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Not to be confused with the 1963 documentary of the same name

A Boy Named Charlie Brown is a 1969 Academy Award-nominated animated film produced by Cinema Center Films and released by National General Pictures. It was the first of the five theatrical feature films based on the Peanuts comic strip (as well as the television specials). Some of the footage was previewed in Charlie Brown and Charles Schulz. It was released to theaters on December 4, 1969, making it the only and last Peanuts movie of the 1960s.

The film was critically acclaimed and was a box office success, grossing $12 million worldwide.


Baseball-team-a boy named charlie brown

Charlie Brown's baseball team

Charlie Brown's first Little League baseball game of the season approaches, and he eagerly goes to the stadium. Charlie Brown's somewhat friends Lucy, Schroeder, Patty, Frieda, Shermy, "Pig-Pen", Linus, Violet , and his sister Sally arrive. The game starts, and the team fails the first game of the summer season. Everyone lets out a scream. Charlie Brown walks home, musing that they always lose the first and last games of the season; and all the ones in between. Later on that day, Linus shows up on the front porch of the house and tries to cheer Charlie Brown up, stating that people learn more from losing than from winning.

Winning isn't anything

Winning isn't anything

However, Charlie Brown replies sarcastically, "I guess that makes me the smartest person in the whole world." Linus takes the tone of voice and tells Charlie Brown that if he keeps thinking he is a loser, it will not help. Positively, Linus tells Charlie Brown that he is sure that someday he will win.

Point your faults

Lucy's psychiatry booth

The next day, Charlie Brown stops by Lucy's psychiatry booth. Lucy tells Charlie Brown that she can help him point out his faults better than anyone else (this session includes a classic football gag). At her house, Lucy reveals a slide projector and a screen, onto which slides showing Charlie Brown's myriad faults will be displayed. However, the 'evidence' does not help Charlie Brown at all and makes him feel even more miserable.

On the way to school the next day, Linus encounters Charlie Brown, who tells him about the slide show that Lucy showed. As they near the playground, Lucy jokingly comes up to Charlie Brown, explains that the school is having a spelling bee, and laughs at the thought of him volunteering.

Linus, however, thinks that entering the spelling bee is a good idea. His opinion is met by more rude laughter and insults by Lucy, Patty, and Violet as they sing the song "Failure Face", which only deeply angers and annoys Charlie Brown, and he sets his mind to volunteer. Later in class, Charlie Brown nervously volunteers and manages to beat the other children in the class.

The next day, Charlie Brown will be going up against the other children in the school. Filled with determination, he, Linus, and Snoopy go home and study through the dictionary. With Snoopy's accompaniment, Linus and Charlie sing about some spelling rules. As the school-wide spelling bee kicks off, Charlie Brown's mind is filled with all sorts of words, rules, and doubts, as he is feeling the pressure of his class watching him take on the best spellers in the school. It soon comes down to Charlie Brown, but when Snoopy, who is outside playing a Jew's harp, plays the song that helped Charlie Brown remember spelling tips; it clears his mind and Charlie Brown wins the bee. The other children cheerfully follow him home, singing a song titled "Champion Charlie Brown."

Later on, at Charlie Brown's house, Lucy proclaims that Charlie Brown (with his newfound fame) should have an agent, a job which she would naturally do best. The others recommend that Charlie Brown should start studying again, which confuses him, given that he just won the spelling bee. The others tell him it was just the beginning. Violet tells him his victory in the school spelling bee has given him the privilege to take part in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee.

Piano- a boy named charlie brown

Daydreaming of imagery from Beethoven's time

Charlie Brown's feelings about his victory immediately turn, as he finds his feelings about his bad luck once again eating away at him. Soon afterward, Charlie Brown boards the bus for the trip to New York City. Linus wishes him luck, but then generously, albeit reluctantly, hands Charlie Brown his blanket for good luck. The children cheer Charlie on as the bus pulls away, but Charlie's fears about living up to their expectations begin to surface again as he makes his way to the Big Apple and checks into his hotel. Back at home, Lucy is seen speaking to Schroeder, which of course ends in his frustration. To regain his composure, he plays the second movement of Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata in C minor (Op.13) while daydreaming of imagery from Beethoven's time.

