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Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown is a 1977 animated film produced by United Feature Syndicate for Paramount Pictures, directed by Bill Meléndez. It was the third in a series of movies based on the Peanuts comic strip, and the first not to produced by Cinema Center Films. It was the first Peanuts feature-length film produced after the death of composer Vince Guaraldi and used the same voice cast as the 1975 TV special, You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown.

The film received generally positive reviews from critics and audiences alike, and grossed $3.2 million worldwide.

Plot

Ketchikan river in Charlie Brown.jpg

The actual river model in Alaska for a scene in this film

The Peanuts gang heads off to Camp Remote somewhere in the mountains where they ultimately compete in a river rafting race; Charlie Brown, true to form, is accidentally left behind by the bus while at a desolate rest stop. He then is forced to ride on Snoopy's motorcycle in order to make the rest of the journey to camp, accompanied by rock guitar type riffs while he is shouting in fear at Snoopy's wild driving.

Upon their arrival, the children are immediately exposed to the regimentation and squalor of camp life which is a stark contrast to their comfortable residences back home. They are unfamiliar with the concept that the camp schedule is in military time (Franklin asks if "oh-five hundred" [5:00 AM] is noon, and Sally thinks "eighteen-hundred" [6:00 PM] is a year). Although they do their best to adjust to the rigors of camp at life, Snoopy, in a comfortable tent of his own, enjoys eating a banana split while watching TV on his portable set.

The gang must contend with a trio of ruthless bullies (and their cat, Brutus, vicious enough to intimidate even Snoopy) who openly boast of their having won the race every year they have competed. The only thing that keeps the bullies at bay is Linus using his security blanket like a whip (which also gets him unwanted attention from Sally due to her praising the courage of her "Sweet Babboo"). It is revealed that the bullies' "success" has always been through outright cheating, using a raft equipped with an out-boat motor, direction finder, radar and sonar, and even resorting to every trick in the book they could think of to hamper or destroy everyone else's chances to even make it to the finish line, much less win the race.

The children are broken into three groups: the boys' group: (consisting of Charlie Brown, Linus, Schroeder and Franklin), the girl's group: (consisting of Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Lucy and Sally), and Snoopy and Woodstock. Charlie Brown is very reluctant leader of the boys' group, well-meaning but struggling with his insecurities. His foil is Peppermint Patty, the leader of the girl's group, who is very confident despite her incompetence as a leader; much of it due to her insistence on every decision, no matter how minor, being confirmed by a group vote. True to Peppermint Patty's persona, when the outcome is unfavorable to her or ends in a tie vote, she tends to overrule the decision.

The groups run into different obstacles: getting lost, stranded, storms, blizzards, and sabotage from the bullies. Snoopy abandons the race to search tirelessly for Woodstock, when a storm separates them; after a long search, they manage to find each other and are joyfully reunited. When the bullies sabotage the rafts of Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown, the boys and girls' groups work together on one raft, with Charlie Brown as the leader of the merged group. Charlie Brown starts to grows more into his leadership role. The group goes down a log chute akin to a water slide at an amusement park. However, this is noticed by the bullies, who stop the water wheel by jamming it with a log, which results in merged group being stuck atop the wheel. Charlie Brown says as leader, it is incumbent on him to tackle problems, and makes a dangerous descent down the water wheel to remove the log, getting the group moving again.

Thanks to Charlie Brown's growing self-confidence and leadership, the gang is about to win the race at the climax after overcoming considerable odds. Unfortunately, Peppermint Patty incites the girls to celebrate too soon and they accidentally knock the boys overboard in their excitement; when they attempt to rescue them, the bullies seize the opportunity to pull ahead.

The bullies gloat about the apparently imminent victory, but since their raft has suffered numerous damages throughout the race, it sinks before the finish line. This leaves Snoopy and Woodstock as the only contenders left. Brutus sinks Snoopy's inner tube by piercing it with a claw after the bullies grab it, but Woodstock builds a raft of twigs and continues toward victory. When Brutus tries to attack Woodstock, Snoopy punches him in the face, and Woodstock wins the race. Conceding defeat, the bullies begin to vow vengeance next year, but their threats are humiliatingly cut short when Snoopy hands Brutus a rough beating after he threatens Woodstock again.

As the gang boards the bus to depart for home, Charlie Brown decides aloud to use the experience as a lesson to be more confident and assertive, and to believe in himself. Unfortunately, right after he finishes speaking, the bus leaves without him for the second time, and as before, he is forced to hitch a ride with Snoopy again.

Voice cast

Patty, Violet, "Pig-Pen", 5, Frieda and Roy appear but they are silent.

Home video release

VHS

DVD

Notes

  • This is the second animated Peanuts production to use a composer other than Vince Guaraldi, the first production to use a new composer after Guaraldi's death, and the first production to have music composed by Ed Bogas.
  • After Snoopy kisses Peppermint Patty at the end of their waltz, she speaks the same line used in It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown, which is said after Snoopy kisses Peppermint Patty and Marcie at the end of their music box dance. Oddly, this line was a reused voice clip voiced by Linda Ercoli.
  • The bullies' tactic of jamming the water wheel would not have worked in real life. The tremendous pressure created by the wheel would have easily snapped the log.
  • During one episode of The Price Is Right a showcase was built around the events in the movie Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown, ending in free tickets for a private screening of the film on its premiere date being offered.
  • This is the first Peanuts movie in which Marcie appears.
  • This is the only movie in which Sally, Lucy and Marcie are seen wearing shirts and pants.

Gallery

See also

External links

Peanuts Animated Features
TV Specials A Charlie Brown ChristmasCharlie Brown's All-StarsIt's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie BrownYou're in Love, Charlie BrownHe's Your Dog, Charlie BrownIt Was a Short Summer, Charlie BrownPlay It Again, Charlie BrownYou're Not Elected, Charlie BrownThere's No Time for Love, Charlie BrownA Charlie Brown ThanksgivingIt's a Mystery, Charlie BrownIt's the Easter Beagle, Charlie BrownBe My Valentine, Charlie BrownYou're a Good Sport, Charlie BrownIt's Arbor Day, Charlie BrownIt's Your First Kiss, Charlie BrownWhat a Nightmare, Charlie BrownYou're the Greatest, Charlie BrownShe's a Good Skate, Charlie BrownLife Is a Circus, Charlie BrownIt's Magic, Charlie BrownSomeday You'll Find Her, Charlie BrownA Charlie Brown CelebrationIs This Goodbye, Charlie Brown?It's an Adventure, Charlie BrownWhat Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?It's Flashbeagle, Charlie BrownSnoopy's Getting Married, Charlie BrownYou're a Good Man, Charlie BrownHappy New Year, Charlie Brown!It's the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie BrownWhy, Charlie Brown, Why?It's Spring Training, Charlie BrownIt's Christmastime Again, Charlie BrownYou're in the Super Bowl, Charlie BrownIt Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie BrownIt's the Pied Piper, Charlie BrownA Charlie Brown ValentineCharlie Brown's Christmas TalesLucy Must Be Traded, Charlie BrownI Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie BrownHe's a Bully, Charlie BrownHappiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown
Movies A Boy Named Charlie BrownSnoopy, Come HomeRace for Your Life, Charlie BrownBon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!)Snoopy!!! The Musical (TV special)The Peanuts Movie
The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show "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" • "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"
Others Peanuts (2014 TV series) • Peanuts Motion Comics