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Western Animation / Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown

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Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown is a 2011 Peanuts hour-long special released by Warner Premiere Direct-to-Video, though it has since aired on television.

It adapts and intertwines several comic strip arcs from The '60s, the overarching one that of Linus trying to give up his security blanket before his grandmother, who is against a boy his age carrying something childish around, arrives for a visit in a week.

It was the first Peanuts special in five years (the 45th in the total lineup) and the first produced without the leadership of Charles Schulz, Lee Mendelson Productions, or Bill Melendez. Instead, it's produced by Warner Bros. and Wildbrain, and animated off-shore by Yearim Productions in South Korea. Eschewing The Millennium Age of Animation's tendencies towards computer-assisted animation, it is animated in hand-drawings on paper with hand-painted backgrounds and a piano soundtrack composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, meant to evoke the 1960's/'70s animated specials/movies as well as Vince Guaraldi's scores from the earliest specials.


Stephan Pastis co-wrote the script.

This special provides examples of:

  • As the Good Book Says...
  • The Cameo: Character cameos, to be specific. When Snoopy scans the neighborhood in imitiation of a vulture, recurring character Frieda is briefly glimpsed along with her cat Faron. Early regulars Shermy, Violet and Patty have their first speaking roles in decades, Shermy even appearing in a flashback directly based on the very first Peanuts strip.
  • Continuity Reboot: For the original run of Peanuts animated adaptations. Adapting material from the strip that had previously been incorporated into the franchise's Saturday Morning Cartoon and the special It's an Adventure, Charlie Brown in The '80s, it focuses on the core cast of the strip as it stood in The '60s (Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroder, Sally, and Snoopy), scales back Snoopy's Spotlight-Stealing Squad and Slapstick tendencies (as well as having him walk on all fours), doesn't try to be "relevant", and has sharper humor and a quieter, more melancholy tone than post-Snoopy, Come Home adaptations did. It also disregards the strip and specials' Art Evolution in favor of using the character and background designs from The '60s, though it keeps the voice acting style and jazz scoring forever linked to the franchise.
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  • Funny Background Event: Snoopy provides a few, as does Charlie Brown.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Sally constantly tries to woo her "sweet babboo" Linus, and Lucy tries to do the same to Schroeder.
  • Mythology Gag: One of the clips shown when Charlie Brown thinks about his insecurities is an exact recreation of the very first ''Peanuts'' strip.
  • No Matter How Much I Beg: Linus tries this, giving Charlie Brown his blanket and telling him to hang onto it and not give it back no matter what... only to discover that Charlie Brown unceremoniously gives him the blanket back at the first hint of pleading.
  • The Nose Knows: Linus spends a vast amount of time trying to find his blanket after Lucy buries it. Snoopy just sniffs around for a few seconds and is able to dig it up almost immediately.
  • Pet the Dog: Or perhaps a case of Dog Pets You — Snoopy, after having spent most of the special trying to snatch Linus's blanket, immediately gives it to him after finding it. Of course, he's right back to trying to steal it afterwards.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: At the climax, Linus is finally fed up with his friends' demands of giving up his blanket and proceeds to give them a speech about how everyone is insecure.
  • Recycled Plot: The 1980's special "It's An Adventure, Charlie Brown!" involved a similar storyline.
  • Security Blanket: Linus's trope-naming blanket — what the main story revolves around.
  • Slice of Life: Just like the comic strip it's adapting.


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