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A Charlie Brown Christmas is the first of 45 animated television specials based on the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz, it originally aired on CBS on December 9, 1965. In the program, Charlie Brown questions the meaning of Christmas, if it has lost its true meaning from how commercial it is.

All of the Peanuts characters that had been introduced and established as permanent in the strip by 1965 feature in the program. "Pig-Pen", Frieda, and even Shermy feature in minor roles; 5 and his sisters 3 and 4 appear in non-speaking roles, performing memorable dances. Charlotte Braun had been dropped a decade earlier, and Roy had only made one guest appearance at camp that year.

Plot

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Charlie Brown and Linus lean against the Brick wall.

Most of the Peanuts characters are skating on a frozen pond as the song "Christmas Time Is Here" plays. On his way to join them, Charlie Brown confides in Linus that even though the holidays are approaching he is starting to feel depressed despite all the presents and cards and tree decorating. His depression and aggravation only get exacerbated by the goings-on in the neighborhood. Though his mailbox is empty of Christmas cards, he tries sarcastically to thank Violet for the card she sent him, though Violet knows she did no such thing. Charlie Brown shouts after Violet as she walks away: "Don't you know sarcasm when you hear it?"

A-Charlie-Brown-Christmas-image-2

Charlie Brown at Lucy's psychiatry booth.

Ultimately, Charlie Brown visits Lucy in her psychiatric booth. On her advice, he gets involved in directing a Christmas nativity play. She also sympathizes with Charlie Brown about holiday depression, always getting a lot of stupid toys instead of what she wants: real estate. On the way to the theatre, Charlie Brown is drawn to Snoopy, who is frantically and gleefully busy decorating his doghouse. When Charlie Brown demands an explanation, Snoopy hands him a flyer about the neighborhood Christmas lights and display contest. Charlie Brown walks away in frustration at his dog having been bitten by the Christmas commercialization bug. He then gets accosted by Sally, who wants Charlie Brown to dictate a letter to Santa. Sally ultimately asks Santa to just send money, particularly tens and twenties, causing Charlie Brown to run away in exasperation at even his sister's secularization.

CBXmasDance

The famous dance.

Charlie Brown arrives at the rehearsals, but try as he might, he cannot seem to get control of the situation. The uncooperative children are more interested in modernizing the play with dancing and lively music. Charlie Brown, on the other hand, is determined to not let the play become secularized, by focusing on the traditional side of the story.

Thinking the play requires the proper mood, Charlie Brown decides they need a Christmas tree. So Lucy takes over the crowd and dispatches Charlie Brown to get a big shiny aluminum tree... maybe painted pink. With Linus in tow, Charlie Brown sets off on his quest. But when they get to the tree market as an "O Tannenbaum" instrumental plays in the background, Charlie Brown zeroes in on a small baby tree which, with symbolic irony, is the only real tree on the lot. Linus is reluctant about Charlie Brown's choice, but Charlie Brown is convinced that with decoration it will be just right for the play.

Shermy

Shermy makes a rare television appearance in the special complaining that he plays a shepherd every year.

They return to the auditorium with the tree, only to be verbally castigated by the girls, especially Lucy, about the puny tree. Second-guessing himself, Charlie Brown begins to wonder if he knows what Christmas is about, loudly asking in despair. Linus quietly says he can tell him and walks to the center of the stage to make his point. Under a spotlight, Linus quotes the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke, verses 8 through 14 from the King James Bible, in which angels from heaven tell a group of initially frightened shepherds of the birth of the baby Jesus, and instruct them as to where they can find the babe.

Charlie Brown now realizes he does not have to let commercialism ruin his Christmas. With a newly-found sense of inspiration, he quietly picks up the little tree and walks out of the auditorium, intending to take the tree home to decorate and show the others it will work in the play.

CharlieBrown-Xmas-kills tree

"I've killed it."

On the way, he stops at Snoopy's decorated doghouse, which now sports a first prize blue ribbon for winning the display contest. Letting his dog's commercialism roll off his back, Charlie Brown takes an ornament off the doghouse and hangs it on his tree, but the ornament's weight is too much for the small branch, and pulls it to the ground, much to Charlie Brown's shock.

