A Charlie Brown Christmas became an instant holiday clip when it first aired in 1965 as the Peanuts animated tale reminds people that it’s time to move furnishings around to make space for the tree. Over the decades the special that rails against the commercialization of Christmas has become a fatality of networks adding more commercials to its half hour slot.
The suits originally carved out seconds until they butchered the gang singing, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Fans weren’t happy at this shortened tradition. A solution was found in 2002 when they created Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales to pad out an hour slot.
The new special compiles five cartoons based on original newspaper flooring done by Charles Schulz. “Happy Holidays From Snoopy” has the dog get a gig as a sidewalk Santa. He doesn’t put up with bad-tempered from the kids who didn’t get their gifts. Instead of ringing a bell, he plays the accordion. “Yuletide Greetings from Linus” comprises his letter to Santa Claus that attempts to avoid absolute asking for presents.
“Season’s Greetings from Sally” takes off with her giving everyone paper airplanes as their present. Later she messes up by writing to Samantha Claus. “Peace on Earth from Lucy” lets her unload on Linus when he writes her letter to Santa. She doesn’t take his submissions kindly. “Christmas from Charlie Brown” wraps up with Sally and Charlie getting ready for the big day. Sally wants to leave frozen broccoli under the tree for Santa. She does see Santa.
Ironically Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales became a victim of network slashing this holiday season. ABC halved the show in order to cram in their “Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa” short. Thus in a strange twist, the only way to view the complete special is to buy the DVD. Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales was originally a bonus feature on the I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown DVD, but was left off the recent Deluxe Edition release. This is the best place to get the complete special. Nobody wants to make it easy to enjoy Snoopy as Santa.