Keep fainting

Linus suffering terribly

When Lucy returns home, she finds Linus suffering terribly from withdrawal after giving his blanket to Charlie Brown. Finally unable to take it anymore, he pleads with Snoopy to help him go to New York to find Charlie Brown and get his blanket back. Soon afterward, an exhausted Charlie Brown opens his door and is greeted by the enthusiastic Snoopy. Linus, however, passes out. As he comes back to consciousness, he explains to Charlie Brown that he is dying without his blanket.

Charlie Brown tells him he has been studying so hard, that he forgot about the blanket, and he is not sure where it could be. After some thought, he guesses that he left it at the New York Public Library. Linus and Snoopy then take off through the streets of New York in the night. As they continue walking, Snoopy gets distracted and ends up ice-skating at the Rockefeller Center ice rink. Soon, he catches up to Linus at the library, Linus, after peering through the front doors of the closed structure, is convinced it his blanket is not there. Angrily, he storms back to Charlie Brown's hotel room to tell him.

Back at the hotel, as Linus continues to suffer from withdrawal, Charlie Brown dresses for the contest. As Charlie Brown shines his shoes, Linus stares in shock: the cloth he is using is Linus' blanket! Linus dives for it, ecstatic to have it back. The three then set off for the spelling bee.

Charlie Brown goes backstage while Linus and Snoopy take their seats in the auditorium where the spelling bee is to be held. Back at home, the rest of the gang is tuning in to the spelling bee, which is being broadcast on television. The contestants stand up and they spell words correctly but one girl gets eliminated for spelling "Irritable" as "I-R-R-I-T-I-B-L-E". One by one, the other contestants are eliminated. A boy is eliminated when he misspells "tyranny" as "T-Y-R-R-A-N-Y." Another boy misspells "indispensable" as "I-N-D-I-S-P-E-N-S-I-B-L-E" and is disqualified. The boy with orange hair misspells "irresistible" as "I-R-R-E-S-I-S-T-A-B-L-E." Then he is off. The girl with black hair and a red shirt misspells "repetition" as "R-E-P-E-T-I-O-N." The girl with pigtails misspells "ingenious" as "I-N-G-E-N-U-O-U-S." Another girl is disqualified when she misspells "irremediable" as "I-R-R-I-M-È-I-D-A-B-L-È." Eventually, the only remaining contestants are Charlie Brown and one other boy resembling Schroeder.

Everyone screams

Lucy, Schroeder, Patty, Pigpen, Violet, Frieda and Sally scream "Aaugh!" when Charlie Brown spells "beagle" incorrectly.

After a long, tense duel between the two, Charlie Brown seems to be spelling at his very best and on the verge of victory. Sadly, though, Charlie Brown is then eliminated for misspelling, of all words, "beagle" as "B-E-A-G-E-L." Everyone (Lucy, Sally, "Pig-Pen", Violet, Frieda, Patty, and Schroeder, then Snoopy and Linus, then Charlie Brown) lets out a huge scream "AAUGH!!"; besides it being a relatively simple word, Snoopy is himself a beagle. An irate Lucy turns off the TV and screams to everyone, "Owning 10% of Charlie Brown is 10% of nothing!". She then turns the TV back on and she angrily says "Charlie make me mad!". Then she turns it off. A heartbroken Charlie Brown returns home along with Linus and Snoopy. When they get home at nighttime, no one is there to greet them.

The next day, Linus goes to Charlie Brown's house, where he meets Sally. She tells him that her brother has been in his room all day with the shades down. As Linus knocks on the door, Charlie Brown asks who it is. When Linus asks if he can come in, Charlie Brown replies morosely, "I don't care." Linus comes in and sees Charlie Brown lying in bed.

When Linus mentions that the other children missed him at school, Charlie Brown replies that he is not going back to school again. Linus also questions why Charlie Brown also missed a baseball game, which, ironically, was the first game they had won all season. However, as Linus turns to go, he looks back at Charlie Brown. Although he acknowledges that Charlie Brown feels that he let everyone down by losing the spelling bee, he adds, "But did you notice something, Charlie Brown? The world didn't come to an end."

Welcome home, charlie brown

Welcome Home, Charlie Brown.

As Linus shuts the door, Charlie Brown thinks for a moment, gets dressed, and then goes outside where the other children are still playing marbles, jumping rope, and Lucy holding a football for him to kick, but she pulls away. She says "Welcome home, Charlie Brown." Just as Linus said, the world around him have not come to an end. He still has his whole life ahead of him to prove he is a winner.