Charlie Brown, seeing the ornamented branch droop to the ground, says, "I've killed it. Oh! Everything I touch gets ruined!" and walks away without taking the ornament off, his head hanging in shame. Unbeknownst to Charlie Brown, the rest of the gang, having also heard Linus' recitative began to realize they were a little too rough on Charlie Brown and quietly followed him from the auditorium. Linus goes up to the little tree and gently props the drooping branch back to its upright position, ornament and all. Linus says, "I never thought it was such a bad little tree", then wraps his blanket around the base of the trunk and adds, "It's not bad at all. Maybe it just needs a little love." The rest of the children grab the other decorations off of Snoopy's doghouse and add them to the tree.

A-Charlie-Brown-Christmas-image-1

The tree is trimmed.

When they have finished, even Lucy concedes to Charlie Brown's choice, saying, "Charlie Brown is a blockhead, but he did get a nice tree." The children then start humming the traditional Christmas carol, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." When Charlie Brown returns, he demands to know what is taking place. When he sees what they have done with the tree, he cannot believe his eyes, and all the children shout, "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!" At this point, the children, joined by Charlie Brown, begin singing the carol in earnest as the end credits roll and the snow begins to fall.

Voice cast (uncredited)

Charlie Brown Christmas VHS 1996

A 1996 VHS cover for the special clamshell version from Paramount.

5, 3, and 4 appear in the special but do not have speaking roles.

Members of the choir of St. Paul's Episcopal Church (San Rafael, California) provided vocals for the songs "Christmas Time Is Here" and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing". They can be heard when all the children shout "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!" at the end of the special.

The original special did not show any voice credits, but the first three-voice credits have been added to contemporary broadcasts.

Soundtrack

Original 1965 airing

  1. "Christmas Time Is Here" (vocal, take unknown)
  2. "Christmas Time Is Here" (instrumental, #2 Take 3)
  3. "Skating" (#3 Take 7)
  4. "Christmas Time Is Here" (instrumental, #2 Take 3)
  5. "Christmas Time Is Here" (instrumental, #2 Take 3)
  6. "Christmas Is Coming" (#1 Take 7)
  7. "Linus and Lucy" (#4 Take 1)
  8. "Linus and Lucy" (#4 Take 1)
  9. "Linus and Lucy" (#4 Take 1)
  10. "Linus and Lucy" (#4 Take 1)
  11. "Oh, Tannenbaum" (#2 Take 1)
  12. "Fur Elise" (Beethoven, Take 2)
  13. "Linus and Lucy" (#4 Take 1)
  14. "Fur Elise" (Beethoven, Take 1)
  15. "Jingle Bells" (#3 Takes 1 & 3, toy piano version from unknown source)
  16. "Christmas Time Is Here" (instrumental, #2 Take 3)
  17. "Oh, Tannenbaum" (#2 Take 5)
  18. "Oh, Tannenbaum" (#2 Take 1)
  19. "Oh, Tannenbaum" (#2 Take 5)
  20. "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" (vocal, take unknown)

1966 version

When a new revised version aired on television on December 11, 1966, there were many musical differences. Here are the following added songs.

  1. "Air Music" E (where it is retitled "Surfin' Snoopy", reused from Charlie Brown's All-Stars)
  2. "Charlie Brown Theme" C (reused from Jazz Impressions of A Boy Named Charlie Brown)
  3. "Charlie Brown Theme" C
  4. "Charlie Brown Theme" C
  5. "Frieda (With The Naturally Curly Hair)" C (reused from Jazz Impressions of A Boy Named Charlie Brown)
  6. "Happiness Is" C (reused from Jazz Impressions of A Boy Named Charlie Brown)
  7. "Charlie Brown Theme" C

[Item of note: Although the album A Charlie Brown Christmas includes Guaraldi's smooth renditions of "The Christmas Song," "My Little Drum" (an arrangement of "The Little Drummer Boy"), and "Greensleeves," those holiday perennials are not mentioned on the show's Music Use Sheet, nor were they part of the show itself.]

Differences in the original 1965 version

The original airing of the special contained numerous differences from the more commonly known revised 1966 print that is still shown today. According to the book A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition, the studio went back the following year to revise the special more due to its original rushed production leaving various errors and the lack of music in some scenes. The differences from the original 1965 version can be found below.

