Charlie Brown: (looks shocked and faints)
Snoopy, Come Home is a 1972 animated film directed by Bill Meléndez. It is the second of the five feature-length films based on the Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schulz. Whereas the first film, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, focused on Charlie Brown, this film focuses almost entirely on Snoopy.
It is also, unquestionably, the most depressing and heart-wrenching thing in the Peanuts franchise. If there was a trope called "Crowning Moment of Tearjerking", this film would win fairly easily. (This was probably due to creator Charles M. Schulz having just gone through a depressing divorce, and he decided to take it out here.)
To summarize: The plot begins with Snoopy experiencing dissatisfaction with his life amongst the other characters, as numerous "NO DOGS ALLOOOOOOOOOOWED" signs have recently been put up around the town, resulting in Snoopy being kicked out of most public places. After this, Snoopy attempts to get the attention of Charlie Brown and the other kids, only to be rejected or shrugged off in one way or another.
Snoopy then receives a letter from his original owner, Lila, with whom he only spent two months as a puppy before he was sent back to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm because Lila's family moved. The letter informs Snoopy that Lila is in the hospital and wishes to see Snoopy again. Snoopy and Woodstock immediately leave town to visit her without explaining. They go on a somewhat surreal journey across the country and engage in silent shenanigans.
Meanwhile, Charlie Brown spirals into a extreme depression (even for him) at Snoopy running away, and any attempts at his friends to cheer him up fail. If anything, he in the Charliest of Browniest fashions manages to simply make everyone depressed as they all blame themselves for Snoopy running away.
Snoopy and Woodstock eventually make it to Lila's side where they help her recover, only to have Lila ask if Snoopy wants to stay with her permanently. Feeling obligated, Snoopy returns home to inform everyone that he is leaving to live with Lila permanently, essentially massacring what little self-esteem Charlie Brown has in the process. This culminates in a going-away party in which the entire Peanuts cast (and the audience as well) ends up crying hysterically the entire time while Snoopy gives away all of his possessions. Charlie Brown sinks even deeper into depression afterwards.
Upon arriving at Lila's home, however, Snoopy finds out that not only does Lila already have a pet of her own in the form of a beloved cat, but that her apartment has a "No Dogs Allowed" policy. Freed of his obligations, Snoopy joyfully runs back home and into the arms of Charlie Brown and company who welcome him back joyfully. The happiness lasts for a few minutes until he gets a swelled head and demand that they give back all the things he gave them before moving or he'll sue them, upon which everyone but Charlie Brown leaves Snoopy in disgustnote (though he does leave a few moments later in disgust as well when Snoopy has let Woodstock type in the ending credits).
A 1991 animated TV special, Snoopy's Reunion, provides a prequel story about Snoopy and Lila, while contradicting some details from Snoopy Come Home.
This film provides examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: Adapted from a series of strips where Snoopy went missing to visit Lila in hospital. The strips did have the angst of Charlie Brown losing Snoopy and discovering he wasn't Snoopy's original owner, but there was never any question of whether Snoopy would stay with Lila or return to Charlie; that was added by the film.
- All There in the Manual: The name of the girl who captures Snoopy and Woodstock isn't listed in the credits (they just show characters' faces instead of character names). We only know her name because the official poster for the movie identified her as Clara (plus the DVD captioning).
- And Call Him "George"!: Along the way, Snoopy and Woodstock are captured by a little girl named Clara, an insane, pet-obsessed little girl that makes Elmyra from Tiny Toon Adventures look sane in comparison.
- To enlarge on the above, she thinks that Snoopy (a beagle) and Woodstock (a canary) are a sheepdog and a parrot.
- "Fundamental Friend Dependability" is an inspired bit of lunacy, written by the Sherman Brothers. They also wrote "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", and it shows.
- And Starring: "And Introducing Woodstock". This was the character's first animated appearance.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Despite Charlie Brown being a depressive blockhead and their sometimes indifferent interactions, Snoopy still chooses him over an angelic little girl in the end.
- To underscore this moment , this is the only time in the movie where the sight of the "NO DOGS ALLOWED" sign is accompanied by a cheerful, triumphant version of the Leitmotif instead of its usual sinister-sounding one, as Snoopy is literally dancing for joy at the sight of it.
- Bittersweet Ending: In classic Peanuts style, still played for laughs.
- Break the Cutie: ALL of the characters in this movie, especially the title character and you know who.
- Breaking Bad News Gently: Linus does his best.Linus: Are you ready for a shock?
(Charlie Brown faints)
Linus: He wasn't ready for a shock.
- Call-Back: Snoopy plays the jew's harp, just like he did in A Boy Named Charlie Brown.
- Can't You Read the Sign?: Used as a Running Gag. Snoopy is constantly booted from places with "No Dogs Allowed!" signs.
- Chekhov's Gag: Snoopy is usually upset at all the "NO DOGS ALLOWED!" rules, until such a rule settles his decision.
- Comedic Spanking: Clara punishes Snoopy for acting up at her tea party.
