow. While greeting Charlie Brown at his hotel room, he can't take it anymore and passes out in the hallway. Snoopy quickly runs to get a glass of water... and drinks it down himself. The gag is repeated [[RuleOfThree three times]].
* FreeRangeChildren: Charlie has absolutely zero adult supervision when he goes to New York for the national spelling bee. Well, unless you count Snoopy.
* FreezeFrameBonus: While Peppermint Patty's "official" big-screen debut doesn't come until ''WesternAnimation/SnoopyComeHome'', she can [[EarlyBirdCameo actually be spotted twice in this movie]], as one of the kids cheering for Charlie Brown. The first time (right before the song "Champion Charlie Brown") she's easily spotted jumping up and down together with Frieda, Shermy, Pig-Pen and 5, and the second time (when Charlie Brown is about to board the bus) she can be seen in the crowd, holding up a sign saying "CHUCK".
* FullNameBasis: As per usual for Charlie Brown, but the lyrics of "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" and "Failure Face" actually avert this.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: At one point Linus goes to visit Charlie Brown, and Sally answers the door:
-->'''Sally:''' Did you come to take me to a movie? There's one downtown. [suggestively] For mature audiences only.
* TheGreatPoliticsMessUp: A minor one. When Linus is describing what he sees in the clouds, he mentions "British Honduras". You probably know it as {{UsefulNotes/Belize}} (the name changed in 1973).
* TheHeroSucksSong: "Failure Face".
* HeroicBSOD: Charlie Brown has one after losing the spelling bee.
* InvisibleParents: Yes, it is the convention that adults cannot be depicted in the property, but it is pushed to the breaking point for believability when Charlie Brown and Linus arrive home late at night after the National Spelling Bee. Surely, Charlie Brown's parents would logically be there come hell or high water to take their 8 year old, and obviously devastated, son safely home. There's a reason why the animated movies eventually stopped using this trope, it was just too difficult to portray the world outside the Peanuts gang's little neighborhood without any adults.
* {{Jerkass}}: Lucy isn't even sympathetic in this one.
* KidsAreCruel: Even by the standards of ''Peanuts'', the kids are insanely abusive towards Charlie Brown, especially Lucy, Violet and Patty who go as far as singing a cruel song about him.
* LimitedWardrobe: Lampshaded; we get to see Charlie open his closet to reveal a rainbow of shirt colors, then choose the yellow one he always wears anyway.
* NotableOriginalMusic: Singer/songwriter/poet Rod [=McKuen=] contributed three original songs: "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" (which he also sang), "Failure Face", and "Champion Charlie Brown". He wrote a few more that didn't get used. And there was one other song, "I Before E (Except After C)." Averted with Creator/VinceGuaraldi's score; he didn't actually write any new music for the film, settling for fully orchestrated versions of his older ''Peanuts'' music.
* OnlySixFaces: Milder example - One of the contestants in the final spelling bee looks ''exactly'' like Schroeder, while another one is essentially Linus with blonde hair.
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: In one scene, Schroeder plays most of the second movement (Adagio cantabile) of Music/LudwigVanBeethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 (''Sonata Pathétique''), and during that time, many {{Disney Acid Sequence}}s occur, which is pretty creepy.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech:
** As per usual, Lucy uses her function as a "[[TheShrink psychiatrist]]" mainly as an excuse to deliver these to Charlie Brown. Throughout their session, she tells him ''everything'' that's wrong with him in increasingly creative ways, until he storms out, feeling worse about himself than ever.
** Then there's the song "[[TheHeroSucksSong Failure Face]]" sung at Charlie Brown by Lucy, Violet and Patty.
* ReluctantGift: As Charlie Brown heads off to the national spelling bee competition, Linus gives him his SecurityBlanket for good luck. He looks away with a pained expression on his face as he presents it, and in fact fails to notice when Charlie takes the blanket and enters the bus, so Linus remains holding up nothing and saying "Here!" as the bus drives away. Eventually the absence of his blanket gets to him and he goes to New York to get it back.
* SecondPlaceIsForLosers: Played ridiculously straight, even for this trope. Not only does everyone ignore that he got second place in the national spelling bee, they completely ignore that he won State!
* SpellingBee: A major plot point.
* StatusQuoIsGod: The rare positive example of the trope, with AnAesop: "Life goes on, no matter how badly you may think you messed up."
* ThatCloudLooksLike: British Honduras, and/or a ducky and a horsie.
* WhamLine: [[spoiler:"The world didn't come to an end."]]
* WhenHeSmiles: Mentioned in the "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" song:
-->Maybe it's a kind of magic\\
That only little boys can do.\\
But seeing Charlie smile,\\
Can make you stop awhile,\\
And get you feelin' glad you're you.
* WraparoundBackground: Used in the bus sequences.
* WrittenSoundEffect: When Lucy shows Charlie Brown a slideshow of his flaws, she somehow captured the word "POW" on the slide showing his lack of style.
* YankTheDogsChain: Happens three times. Most of the things Charlie Brown tries, he fails ''utterly'' at -- but there are three occasions when he thinks he ''might'' make it.
** The first time is when the movie continues the RunningGag from the strip of Lucy goading him into kicking a football but yanking the ball away from him at the last second. This time she has a bonus surprise; she set up a video camera to record the ordeal and shows him his failure in slow motion while delivering a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech.
** The second time is the movie's climax, when Charlie Brown has managed to become one of the two finalists in the spelling bee, and after having managed to spell a whole lot of difficult words right, gets a really easy one -- "beagle." Which he has forgotten how to spell, despite ''owning'' a beagle.
** The third time is the final scene in the movie when he tries to sneak up on Lucy to kick the ball again. Turns out she knew he was sneaking up on her, and once again the ball is yanked away and Charlie Brown falls flat on his back. However, it comes off as sort of heartwarming, letting Charlie know that nothing's changed, for good or ill.
* YourHeadASplode: This (symbolically) happens to the spelling-bee contestants whenever they get a word wrong. Even funnier because the head usually assumes an OhCrap expression just before popping like a balloon.