  • The song "Christmas Time Is Here" starts earlier than in the 1966 revised version to allow the full song to be heard instead of fading out once Charlie Brown hits the tree. The dialogue was re-laid and the start of the music was pushed back farther in the 1966 version.
  • There are no sound effects when Snoopy throws Linus and Charlie Brown around.
  • During the main title shot, the sound effects are differently pitched, both the wobble of the tree and the plop of the snow, after Charlie Brown crashes.
  • Snoopy throws Linus into a Coca-Cola sign and the song fades out with "Christmastime..." repeated several times. The original sign was a standard Danger sign before being changed to the Coca-Cola version. The early sign can be seen in the original CBS promo and for one frame in the Coca-Cola version.
  • Disproving rumors, the can that the characters throw snowballs at is not a Coca-Cola can.
  • During the establishing shot of Lucy’s psychiatrist scene, the snow covering her booth is missing. Lucy does not make a zipping noise once she rushes over to meet Charlie Brown. Lucy does not make a whirling noise when she reacts to Charlie Brown‘s “THAT’S IT!”. The background music also stops during this moment instead of continuing to play like in the 1966 version.
  • When Snoopy decorates his doghouse, "Christmastime Is Here" continues to play instead of the more upbeat "Surfin' Snoopy". There are no zipping noises as Snoopy moves around decorating his doghouse. Charlie Brown is silent for 4 seconds while reading the flyer Snoopy hands him after mentioning “Find the true meaning of Christmas, win money, money, money!” then Chris Doran's (the voice of Schroeder and Shermy) voice is spliced in the soundtrack to exclaim “Lights and display contest?! Oh no!” then quickly reverts back to Peter Robbins' voice for Sally’s list scene.
  • When Charlie Brown is greeted as director, Snoopy's howling is shorter and sounds more realistic and wolf like.
  • There's no music playing in the background during Charlie Brown’s director speech scene until the 'Linus and Lucy" dance.
  • The shot of Schroeder listening for Charlie Brown to tell him to “set the mood” is a static shot of all the characters standing on stage where their dancing positions are. This causes an animation error once they start dancing again where Pig Pen only strums the bass two times instead of with the music. The 1966 version has a close up of Schroeder sitting alone on a pink background.
  • When Charlie Brown talks positively about "Pig-Pen" to Frieda, they are farther away in the original version. "Pig-Pen"'s face is also completely clean as he faces the camera. In the fixed version, we get a close up on Charlie Brown, Frieda, and "Pig-Pen". "Pig-Pen"'s face is also dirtier as he faces the camera.
  • When Lucy gives "five good reasons" to Linus we do not see a close-up of her hand making a fist.
  • There's no swooping noise when Lucy attempts to slug Snoopy, she glares at him a second longer, and he doesn’t make a 'Blah" sound after licking Lucy. Lucy’s "Aah!" is retimed to overlap Charlie Brown’s “All right, script girl continue with the scripts”.
  • Snoopy's dish is white in the original "Lunch Break" scene and the sound effects of him kicking it around are realistic clanking sounds instead of the later cartoon type noises. One frame is also rearranged in his sequence.
  • There is no music during Lucy's script girl scenes.
  • When Lucy reacts to Charlie Brown and exclaims “I know when I’ve been insulted!”, the full background can be seen and the characters are farther away from the screen. Lucy also pauses before she runs away.
  • The long shot of the characters dancing on stage is played for an additional time. In the 1966-present version, they're in their costumes in separate shots on a pink background. The start of the music has also been corrected in the present version.
  • Lucy's fingers don't make a snapping sound when she likes the music.
  • Charlie Brown’s nose is missing for eight frames when Lucy recommends getting a Christmas tree. The characters are also farther away revealing the back door and parted curtains in the background.
  • When Charlie Brown tries to find a tree, Linus does not bang on the aluminum tree. Charlie Brown‘s reaction to the tiny tree is also very brief. We don’t see Linus when he says “Gee do they still make wooden Christmas trees?”. The commercial fade out is also longer and lets the music continue.
  • The recordings of “Jingle Bells” can be heard for slightly longer after Schroeder stops playing the piano each time. Schroeder also does not make a drum roll sound while spinning after Lucy yells “That’s it!”.
  • There is no music in the background when Charlie Brown and Linus return with the tree.
  • Linus' speech is intact and he does not pick up his blanket in the full shot of the auditorium. This was reanimated in the later version resulting in a continuity error. Schroder’s piano is also missing in shots of the stage but has been added back in the present version.
  • Once Charlie Brown is eager to decorate the tree and heads home, there is no fade out to commercial (the shot also lasts several seconds longer due to this). It immediately cuts to Charlie Brown's shock of Snoopy winning first prize. Also, Charlie Brown's reaction to the award is slightly longer.
  • When the children decorate the tree, the animation of them decorating it only plays once and Charlie Brown‘s reaction to it is brief. Charlie Brown‘s foot can also be seen for a frame before he enters the scene, which was removed on the present version.
  • While the kids hum the “loo, loo, loo,” portion of the song and take a breath there’s no background error present where in the later version the characters in the back (555 95472, Violet, Shermy, Patty) overlap the rest of the characters in front of them (Sally, Lucy, Frieda, Linus, "Pig-Pen", Snoopy, Schroeder) for one frame.
  • Charlie Brown blushes while singing and Snoopy sings like a human instead of making a howling motion. The mouths of all the characters were redrawn in the 1966 version to appear more natural.
  • The song "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" does not fade out but concludes with an onscreen message saying "Merry Christmas from the people who bottle Coca-Cola".
    • A 1968 airing of the special contained an announcer stating the above sponsor text after the Coca-Cola text screen had been removed. The music in this airing has heavy reverb and finishes over “The End” screen.
  • There is no "The End" copyright screen. It was apparently added in 1966 after the studio realized that the special would be airing more than once.
  • There is a spot afterwards where Charles M. Schulz thanks Coca-Cola for sponsoring A Charlie Brown Christmas. This was mentioned in the Making Of book and is not included with the print currently available however.