Voice cast[]

Peppermint Patty is shown with a sign saying 'Chuck', and is one of the people who cheer for Charlie Brown when he wins the school spelling bee, but she is not heard. 5 also appears but is also silent.


  • This film had its premiere at the famous Radio City Music Hall in New York City, being the third animated feature to do so after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Bambi (1942).
  • During Snoopy's dream sequence, clips from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown are used for his being the World War I Flying Ace.
  • This is the first hearing of Peter Robbins' yelling of "Aaugh!" (which would constantly be re-used in later TV specials and films for various characters).
  • This film used the same voice cast from the 1969 television special It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown. also this is the only and last film to be released in 1969 and the 60s decade.
  • This is the only movie Erin Sullivan voiced Sally Brown and Andy Pforsich voiced Schroeder.
  • A lot of the trombone sound clips used for the teacher in future TV specials originated from this film. One can actually make out what the teacher is saying through the cadences of the trombone. Such phrases the trombone mimicked include "Charlie Brown, are you talking to yourself?", "Would you like to volunteer?" "What's that?" and "Charlie Brown, the word is 'failure'."
  • The version of "Linus and Lucy" heard when Linus is reunited with his blanket is the same version recorded for the beginning of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
  • Live-action footage of hockey players in silhouette appear during Snoopy's fantasy sequence at Rockefeller Center.
  • This is the only Peanuts feature film to be nominated for an Academy Award.


  • Charlie Brown is seen setting off for the spelling bee with a suitcase and a duffel bag. Upon arrival, he only has the suitcase. Upon return, the duffel bag reappears, but when he gets home, it's only the suitcase again.
  • When Charlie Brown spanks his forehead after seeing Snoopy fly his kite, there is no ground underneath him, implying that he's floating in the sky.
  • Linus and Snoopy are entering the theater where the Spelling Bee is held from the interior of the building. When Linus tells the usher he's a friend of one of the contestants, they are shown going inside from the exterior.
  • The scenery when Snoopy brings his record player out to the field to play The Star-Spangled Banner is different from when he takes it back.
  • The amount of food in Snoopy's dish changes between the kitchen and his doghouse.
  • Lucy gives Snoopy Charlie Brown's red kite and he flies it. Cut to a long shot, where the kite Snoopy is holding is yellow.
  • The National Spelling Bee is held in Washington DC, not New York.
  • In the "I Before E Except After C" song, two displayed words are misspelled: FINANCEIR, which should be FINANCIER, and LEIZURE which should be LEISURE.
  • The baseball game Charlie Brown's team was playing should've been called long before it was over due to mercy rules.
  • When Charlie Brown checks into the hotel, he unpacks his bag and throws a green shirt into the drawer, yet he always wears the same yellow and black shirt.
  • The Star-Spangled Banner is shortened by a verse.
  • When the kids get to New York and start getting into taxis, Charlie Brown is seen getting into the back seat of one along with 3 other boys. You never see the taxi's rear door. (Though possibly it is because the door would've been in the way of the view of the characters). When the last boy gets in and puts his duffel bag on his lap, you can clearly see it's sticking out the side of the car. Plus, there should never be 4 people in the backseat of a car, as there are not enough seat belts. Taxicabs in New York in the late 60s were often large enough to fit as many as 6 people in the rear area (at least the Checker-brand cabs were), and regardless of occupancy, it was not against the law to not wear a seat belt in a car back then. Seat belt laws did not start until the mid-1980s.
  • At the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee scene at New York City - the moment when Charlie Brown spells out "beagle" incorrectly -, when everyone is shouting, "Aaugh!" and it comes to Linus and Snoopy's turn, the eyes of the girl in a yellow dress sitting next to Snoopy disappear for a few seconds.


A Boy Named Charlie Brown also included several original songs, some of which boasted vocals for the first time: "Failure Face", "I Before E Except After C" and "Champion Charlie Brown".

The instrumental tracks interspersed throughout the movie were composed by Vince Guaraldi and arranged by John Scott Trotter (who also wrote "I Before E Except After C"). The music consisted mostly of uptempo jazz tunes that had been heard since some of the earliest Peanuts television specials aired back in 1965; however, for A Boy Named Charlie Brown, they were given a more "theatrical" treatment, with a lusher string and horn-filled arrangements. Instrumental tracks are re-arranged and used in the film including "Skating" (first heard in A Charlie Brown Christmas) and "Baseball Theme" (first heard in Charlie Brown's All-Stars). Guaraldi and Trotter were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score for their work on A Boy Named Charlie Brown.

