Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) is a 1980 animated film directed by Bill Meléndez. It was the fourth feature film based on the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, and the final one until The Peanuts Movie in 2015.
Charlie Brown's school has accepted two French exchange students, and Linus and Charlie Brown will be going over to France as foreign exchange students, with Snoopy and Woodstock in tow, along with Peppermint Patty and Marcie from their school. The same day, Charlie Brown gets a letter from France that Marcie reads as an invitation to stay at a chateau: the Chateau du Mal Voisin, or "The House of the Bad Neighbor".
They initially arrive in London, where Snoopy breaks off from the group to have his own adventures at Wimbledon to do his John McEnroe impression while the rest of the Peanuts do sightseeing before heading off to France.
Upon arriving in France, Marcie and Peppermint Patty stay at a farm with another student, and Charlie Brown and Linus continue to the chateau, where there are no lights on and no answer at the door, so they must stay outside. Food and blankets are sneaked outside by Violette, the young girl who invited Charlie Brown and is defying her uncle, the Baron, to be hospitable to Charlie Brown and Linus. Eventually, Violette is able to explain her secret, and a certain event inspires the Baron to mellow his inhospitable attitude.
The 1983 TV special What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown? serves as a sequel of sorts, with the gang visiting WWI and WWII memorials on their way back to London from France. The special earned a Peabody Award.
Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown provides examples of:
- Adult Fear: The Baron panics when he sees the chateau on fire, and Violette is trapped inside.
- The Alleged Car: The blue Citroën 2CV that the Peanuts gang gets isn't exactly a dreamboat.
- Big Shadow, Little Creature: Snoopy and Woodstock give off one arriving at the chateau, leading to a Scary Shadow Fakeout before Charlie Brown and Linus notice them.
- Bilingual Bonus: The insults Marcie hurls at the other drivers.
- Contrived Coincidence: Violette just happens to invite Charlie Brown to stay at the chateau at the same time he was chosen as an exchange student in France (and the same part of it, no less).
- Demoted to Extra: Sally only appears in the first few minutes, Lucy's only line of dialogue is the Title Drop, and Schroeder doesn't even have any speaking lines of his own.
- Dinner Order Flub: Played With. Charlie Brown, Linus, Marcie, and Peppermint Patty stop to eat in a British pub while en route to France. However, being Americans, they're clearly not familiar with British cuisine as they are forced to ask the waiter for help in deciding what to eat. This doesn't help, either, as not one of them can understand the waiter's British English.Charlie Brown: What did he say?Marcie: Perhaps I should have studied English, not French.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Violette's uncle is identified only as "the Baron."
- The Faceless: Despite being a prominent character, the Baron's face isn't shown at all.
- Foreign Exchange Student: The premise. Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty, and Marcie go to France for two weeks as students. In the meantime, Babette and Jacques come to the United States to Charlie Brown's school.
- Free-Range Children: As usual, there is no adult accompaniment, even as the kids board a plane and fly to another continent. At least, no human adults; Snoopy is the only one of them who can drive.
- French Jerk: The Baron sometimes speaks French and is distrustful of outsiders to the point of attempting to get rid of Charlie Brown and Linus while in the bar. All of which certainly qualifies him as a jerk.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: The mug Snoopy drinks out of is clearly labeled "ROOT BEER." He still acts inebriated, though.
- Incompetent Guard Animal: Snoopy abandons his guard duties immediately after Charlie Brown asks him to stand watch in order to hang out at the café all night. He also overhears the Baron the next night threatening Charlie Brown and Linus, and he... still sits at the café.
- Jerkass: Lucy, as usual. Her one line in her one appearance in the film is the vile wish to Charlie Brown that is part of the Title Drop.
- Kick the Dog: Lucy's one line in the whole film is the Title Drop's subtitle, and thus a pretty vile wish for Charlie Brown's future well-being.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Peppermint Patty vainly and wrongfully assumes Pierre is in love with her despite the overwhelming evidence he likes Marcie.
- Language Barrier: Charlie Brown does his best to order bread from a French bakery and it isn't meant to be offensive. Marcie speaks French, though, many times in the movie.
- The Reveal: Violette tells Linus that Charlie Brown's grandfather, Silas Brown, stayed at the chateau during World War I ("The Great War") and fell in love with Violette's grandmother. After Silas was sent home, he wrote to her grandmother and even after letters stopped coming, "she never forgot the charming American."
- Scary Shadow Fakeout: When Charlie Brown and Linus are looking for Snoopy and Woodstock on a stormy evening among arriving at the Chateau, they come across a big menacing-looking shadow and scream, only for it to actually be Snoopy and Woodstock with their destroyed umbrella.
- Separated by a Common Language: Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, and Snoopy all run into difficulties both understanding and trying to make themselves understood by the locals during their stopover in London.
- The four children go to a restaurant and have to ask the waiter for recommendations, as none of the dishes on the menu are familiar to them, and his answer (he recommends beef and kidney pie for the boys and shepherd's pie for the girls, and adds that the cheddar and pickle sandwich is "rather toppo") just confuses them further, leading Marcie, the group's only Francophone, to quip that perhaps she studied the wrong language.
- Meanwhile, when Snoopy hails a taxi to go from Wimbledon to Victoria Station, the cabbie can't make sense of what he says (which the audience just hears as growling) and remarks that "it's a bit dicey understandin' these Yanks!"
- Sequel Goes Foreign: It's the fourth film in the Peanuts series, and appropriately has Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the gang in Europe.
- Shown Their Work: While the United States is glossed over just like in the comic, once the kids and Snoopy are in Europe, everything changes. Everything is portrayed in surprising detail, from the buses, trains and road signs in London to the little villages they pass through in Normandy, all of which are real. The chateau itself is real; Malvoisine is indeed near Le Héron, and looks just like it does in the movie. Even the greenhouses they mention are still there and still in operation. This is the result of the film being inspired by a late-1970s trip to France that Schulz took with friends from World War II and going back to some of the places he encountered during the war.
- Sneeze of Doom: Charlie Brown's first attempt to get bread for the gang ends with him sneezing and throwing the loaf in the air.
- Theme Tune Cameo: Snoopy whistles the movie theme and even plays it on a jukebox in the cafe.
- Title DropKids: Bon voyage, Charlie Brown!Lucy: And don't come back!
- Translation Convention: The Baron speaks English to Violette and the bartender, even though they're in France.
- Umbrellas Are Lightning Rods: Snoopy carries an umbrella in a thunderstorm. He gets hit by lightning twice, once on his nose when he sticks his nose out the window, and then the second time hitting his umbrella and vaporizing the waterproof webbing.
- The Voiceless: Averted, along with He Who Must Not Be Seen. Almost every adult in this film talks, is shown or both.
- Would Hurt a Child: It's implied that the Baron would've "gotten rid of" Charlie Brown and his friends himself had the fire not broken out at the chateau. Since he mellows after they save his niece and all, it may qualify as a HeelFace Turn.