Comic strips adapted in the special

Notes

  • This special has been repeated at least once every year since its original broadcast, making it the longest-running animated TV special in history.
  • This special received 2 Emmy Award nominations, one for Special Classification of Individual Achievement and one for Outstanding Children's Program which it had won.
  • This is the only special in which Schroeder's piano sounds like a toy piano when he is asked to play "Jingle Bells" by Lucy. He first plays it like a conventional piano, then an organ, and finally a toy piano on one finger.
  • A running gag in the special is that whenever someone says "That's it!", someone else jumps in alarm.
  • This is the first of two specials in which Charlie Brown is simply called Charlie by one of the other characters. On this occasion, it is Lucy. He would later be simply referred to as Charlie again in Charlie Brown's All-Stars and the 1969 feature film A Boy Named Charlie Brown.
  • Snoopy's doghouse appears to be blue instead of red.
  • The original broadcast preempted The Munsters.
  • The font of the title word "Christmas" was probably adapted from the comic strip from December 25, 1963.
  • The original broadcast featured two very brief scenes that included references to Coca-Cola. In the opening, immediately after the title screen where Charlie Brown crashes into a tree after being tossed into the air by Snoopy, Linus crashes into a sign that reads "Brought to you by the people in your town who bottle Coca-Cola" (An alternate take, in which the sign instead said "Danger", was made and used in early promos advertising the special, but it is unknown what happened to this version.[1]); and during the closing credits, following the United Feature Syndicate credit, "Merry Christmas from the people who bottle Coca-Cola" fades in. Both scenes were removed following the original broadcast as a result of subsequent FCC laws precluding sponsor plugs in the context of children's programs; as a result, in all current prints, including CBS' 1997 remastered print, it quickly fades out after the opening title and the singing in the closing credits fades out.
    • The can that the gang throws snowballs at has always been a generic can, even in the original broadcast. The removal of this particular scene was part of the edits done by CBS when it aired the special during the early 1990s until it was remastered in 1997, and as a result, it spawned a myth in which the reason it was edited out was that the can was a Coca-Cola can.
  • When they first saw the show, CBS executives were horrified at the idea of an animated Christmas special with such a blatant message. They also strongly objected to the fact that the show had no canned laughter. A version with a laugh track was produced but later discarded after the success of the broadcast version.
  • Kathy Steinberg, who did the voice of Sally Brown, had not yet learned to read at the time of production, so she had to be fed her lines, often a word or syllable at a time, which explains the rather choppy delivery of the line: "All I want is what I have come to me. All I want is my fair share."
  • Bill Melendez tried to talk Charles M. Schulz out of using Biblical references (especially Linus's speech) in this special. Schulz reportedly won him over by saying, "If we don't do it, who will?" As it turned out, Linus' recitation was hailed as one of the most powerful moments in the highly acclaimed special.
    • Linus's speech about the true meaning of Christmas is actually Luke 2:8-14 from the King James translation of the Bible.
  • In addition to the soundtrack album containing music by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, a Disney Read-Along record was later produced, which re-created the special as a radio program-like audio experience (this was before the prevalence of home video). This book-and-record set re-created almost the entire program, with only some minor cuts (primarily musical).
  • Two making-of documentaries have been made: the first is The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas, which was hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and aired following ABC's initial airing of the special in 2001, and the second is a completely unrelated documentary that was created for Warner Home Video's 2008 Deluxe Edition DVD release.
  • Television executives figured that the show would be a rating failure, but instead, it was watched by half the American viewing public. With such spectacular ratings, those same executives soon contacted the producers for a whole series of Peanuts specials that would run for decades.
  • Over the decades, the special was increasingly shortened for time to more commercials until the viewing public protested vigorously. When the broadcast rights were purchased by the ABC TV network, the network compromised with an hour-long timeslot for the special to be broadcast uncut for time, and padding out the remaining time with initially The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and then Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales in subsequent years. Of course, this arrangement also allowed the network to sell twice as many commercial spots for a reliably high-rated annual rerun.
