It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown

It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown is the sixth prime-time animated television special based on the popular comic strip Peanuts, created by Charles M. Schulz.[1] It was directed by Bill Meléndez and originally aired on CBS on September 27, 1969.[2]

It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown
GenreAnimated television special
Created byCharles M. Schulz
Directed byBill Melendez
Voices of
Theme music composerVince Guaraldi
Opening theme"It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown"
Ending theme"It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown"
ComposersVince Guaraldi
John Scott Trotter
Lee Mendelson
Country of originU.S.
Original languageEnglish
ProducersLee Mendelson
Bill Melendez
EditorsBob Gillis
Chuck McCann
Steve Melendez
Running time25:05
Original networkCBS
Picture format4:3
Audio formatMonaural
First shown inSeptember 27, 1969
Preceded byCharlie Brown and Charles Schulz (1969)
Followed byPlay It Again, Charlie Brown (1971)

It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown was the first Peanuts special not to receive any Emmy Award nominations.


School is out for the summer and Charlie, Linus, Schroeder, and Pig Pen are planning to spend it reading every comic book, watching television, playing baseball, and playing classical music. However, Lucy tells them that she signed them up for camp. The girls are eager to go, but the boys hate the idea. The boys shove each other to get on the bus, while the girls line up in order. At camp, Charlie is chosen as captain of the boys' camp. The boys and girls have a swim race which the girls win easily. Then they have a softball game, which the boys lose with only one run. Other competitions are just as lopsided.

Charlie and Shermy, disillusioned by their continued defeat, see Snoopy arm-wrestling with the boys. They realize that the boys might get even with an arm wrestling game, with "The Masked Marvel" (Snoopy) as their champion. Snoopy goes into training, eating the camp's awful food, doing exercises, and drinking a nutritious and noxious concoction. In the contest, Snoopy goes up against Lucy. They both get sweaty and tired in the match, which ends when Snoopy kisses Lucy. He pins her hand; but she says that kissing her was a foul, and she is the winner.

Back at school, Charlie only comes up with 13 words on his essay that he and Linus are forced to write on the first day, having been caught playing hangman in class. Linus gets an A but Charlie gets a C-. Linus then says "Oh, well, it was a short summer, Charlie Brown", to which Charlie gloomily replies, "And it looks like it's going to be a long winter".

Voice castEdit


  • Created and Written by: Charles M. Schulz
  • Directed by: Bill Melendez
  • Produced by: Lee Mendelson, Bill Melendez
  • Graphic Blandishment: Ed Levitt, Bernard Gruver, Ellie Bonnard, Evert Brown, Don Lusk, Frank Smith, Bob Carlson, Spencer Peel, Ruth Kissane, Beverly Robbins, Rudy Zamora, Brad Case, Phil Roman, Alan Zaslove, Bill Littlejohn, Herman Cohen, Manuel Perez, Hank Smith, Jan Strejan, Sam Jaimes, Eleanor Warren, Faith Kovaleski, Manon Washburn, Gwenn Dotzler
  • Original Score Composed and Performed by: Vince Guaraldi
  • Arranged and Conducted by: John Scott Trotter
  • Assistant Director: Hideyuki Tanaka
  • Editing: Bob Gillis, Chuck McCann, Steve Melendez
  • Recording:
    • Voices: Radio Recorders, Sid Nicholas
    • Music: United Recorders, Arte Becker
    • Mix: Producers' Sound Service, Don Minkler, Bill Mumford
  • Camera: Jim Dixon, Nick Vasu, Wally Bulloch
  • In Cooperation with United Feature Syndicate, Inc.
  • THE END "It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown" © 1969 United Feature, Inc.

Production notesEdit

It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown was the first Peanuts special to not feature the majority of the original voice cast from the inaugural A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), who began to age out of their roles; Ann Altieri, Sally Dryer and Peter Robbins (in his last appearance voicing Charlie Brown) did return before they began to age out their roles, except for Melendez, who voiced Snoopy and Woodstock. Among the notable additions to the cast was Pamelyn Ferdin, Robbins's co-star on Blondie.

