Reviews: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Oh, that we could always see such spirit through the year.

I'll just come right out and say it: A Charlie Brown Christmas kind of saved my belief in the goodness and joy that Christmas can bring, at a point in my life when I felt like it was close to disappearing forever. Just like a certain blockhead, all the over-commercialism and people working themselves into a stressful, unhappy stupor to make The Hap-Hap-Happiest Christmas™ had really gotten to me.

And then it happened. This simple, humble little animated special came out of nowhere and patently brought my love of Christmas back, like a phoenix reborn from its ashes, harder and stronger than ever before. It helped make it, and this I say with the sincerity of a good pumpkin patch, THE MOOOOST WONDERFUL TIIIIIIME OF THE YEAAAAAAR once again, to a level of conviction that no amount of disheartening turmoil or troubles can hope to extinguish. Yessir, one thumb-sucking, overly blanket-obsessed little kid reminded me of the true meaning of Christmas.

Which is to say, this is not something I could possibly pedantically pull apart and say "this thing was bad", or "this thing was good". If that's what you want, go look up Metacritic or something. Sum of the parts and all that jazz. Oh yeah, speaking of jazz, it's really Vince Guaraldi's music that is the beating heart of what is probably Charles Schulz's Magnum Opus. Mr. G's undying soundtrack—as languid and thoughtful as it is cheery and bright—conveys every word and feeling of ACBC without ever resorting to such a comparatively crude form of communication as "words."

True, it's not the most funny or varied special out there, not even in the Peanuts animated canon. But there is absolutely no bullshit in it. It wasn't made to pull in meaningless ratings numbers or sell merchandise (...Okay, there is the whole Coke advertising thing, but that's cut out in most modern print, so fuck you! It couldn't have been made without their financial support, anyway.). To me, at least, it's about finding your own reasons to enjoy Christmas and celebrate it in a way that is truly meaningful to you. It doesn't really have any peers in mainstream media in this regard. And that is something truly special indeed.

Off-model art, sloppy edits, stilted voice acting and all, A Charlie Brown Christmas is pure heart, and indeed, pure Christmas.