  • Producer Lee Mendelson wrote the lyrics for Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time is Here" music, and his son Glenn, along with his then sixth-grade class, sang the vocals.
  • Production ended ten days before the special premiered.
  • None of the children who voiced the characters received credits at the end.
  • When "A Charlie Brown Christmas" won an Emmy for Outstanding Children's Program in 1966, only Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez were called up to accept the award, but they made sure that Charles Schulz was with them to give the acceptance speech. Schulz's speech simply went, "Charlie Brown's not used to winning, so we thank you."
  • (1 October 2015) The US Postal Service issued a set of ten postage stamps with various scenes from the TV special, to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
  • Not long after the animation was finished Tracy Stratford's voice broke, which is why she never voiced Lucy in another Peanuts special.
  • When the completed special was first presented to the CBS executives, they promptly hated it. Their major complaints were that the pace was too slow, the jazz music didn't work with the special's tone, and the animation was too simple, among other things. However, the special had to air, as CBS had already scheduled and promoted it. As Lee Mendelson later said, "I really believe that if it wasn't already scheduled to air the following week, there was no way they were ever going to broadcast that special."
  • The rock music group Jefferson Airplane wanted autographs from all the kids who voiced the characters.
  • At one point, Lucy mocks Linus' security blanket, asking him what he plans to do with it when he's older, to which Linus smugly replies, "Maybe I'll turn it into a sports coat." In one Peanuts strip series, Linus tried to kick his blanket habit by giving it to Snoopy to keep it away from Linus, and Snoopy ended up turning the blanket into a sports coat.
  • In 1993, Knott's Berry Farm gave out free VHS copies of this special during the holiday season to kids during a special event. The VHS tapes did not contain any previews, promos, studio logos, or even FBI Warnings; it was just the full (unedited) special.
  • The short was watched by over 15 million viewers when it first premiered in 1965.
  • Patty in this special is not Patricia "Peppermint Patty" Reichardt. The latter first appeared several years later in the strip. The former was phased out gradually, disappearing completely by the end of the 1970s, despite being one of the four original Peanuts characters.
  • This special helped bring to an end the brief fad of aluminum Christmas trees, which had been going on since 1958 when it portrayed them in a negative light as part of the over-commercialization of the holiday.
  • The idea was given by John Allen, who worked for an ad agency for Coca-Cola, as he called Lee Mendelson. He originally saw the documentary that was canceled to be broadcast, because he was unable to sell it. He asked Mendelson if the producers of "Peanuts" thought about making a Christmas special. Mendelson admittedly lied, saying "Of course we have." Allen then asked for an outline of the special to be presented in four days. After this conversation, Mendelson promptly called Charles Schultz and said to him, "I just sold 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'." Schultz asked, "What's that?", and Mendelson said, "That's a new show you and I have to come up with this weekend." Mendleson later recalled a long pause of silence before Schultz responded, very casually, "Okay, we can do it."
  • Schulz and Melendez were notably "ashamed" of the artwork in the special and were surprised with fact that the special has been a hit for 30 years. "The continued success of the special has surprised me as much as anyone," Schulz said in the Dec. 2 1995 issue of TV Guide. "A lot of the drawings are terrible, which (animation director) Bill Melendez and I are still ashamed of."[2])
  • This was the first of several holiday-themed Peanuts specials produced by Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez. It's still their most famous special. The least famous is probably the 1976s "It's Arbor Day Charlie Brown". Or 1984s abysmal effort, "It's a Flashbeagle Charlie Brown", which futilely attempted to steal some of the magic from the 1983 breakdancing musical film "Flashdance". The success of this Emmy-winning special opened the door for their first feature film; the 1968 classic "A Boy Named Charlie Brown."
  • Apple TV+ bought the rights to the Peanuts specials in 2020, and therefore 2020 was supposed to be the first year since A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered that it would not air on free television. However, after an outcry from the public for removing the programs from free television, the specials (beginning with A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and later this special) began airing on PBS and PBS Kids in November and December 2020, sponsored by Apple.
  • Though Schulz did not consider the Peanuts animated specials canon to the comics (despite often writing them himself), he references the special in the December 18, 1966 strip, where Linus reads the same quote from the New Testament that he recites in the special, and remarks, "Like I've said before, that's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown!"