Music scoreEdit

The music score for It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown was composed by Vince Guaraldi (except where noted) and conducted and arranged by John Scott Trotter.[3] The score was recorded by the Vince Guaraldi Octet on September 11, 1969, at United Western Recorders, featuring Herb Ellis (guitar), Monty Budwig (bass), Conte Candoli (trumpet), Pete Candoli (trumpet), Frank Rosolino (trombone), Victor Feldman (percussion) and Jack Sperling (drums).[4]

  1. "Charlie Brown Theme" (version 1, horn section) (Vince Guaraldi, Lee Mendelson)
  2. "Linus and Lucy" (flute and trio version)
  3. "It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown" (opening theme version)
  4. "Oh, Good Grief" (version 1) (Vince Guaraldi, Lee Mendelson)
  5. "You're in Love, Charlie Brown"
  6. "Schroeder"
  7. "Bus Blues" (John Scott Trotter)
  8. "Bus Blues" (reprise) (John Scott Trotter)
  9. "It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown" (version 2)
  10. "Frieda (With the Naturally Curly Hair)" (big band version)
  11. "Oh, Good Grief" (version 2) (Vince Guaraldi, Lee Mendelson)
  12. "Come and Get It" (John Scott Trotter)
  13. "Mess Call" (aka "Hash") (John Scott Trotter)
  14. "Bon Voyage"
  15. "Peppermint Patty"
  16. "Nova Bossa" (John Scott Trotter)/"Love Will Come"/"Nova Bossa" (John Scott Trotter)
  17. "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag" (Felix Powell, George Asaf)
  18. "There's a Long Long Trail A-Winding" (Alonzo Elliot, Stoddard King)
  19. "Reveille" (Traditional, arr. John Scott Trotter)
  20. "He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown"
  21. "Pebble Beach"
  22. "You're in Love, Charlie Brown"
  23. "He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown" (reprise)
  24. "The Masked Marvel" (long version)
  25. "Air Music" (aka "Surfin' Snoopy")
  26. "The Masked Marvel" (shorter version)
  27. "You're in Love, Charlie Brown" (reprise)
  28. "The Masked Marvel" (shortest version)
  29. "Linus and Lucy" (arm wrestling version)
  30. "Oh, Good Grief" (version 3) (Vince Guaraldi, Lee Mendelson)
  31. "Charlie Brown Theme" (version 2) (Vince Guaraldi, Lee Mendelson)
  32. "It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown" (end credits version)

Home mediaEdit

In 1985, Media Home Entertainment released the special on VHS and Betamax along with It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown. It was re-released by its kids subdivision Hi-Tops Video in 1989. Paramount Home Media Distribution released the special along with You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown as part of the Snoopy Double Feature: Volume 3 compilation on August 17, 1994. On July 7, 2009, it was released on DVD for the first time, in remastered form as part of the DVD box set, Peanuts 1960s Collection. On October 6, 2015, the special was released in the remastered deluxe edition of He's a Bully, Charlie Brown along with an episode from The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show as bonus specials.


  1. ^ Solomon, Charles (2012). The Art and Making of Peanuts Animation: Celebrating Fifty Years of Television Specials. Chronicle Books. pp. 90–93. ISBN 978-1452110912.
  2. ^ Woolery, George W. (1989). Animated TV Specials: The Complete Directory to the First Twenty-Five Years, 1962-1987. Scarecrow Press. pp. 209–210. ISBN 0-8108-2198-2. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  3. ^ Bang, Derrick. "Vince Guaraldi's Peanuts Song Library: It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown". Derrick Bang, Scott McGuire. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  4. ^ Bang, Derrick. "Vince Guaraldi Timeline: 1969". Derrick Bang, Scott McGuire. Retrieved 25 June 2020.

External linksEdit