- Creative Closing Credits: Snoopy types up the entire end credits on his typewriter. In addition, instead of listing actors with their roles, the heads of the characters appear with Snoopy typing up the actors' names next to the character he or she plays, with Snoopy and Woodstock's actors' names appearing physically next to them as Snoopy types. Embellished cut-out photos of the crew members (all wearing funny hats) also appear as their names are typed alongside.
- Death by Newbery Medal: One could argue that the film's Charlie Brown arc is a deconstruction of it: losing a pet doesn't make Charlie Brown an adult. It just makes him chronically depressed and makes his abandonment issues worse. If anything, it causes him to emotionally regress.
- Escalating War: Snoopy and Linus get into one of these over Linus's blanket, complete with yanking, foot-stomping, nose-tweaking, head-butting, collar-snapping, and shin-kicking.
- Everybody Cries: Snoopy's going-away party involves plenty of tears from everyone.
- Everything Is an Instrument: The first time Woodstock whistles 'The Best of Buddies', Snoopy accompanies him by banging spoons against his dog bowl.
- Face Palm: Lila, when Snoopy shows her the "No Dogs Allowed" sign on her building.
- Funny X-Ray: During the first attempt to sneak into the hospital, Snoopy and Woodstock run past an X-Ray machine, with Woodstock's body being depicted as a cooked chicken leg.
- Heroic BSoD: Charlie Brown ends up being depressed even by the standards of Charlie Brown. That's saying something.
- Snoopy with Clara, after she tells him she's going to spank him.
- It's All My Fault: Peppermint Patty, Lucy, Linus, and Charlie Brown blame themselves for Snoopy leaving.
- Karma Houdini: Clara gets away with the Elmyra-esque antics scot-free (save for getting a fishbowl on her head for her trouble).
- Laser-Guided Karma: While the gang plays Monopoly, Lucy keeps taunting Charlie Brown because she owns Boardwalk and Park Place. She rolls doubles, boasts that she has another turn, and promptly lands on Schroeder's Pacific Avenue with a hotel. Their background chatter while Charlie Brown starts looking around for Snoopy explicitly states that this move bankrupts her out of the game. Played for laughs, of course.
- Shown Their Work: Monopoly strategy books have shown that owning the Dark Green monopoly is far more profitable than the Boardwalk/Park Place monopoly.
- Leitmotif: The four note "No Dogs Allowed" motif.
- Literal Ass-Kicking: Snoopy gives one to Charlie Brown, and gets one from Schroeder, in the opening credits.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Lila, although she gets well by the end, and she's portrayed much less sympathetically in the last scene. Her actual illness is also kept vague and unspecified.
- New Sound Album: After the producers decided that A Boy Named Charlie Brown wound up a little too much like an extended Peanuts TV special, there was a complete change of musical style for this movie. While Vince Guaraldi kept his job as TV music director, The Sherman Brothers were brought in to do the music, resulting in a score more in line with traditional animated movies.
- Novelization: There was one, with stills from the film. It was just as tearjerking.
- Ocular Gushers: All the kids sans Schroeder cry this way during the going away party.
- Odd Name Out: This is the only one of the five Peanuts movies that has Snoopy's name in the title.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: You'll never see Snoopy get as angry or as frightened as he does with Clara. She's just that bonkers.
- Ring Ring Crunch: Snoopy does this to a really loud alarm clock at one point on his journey, and then to Woodstock when he's chirping in his sleep.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: A scene like this occurs at one point when Clara chases Snoopy and Woodstock through her house.
- Shown Their Work: Schroeder asks for $1,275 when Lucy lands on his Pacific Avenue, which happens to be the actual rent for that property with a hotel.
- Snowclone Title: To Lassie Come Home.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Schroeder plays the sprightly music hall tune "It's A Long Way To Tipperary" as the entire Peanuts gang cry their eyes out at Snoopy's going-away party.
- Even the background music played during the carnival scene falls under this trope. It goes from being upbeat and lively to slow and romantic to downright depressing and heartbreaking later on when the audience finds out it's the same tune as the song "It Changes" that Charlie Brown sings after Snoopy bids him farewell to be with Lila for good.
- Title Drop: While despairing over Snoopy being gone, Charlie Brown cries out the movie title.
- Title Theme Tune
- Triumphant Reprise: The very last incarnation of the "NO DOGS ALLOWED" tune, along with the "Best of Buddies" song combined with "It's A Long Way to Tipperary" near the end.
- Tropey, Come Home
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: The section with Clara is basically its own self-contained story.
- We Want Our Jerk Back/Status Quo Is God: Snoopy behaves like a jerk to everyone in the film, but they all cry when he leaves. When he eventually returns, they're so happy to have him back but are shocked when he continues to be a jerk.
- Wham Line: "You are not Snoopy's original owner." And the more blunt "You've got a used dog, Charlie Brown."
- What Happened to the Mouse?: For some reason, after the deep thought sequence, Peppermint Patty disappears for the rest of the movie. Although she appears briefly at Snoopy's going-away party in a 3-second shot, she isn't seen again in the movie unless you count the credits.
- Then again, Peppermint Patty does live on the other side of town.
- What the Hell, Hero?: When he returns for good, Snoopy asks everyone to return the gifts he gave them when he left.