Goofs

  • In the opening skating scene, the close-up of the line where Snoopy has no collar shows 5 after Patty, but in the following wide shot, "Pig-Pen" is in his place.
  • In the dance scene, Patty is not seen.
  • After Linus sums up to Charlie Brown that "That's what Christmas is all about", Charlie Brown picks up the tree he bought, and walks away from Linus toward the other kids — including a second Linus.
  • After the children have decorated Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, several of them and Snoopy suddenly change position from one shot to the next, and "Pig-Pen" is added in.
  • The first year the special aired, the closing singing of the lyrics to "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" included Snoopy mouthing the words; this was corrected in 1966 for all subsequent broadcasts. (Another change, not strictly for a goof, is that in the first year, Charlie Brown was shown deeply blushing after the others said, "Merry Christmas..." before he joined in the singing.)
    • The changes made in 1966 also introduced a new error that occurs earlier in the whole scene, right after the humming of the "newborn king" line. For two frames the back-row characters in the shot are superimposed over those in the middle row: Patty appears over "Pig-Pen", Shermy appears over Linus, plus just a small bit of Violet over Frieda.
    • Shermy, the boy in the yellow on the right side of the screen, disappears after the gang greets Charlie Brown. In Shermy's place is the boy in a blue coat (555 4792) who is still on the right side of the screen. So Shermy disappears and out comes a clone of the blue boy or Shermy's coat changed color.
  • When Schroeder and Lucy are discussing what Beethoven contributed, he stops playing the piano, but the piano does not stop right away.
  • When Charlie Brown and Linus go looking for a Christmas tree, Linus taps on a metal tree and says, "This one really brings Christmas close to a person". The tree makes a sound the second before he taps on it, not when he taps on it.
  • While at her psychiatry stand and naming Charlie Brown's possible phobias, Lucy says, "How about cats? If you're afraid of cats, you have ailuroPHASIA." If Charlie Brown were indeed afraid of cats, he would have ailuroPHOBIA. Ailurophasia is, literally, "Speaking cat".
  • When Charlie Brown consults Lucy for psychiatric help, her sign (as read from the front) says, "The Doctor Is Real In". However, when seen from the side angle, the sign simply says, "The Doctor Is In".
  • The number of branches and needles on the tree that Charlie Brown picks out changes from scene to scene.
  • When Linus is making his speech, Charlie Brown is behind him and to his left, and he is not wearing his red coat. When Linus is briefly shown from his right, Charlie Brown is in the background wearing his coat. When the shot cuts back to a front view, the coat is off again. In the same scene, his coat changes to orange when he brings his tree on stage.
  • During Linus's speech from Luke 2:8-14, he drops his security blanket when he says, "Fear not: for behold..." He continues the rest of his speech with the blanket on the stage next to him. However, in the long shot when he says, "And on earth peace, goodwill toward men," it is back in his left hand. Immediately after, when his speech is finished, he makes a point of picking his blanket up off the stage.
  • When Lucy first changes the "out/real in" sign on her psychiatric help stand, the sign is next to the word "is." In some subsequent shots, the sign is next to the word "doctor."
  • After Charlie Brown is sitting at Lucy's psychiatric booth and says, "That's it!" and Lucy flies backward into the snow, Lucy's lime green and white nickel jar disappears and never reappears. In the same scene, his stool disappears and then comes back in the very next shot.
