It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown

It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown is the 15th prime-time animated television special based on Charles M. Schulz's comic strip Peanuts. The subject of the special is Arbor Day, a secular holiday devoted to planting trees. It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown premiered on the CBS network on March 16, 1976, which is near the dates in which most U.S. states observe Arbor Day. This is the first special to feature the character Rerun van Pelt (younger brother to Linus and Lucy), who had debuted in the Peanuts comic strip in March 1973.

It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown
GenreComedy
Created byCharles M. Schulz
Directed byPhil Roman
Voices of
  • Dylan Beach
  • Gail M. Davis
  • Sarah Beach
  • Stuart Brotman
  • Greg Felton
  • Liam Martin
  • Michelle Muller
  • Vinnie Dow
  • Bill Melendez
Theme music composerVince Guaraldi
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Production
Executive producer(s)Lee Mendelson
Producer(s)Bill Melendez
Editor(s)Chuck McCann
Roger Donley
Running time30 minutes
Release
Original networkCBS
Original releaseMarch 16, 1976 (1976-03-16)
Chronology
Preceded byYou're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown (1975)
Followed byIt's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown (1977)

The musical score features the final compositions and recorded performances of Vince Guaraldi, a jazz pianist whose many contributions to Peanuts include the theme "Linus and Lucy". Guaraldi died on February 6, 1976—less than two months before the special's premiere.

It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown was distributed as a bonus feature on Paramount Home Video's 2003 DVD-Video release of It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (1974). A remastered version was published on DVD by Warner Home Video in 2008, and in the DVD box set Peanuts 1970's Collection, Vol. 2 in 2010.

PlotEdit

Linus repairs his Mother's bike with Charlie Brown watching. Linus's Mother leaves with Rerun on the back seat. Rerun goes through all the places they are set to visit, including the Arbor Day meeting. After Sally Brown is humiliated in class for misunderstanding the purpose of Arbor Day, she is told that she has to write a full report on Arbor day, and Linus goes with her to the library to help her with the report. Linus leaves the library after Sally's repeated attempts to make him fall in love with her. The scene cuts to Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty talking under a tree. Patty askes Charlie Brown to explain love to her, before she cuts him out several times. She switches the topic to baseball, going over the time her team plays his team, confident that she will win over him every time. Sally, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy and Woodstock decides to plant a lush garden—in Charlie Brown's baseball field, despite Linus's protests. Lucy then calls in the whole team to help with the planting. Charlie Brown is unaware on what is actually going on, and stays at home to work on his team's strategy. The gang informs Charlie Brown that they will name the field Charlie Brown field, to his happiness. He is shocked to find what has happened to the field when they show him. Charlie Brown tries to make the best of the situation by placing baseball gloves and caps on the trees. The trees catch so many fly outs, neither team is able to score. Schroeder tells Lucy that he will kiss her if she hits a home run. To Schroeder's surprise and Charlie Brown's delight, Lucy hits the home run and scores the first run of the game. Moments later, Charlie Brown's joy turns to anguish as the game is rained out in a huge storm. His team wins so rarely, he accepts the rainout as a de facto victory.

ProductionEdit

Like the other Peanuts specials of the era, It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown was directed by Phil Roman, and produced by Bill Melendez.

The film reuses animated sequences from Snoopy, Come Home (1972), There's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown (1973), A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973), and You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown (1975).

Death of Vince GuaraldiEdit

It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown was the last Peanuts special to feature original music composed by Vince Guaraldi, who was best known for the Peanuts' signature tune, "Linus and Lucy." 47-year-old Guaraldi died suddenly several hours after completing the soundtrack for this special. The end credits include a dedication: "For Vince."

With the untimely death of Guaraldi, later Peanuts animated specials lack the same jazzy musical score as previous entries. As such, It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown is seen by some fans as the swan song of the "golden era" of Peanuts animation.[1]

CastEdit

(Marcie, Franklin, Violet, and Patty appear in the film, but have no lines.)

CreditsEdit

"It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown" © 1976 United Feature Syndicate, Inc.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit