It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown is the twenty-seventh animated television special based on the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. It was first broadcast on CBS on April 16, 1984. The title is a clear reference to the 1983 movie Flashdance, which Schulz was such a fan of that it inspired him to do a dancing-themed Peanuts special.
Contents of the show
It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown takes the form of a musical, presenting a series of different songs. The program does not have a strong unifying plot.
The program begins with Snoopy defeating Peppermint Patty at football, followed by an opening credits sequence in which the dog takes out a boom box and dances to the title song as the opening credits roll.
The next segment shows Peppermint Patty and Marcie at school, followed by a gym class, in which Peppermint Patty leads the other characters in a workout while she sings "Get in Shape!". The part of the song where she sings "Hey Linus...!" is inspired by Toni Basil's 1981 hit song "Mickey".
The scene changes to a party at the home of Sally and Charlie Brown. The children begin playing a game of "Simon Says" before Lucy takes over the game and sings "Lucy Says". Later, the children dance to a song about "Pig-Pen", the "Pigpen Hoedown".
The song "Flashbeagle" is repeated two more times. Snoopy is seen trying on various outfits before ripping up an old T-shirt of his, then meeting up with Franklin at a nightclub and dancing to the tune there, where the first two verses of the song are played, to the applause of the club-goers.
Then, as a slow instrumental of the chorus plays, an exhausted Snoopy returns home late at night to the consternation of Charlie Brown, who says all his dog ever does is have fun while many people (and dogs) work for a living.
Early next morning, Snoopy is rousted from sleeping on his doghouse and taken to school by Sally for Show and Tell. After one boy tells about his pet chameleon, Sally is up. However, Snoopy is weary from the night before and just lies there. Then, after 5 produces a boom box, which plays the third and final verse of "Flashbeagle", Snoopy gets up and starts dancing as he did in the discotheque, and all the children gradually join in.
The special ends with Charlie Brown saying to his sister that he thinks he should do something about his dog's behavior. Sally disagrees with him because, thanks to Snoopy, she got an "A" for Show and Tell.
- Charles M. Schulz's daughter, Jill Schulz (who was 25 years old at the time the special was made) was said to have inspired the "Get in Shape!" song sequence, the images of Peppermint Patty exercising being based on her.
- This special was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.
- Bill Melendez explained that the dancing Snoopy in the club scene was done by a process called rotoscoping, where the character is drawn over live-action pictures. The dancing model, Marine Jahan, was chosen to do the scenes when Snoopy was dancing in the special. The animators rotoscoped live-action pictures of Jahan to Snoopy in order to make the scenes. Jahan gained fame as Jennifer Beals' dancing body double in the film Flashdance.
- The theme song, "Flashbeagle" was sung by Desirée Goyette and Joey Scarbury (who had scored a pop hit in 1981 with the theme song for The Greatest American Hero television series).
- This is one of the few Peanuts animated cartoons in which adults appear onscreen.
- Some of the women at the discotheque seen before Snoopy does his dance number look like full-grown versions of Peppermint Patty. Some men at the discotheque look like adult versions of Schroeder.
- This special was inspired after Charles M. Schulz watched the 1983 movie Flashdance.
- VHS versions of the special have three deleted scenes: the five freeze-frame shots, the spinning dancefloor, and the flipping reverse frame while Snoopy was performing his solo dance.
- The dance Snoopy performs was partially inspired by the dance John Travolta performed in a 1977 airing of Saturday Night Live.
- The scene where Snoopy takes off his disco outfit and changes into an aerobics outfit is a reference to "Disco is Dead".
- This special aired five years after the Disco Demolition night in 1979.
- The club dance scene contains a few instances of layering errors, where Snoopy is layered over his disco outfit rather than under it for a split second each time.
- When Snoopy was walking in the night with his disco outfit, the camera was going in the wrong direction when it showed Snoopy in the front.
- While Snoopy is dancing, his shirt disappears and reappears briefly.
- It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown on the Internet Movie Database.
- It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown on the Big Cartoon Database.
- It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown on AllMovie.