  • The back of Charlie Brown's head is drawn with three hairs in some scenes and with no hair in others.
  • Frieda has a bald spot in one or two shots.
  • When Linus is giving his speech and the camera draws back for a panoramic shot, there is no yellow director's chair on the stage. However, after Linus gives his speech and Charlie Brown exits the stage left, you see the director's chair sitting in front of the left front curtain.
  • When Charlie Brown and Linus approach the green Christmas tree, there are two trees behind it, the one on the left side is yellow and the one on the right side is dark pink. In the next shot, the tree on the right is a grape purple color.
  • When Linus is given his script during the first rehearsal for the Christmas play, he remarks to Lucy that he "can't memorize something like [the script] so quickly." The camera pans out to Lucy as Linus asks for "one reason" as to why he should be put through such agony by memorizing the lines. As Lucy turns to face Linus, there is a cut in camera shots. However, while the cut shows Lucy has moved to Linus, the background does not change at all. The easiest way to notice this slip-up is to pay attention to a white box that stands open on the left side of the screen. When the cut occurs, the box does not move - no rotating, shifting, or any other movement at all. This goes for the curtain and doors in the back as well. This makes Lucy seem as though she has suddenly teleported herself to her spot in front of Linus.
  • After Charlie Brown and Linus find the green Christmas tree, Schroeder plays "Für Elise" and his bottom area disappears for the entire scene. It then appears in the next scene, the scene where Charlie Brown sets his green Christmas tree on the piano top.
  • When skating, Patty, the girl with orange bows and striped dress, has a bow on each side of her head. When Snoopy spins everyone, she has only one bow. When she is trying to catch snowflakes on her tongue, she has only one bow on her right side. When Charlie Brown is introduced as the director, she now has one bow on her left side. When Charlie Brown leaves the stage after Linus's speech, she has two bows again.
  • When Schroeder is playing his piano and Snoopy comes on screen to dance, he appears to suddenly appear in the middle of the frame out of thin air. However, dust clouds can be seen on the left side of the screen for several frames beforehand, indicating that this is where Snoopy appeared.
  • The cels of Lucy in her psychiatry stand are not properly aligned to the background so that the cutoff line of her body overlaps the edge of the tabletop.
  • In the dance scene while Schroeder is playing his piano, when he turns his head towards the camera, his mouth is not seen.
  • Whenever Lucy wears her winter coat, her blue socks turn yellow.
  • From when Lucy says "You were supposed to get a *good* tree. Can't you even tell a good tree from a poor tree?" to Schroeder and Shermy walking away while laughing at Charlie Brown, Shermy's long sleeves become short sleeves.
  • When Charlie Brown is leaving the auditorium with his Christmas Tree, 3 & 4 are seen in their winter coats while the rest are in their casual clothes but when they start to follow Charlie Brown, the rest are wearing their winter coats.
  • Lucy's red cap sometimes disappears between shots in the special, this is most notably in the final scene where the children gather around the small tree.
  • Charlie Brown is shown wearing shorts while looking at the snowfall at his house window before putting on his coat. When he leaves his house, he's wearing pants or probably changed offscreen.

Gallery

References

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
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