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.
- And Starring: "And Introducing Woodstock". This was the character's first animated appearance.
- Aw, 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 dances for joy at the sight of it.
- Award-Bait Song: "Lila's Theme (Do You Remember Me?)", a lush, heartbreaking ballad sung by Shelby Flint, was obviously intended by The Sherman Brothers as this movie's big attention-seeking musical moment.
- Bittersweet Ending: In classic Peanuts style, still played for laughs: Snoopy goes back to live with Charlie Brown, which livens up the poor old blockhead after suffering quite the depression for a few days, but that means Snoopy won't ever see his old owner again — and the moment he returns, Snoopy reclaims everything he gave away in his farewell party and acts like a complete jackass to everybody.
- 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.
- The Cameo: Thurl Ravenscroft provides his singing voice for "NO DOGS ALLOWED!"
- 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.
- Continuity Nod:
- Snoopy plays the jew's harp, just like he did in A Boy Named Charlie Brown.
- Snoopy's love of Bunny Wunny books is recalled in the library scene.
- Schroeder plays "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" at Snoopy's going-away party, which he previously played at the Halloween party in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, with Snoopy (in his WW1 flying ace attire) dancing to it.
- 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.
- Didn't Think This Through: Lila inviting Snoopy to come back and live with her again. She doesn't realize her apartment building doesn't allow dogs until Snoopy points out the sign.
- 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. He even pulls out his jew's harp from A Boy Named Charlie Brown.
- 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.
- Hammerspace: That little suitcase that Snoopy uses on his journey fits everything needed for a camping trip. The only thing he didn't include was a tent. And his packed suitcase doesn't even seem at all heavy to carry.
- Heroic BSoD: Charlie Brown ends up being depressed even by the standards of Charlie Brown. That's saying something.
- 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). Justified in that Snoopy and Woodstock use that distraction to skedaddle before she can recover.
- 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.
- Leitmotif: The four note "No Dogs Allowed" motif, complete with deep-voiced singer.
- 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.
- Luminescent Blush: Snoopy sports one when Woodstock points out that he accidentally claimed to be a taxpayer in his letter to the Editor.
- Mistaken Species: Clara thinks that Snoopy (a beagle) and Woodstock (a canary) are a sheepdog and a parrot.
- Never My Fault: Clara blames Snoopy for getting his dress dirty, but she poured too much tea in his cup.
- New Sound Album: Charles Schulz, Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez thought A Boy Named Charlie Brown ended up a little too much like an extended Peanuts TV special. To make this seem more like a big-screen presentation, there was a complete change of musical style. While Vince Guaraldi kept his job as the TV music director, The Sherman Brothers were brought in to do the film's music, resulting in a score more in line with what Disney was doing at the time.
- 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.
- Oddball in the Series: This is the only Peanuts Animated Adaptation not to feature a score by Vince Guaraldi in his lifetime. The music was instead provided by The Sherman Brothers. Charles Schulz stated that he would have hired Guaraldi for Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown if not for the composer's sudden death in 1976.
- Odd Name Out: This is the only one of the five Peanuts movies that has Snoopy's name in the title.
- Oh, Crap!: Snoopy with Clara, after she tells him she's going to spank him.
- 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.
- Pet Dress-Up: Clara's idea of a play date with Snoopy. It's definitely not his idea of "fundamental friend dependability."
- Plucky Comic Relief: Snoopy and Woodstock's adventures and the "No Dogs Allowed!" Running Gag act as breather scenes between Charlie and the Gang's depression and angst.
- 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.
- Running Gag: "NO DOGS ALLOWED!" Seriously, pretty much anywhere he goes, Snoopy will encounter a sign like this.Or biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrds....
- 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.
- Monopoly strategy books have shown that owning the Dark Green monopoly is far more profitable than the Boardwalk/Park Place monopoly.
- Silly Song:"Fundamental Friend Dependability" is an inspired bit of lunacy, written by the Sherman Brothers. They also wrote "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", and it shows.
- 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.
- Status Quo Is God: Snoopy ends up coming back to Charlie Brown, ensuring that his antics will keep occurring.
- Surprisingly Happy Ending: While it's still somewhat bittersweet (see above), the ending is much happier than its initially set up to be. It appears that Snoopy is leaving Charlie Brown and his friends for good to live with Lila, but he actually ends up saying one final goodbye to her and going back to Charlie Brown.
- Title Drop: While despairing over Snoopy being gone, Charlie Brown cries out the movie title.
- Title Theme Tune: "Snoopy, Come Home" is a musical sequence as depressing as the rest of the film, with all of the Peanuts gang walking around upset and Charlie Brown in a visibly increasing despair.
- 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.
- Unsuccessful Pet Adoption: Zig-zagged, considering Snoopy was adopted by Lila's family then returned after they moved and decided not to keep him (though it's possible that they moved into the same dog-unfriendly apartment they had in present-day). Naturally, Snoopy was subsequently adopted by Charlie Brown, but then Lila talked Snoopy into coming to live with her permanently. He agrees, only to discover she owns a cat and her apartment's "No Dogs Allowed" policy. Free of his obligations to her, he joyfully returns to Charlie Brown.
- Tropey, Come Home: It's right there in the title, and one of the songs, and poor Charlie Brown screams it in despair at one point.
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: The section with Clara is basically its own self-contained story.
- We Want Our Jerk Back: 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.