The segment during the "Skating" sequence was choreographed by American figure skater Skippy Baxter. A segment during the middle of the film, in which Schroeder plays Beethoven's Sonata Pathétique, had piano performed by Ingolf Dahl.

The film also features a Jew's harp, which Snoopy plays to help Charlie Brown with his spelling.

The French-language version replaces Rod McKuen's vocals with a French version sung by Serge Gainsbourg, "Un petit garçon nommé Charlie Brown".

A soundtrack album with dialogue from the film was released on the Columbia Masterworks label in 1970. The first all-music version of the soundtrack was released on CD by Kritzerland Records as a limited issue of 1,000 copies in 2017.


  1. Champion Charlie Brown (logo)
  2. Cloud Dreams
  3. Champion Charlie Brown (opening titles)
  4. A Boy Named Charlie Brown (vocal by Rod McKuen)
  5. Kite Music (Lucifer's Lady)
  6. Charlie Brown and His All-Stars
  7. The Star-Spangled Banner
  8. Percussion Swinger/Baseball Theme
  9. Baseball Theme
  10. Baseball Theme
  11. A Boy Named Charlie Brown (instrumental)
  12. Surfin' Snoopy (Air Music)
  13. The Red Baron Strikes Again
  14. Blue Charlie Brown
  15. Catatonic Blues
  16. Linus and Lucy
  17. Champion Charlie Brown
  18. Failure Face (vocal)
  19. Catatonic Blues
  20. I Before E Except After C
  21. I Before E Except After C (jews harp version)
  22. Champion Charlie Brown (vocal)
  23. Oh, Good Grief
  24. Champion Charlie Brown/A Boy Named Charlie Brown
  25. Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 (Sonata Pathétique) – III: Rondo: Allegro
  26. Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 (Sonata Pathétique) – II: Adagio cantabile
  27. Linus and Lucy (minor key)
  28. Bus Wheel Blues
  29. A Boy Named Charlie Brown (instrumental)
  30. Champion Charlie Brown
  31. Linus and Lucy (minor key)
  32. Skating/Blue Puck/Skating
  33. Linus and Lucy (minor key)
  34. Linus and Lucy (Found Blanket)
  35. Champion Charlie Brown
  36. Blue Charlie Brown
  37. A Boy Named Charlie Brown (instrumental)
  38. Bus Wheel Blues
  39. A Boy Named Charlie Brown (instrumental)
  40. Charlie Brown and His All-Stars
  41. A Boy Named Charlie Brown (instrumental; vocal by Rod McKuen)

Home video release[]

Paramount Pictures and CBS both own the film today, as they are the former owners of the Peanuts library. CBS/Fox Video released the film on VHS and Betamax for the first time in July 1983, at an affordable price of only $29.95. The movie was released on DVD for the first time on March 28, 2006, by Paramount Home Entertainment, along with its sequel, Snoopy, Come Home. A Peanuts Double Feature DVD box set containing both films was released on March 15, 2011. A Boy Named Charlie Brown was released on Blu-ray with its sequel on September 6, 2016.

For its Betamax and VHS debut in July 1983, the film was accompanied by a promotional campaign by fast-food restaurant McDonald's, which sold a series of five "Camp Snoopy" glasses with their Happy Meals to promote the home media debut of the film.

Until 2006, the home video versions of the film was based on the version that was shown on television and had several edits, including:

  • Some of the sequence of Charlie Brown attempting to fly a kite was trimmed.
  • The sequence in Lucy's psychiatry session where she tricks Charlie Brown into doing the football gag and doing the slow-motion replay was removed.
  • The beginning of "I Before E" was also trimmed.
  • Lucy discussing with Charlie Brown the possibility of becoming his agent and a commission was cut.
  • The part in Charlie Brown's hotel room where he is tired, thinks about Lucy berating him, and ordering room service was deleted. For the longest time, this also removed the context of why Charlie Brown said, "I before E after milk?" before falling asleep.
  • Some of the sequence of Snoopy playing hockey was shortened.

