DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Scott Kimball, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

    May 8, 2000
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    Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown

    Studio: Paramount

    Year: 2003 (1992, 1968 for bonus episodes)

    Rated: NR

    Length: 73 minutes, including bonus episodes

    Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

    Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0

    English Subtitles, Closed Captioned

    Special Features: 2 bonus "classic" episodes

    SRP: $14.99US

    Release Date: March 2, 2004

    Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown is a new Peanuts cartoon just in time for spring training. What do you do if you’re the manager of a baseball team that has lost 900 games in a row? Well, if you weren’t Charlie Brown, you’d be fired. But Charlie doesn’t have that easy out. He has to make a tough decision... and trade Lucy. Problem is, nobody wants Lucy! In order to have a chance at winning, he needs to trade a better player - Snoopy!

    Only after the deal is made does Charlie Brown realize that trading his beloved dog isn’t worth the winning of a few games. Maybe there’s still a chance to get Snoopy back and trade Lucy... but who will Charlie Brown get in exchange? And is a trade the right thing to do?

    The whole gang is back in this Peanuts cartoon - but don’t blink, or you’ll miss Pigpen.

    Special Features
    Charlie Brown’s All-Stars (1968) and It’s Spring Training, Charlie Brown (1992).
    Both of these stories are basically about the quest for new uniforms. I prefer the voice acting and story pacing of the old Peanuts cartoons over the new feature.

    How does it look?
    Lucy Must Be Traded has the sharpest and most colorful picture of the three features included on the disc. It looks great, with no evidence of compression or processing artifacts. The picture is bright and colors leap off the screen. A few moments here and there suffer from an off-focus picture of part of a cell - seemingly not a fault of the transfer, but of the original photographic process. All in all, it looks very nice.

    Charlie Brown’s All-Stars and It’s Spring Training are both slightly softer than the new feature. While colors are bright and saturated, there are occasional shifts in hue. The 1992 feature (Spring Training) suffers from slight halos. Occasional dust and scratches are present, but not pervasive. I’m more impressed with the quality of the 1968 feature than 1992’s Spring Training.

    Say what?
    All three features are in Dolby 2.0. The new feature has the best sound quality, but the voice acting is less ambitious. The 1968 feature has the softest sound, with some slight distortion and noise - but at levels that are acceptable for a cartoon of this age. My only complaint about the 1992 feature is the use of a techno-synthesized soundtrack in lieu of the traditional jazz usually featured in the Charlie Brown cartoons.

    Final Thoughts

    Get your kids warmed up for the baseball season with these three Peanuts cartoons on DVD. For $14.99 SRP, it’s a bargain.
  2. Sean.S

    Sean.S Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 20, 2004
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    I wouldn't mind having some of these Charlie Brown DVDs.

    I wonder if there are any plans to bring the TV show to DVD any time soon...
  3. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

    Jul 29, 1999
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    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    Thanks for the review, Scott. I'm quite a Peanuts fan, and I have all the Charlie Brown DVDs.

    I'll add a note that this special on DVD is actually about 3 1/2 minutes longer than it was when broadcast on television last year, as was the recent release of "A Charlie Brown Valentine."

    Also note that "Charlie Brown's All-Stars," one of the bonus specials on this DVD, was only the second-ever Peanuts special, debuting between the first, "A Charlie Brown Christmas," and "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," and features all the same voice actors as those two specials. To my knowledge, it was never rebroadcast.

    In fact, the first five Peanuts specials (the above three plus "You're In Love, Charlie Brown" [on DVD] and "He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown" [not on DVD]) retained the same child voice actors for all the major characters. And the actor voicing Linus, Christopher Shea, would be replaced by his little brother Stephen -- which explains why Linus always seemed to sound the same.

    I'm hoping the upcoming fall release of "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown," a new Peanuts special, will contain "He's Your Dog" as a bonus.

    BTW, these new specials, though produced after Charles Schultz's death, are primarily storylines and jokes lifted straight out of the comic strip (as were most of the specials from day one), so they still are "real" Peanuts specials.
  4. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

    May 8, 2000
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    Thanks for the info, Brian.

    While I loved these shows growing up in the 70's, I really haven't watched any of them in over 20 years.


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