Home video release history[]

  • July 1983 (VHS and Betamax - CBS/Fox Video)
  • September 1983 (CED Videodisc - CBS/Fox Video)
  • 1984 (Laserdisc release & VHS and Betamax reissue - CBS/Fox Children's Video)
  • 1985 (VHS and Betamax reissue - Playhouse Video)
  • September 26, 1991 (Hi-Fi Stereo VHS reissue - Fox Video (CBS/Fox Children's Video))
  • February 20, 1992 (VHS reissue - Fox Video/CBS Video)
  • May 29, 2001 (VHS - Paramount Family Favorites)
  • March 28, 2006 (DVD - Peanuts Pictures)
  • February 10, 2015 (DVD - Peanuts Movies)
  • September 6, 2016 (Blu-ray - Peanuts Movies)
  • November 1, 2016 (Blu-ray - Peanuts Movies Double Feature)
  • May 18, 2021 (Blu-ray - Snoopy Collection)

Deleted scenes[]

A couple of deleted scenes were found on a Brazilian airing of the movie on the Cultura TV station, circa 1987. these scenes include:

  • An alternative scene for "Failure Face" with psychedelic imaginary scenes of Charlie Brown being tormented by the girls as they sing, including a dummy of him being placed on a statue that says "Chas Brown Esq". Currently the first verse of the song is missing.[1]
  • An extended version of "Bus Wheel Blues", in which Linus further hallucinates about Charlie Brown as a demon destroying his blanket.[2]



Main Theme
Opening Credit
Closing Credit
Original theatrical trailer

See also[]


External links[]

Peanuts Animated Features
TV Specials Released 1960s A Charlie Brown ChristmasCharlie Brown's All-StarsIt's the Great Pumpkin...You're in Love...He's Your Dog...It Was a Short Summer...
1970s Play It Again...You're Not Elected...There's No Time for Love...A Charlie Brown ThanksgivingIt's a Mystery...It's the Easter Beagle...Be My Valentine...You're a Good Sport...It's Arbor Day...It's Your First Kiss...What a Nightmare...You're the Greatest...
1980s She's a Good Skate...Life Is a Circus...It's Magic...Someday You'll Find Her...A Charlie Brown CelebrationIs This Goodbye...?It's an Adventure...What Have We Learned...?It's Flashbeagle...Snoopy's Getting Married...You're a Good Man...Happy New Year...!Snoopy!!! The MusicalIt's the Girl in the Red Truck...
1990s Why, Charlie Brown, Why?Snoopy's ReunionIt's Spring Training...It's Christmastime Again...You're in the Super Bowl...It Was My Best Birthday Ever...
2000s It's the Pied Piper...A Charlie Brown ValentineCharlie Brown's Christmas TalesLucy Must Be Traded...I Want a Dog for Christmas...He's a Bully...
2010s Happiness Is a Warm Blanket...
2020s For Auld Lang SyneIt's The Small Things...To Mom (and Dad), With LoveLucy's SchoolOne-of-a-Kind MarcieWelcome Home, Franklin
Movies A Boy Named Charlie BrownSnoopy, Come HomeRace for Your Life, Charlie BrownBon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!)The Peanuts Movie
The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show Season 1 "Snoopy's Cat Fight" • "Snoopy: Team Manager" • "Linus and Lucy" • "Lucy vs. the World" • "Linus' Security Blanket" • "Snoopy: Man's Best Friend" • "Snoopy the Psychiatrist" • "You Can't Win, Charlie Brown" • "The Lost Ballpark" • "Snoopy's Football Career" • "Chaos in the Classroom" • "It's That Team Spirit, Charlie Brown" • "Lucy Loves Schroeder"
Season 2 "Snoopy and the Giant" • "Snoopy's Brother Spike" • "Snoopy's Robot" • "Peppermint Patty's School Days" • "Sally's Sweet Babboo"
This Is America, Charlie Brown "The Mayflower Voyagers" • "The Birth of the Constitution" • "The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk" • "The NASA Space Station" • "The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad" • "The Great Inventors" • "The Smithsonian and the Presidency" • "The Music and Heroes of America"
Snoopy in Space "The Application" • "Training" • "The Graduation" • "Welcome to the ISS" • "I Never Promised You a Space Garden" • "Space Sleepwalking" • "The Journey on Orion" • "Crater Crash" • "Searching for Moon Rocks" • "You're a Good Moon, Charlie Brown" • "The Next Mission" • "Mars or Bust"
Others Peanuts (2014 TV series) • Peanuts Motion ComicsThe Snoopy ShowCamp Snoopy