Snoopy, Come Home Blu-ray Review

Entertaining enough Peanuts feature film 3.5 Stars

Snoopy may be America’s most beloved beagle, but he’s in for some rude awakenings during his various misadventures in Bill Melendez’s Snoopy, Come Home.

Snoopy Come Home (1972)
Released: 09 Aug 1972
Rated: G
Runtime: 81 min
Director: Bill Melendez
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Cast: Chad Webber, Robin Kohn, Stephen Shea, David Carey
Writer(s): Charles M. Schulz (created & written by)
Plot: Snoopy travels to see his sick former owner and then feels obliged to return to her permanently.
IMDB rating: 7.5
MetaScore: N/A

Disc Information
Studio: CBS
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: English 2.0 DD, English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
Subtitles: English SDH
Rating: G
Run Time: 1 Hr. 20 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray
Case Type: keep case in a slipcover
Disc Type: BD25 (single layer)
Region: All
Release Date: 09/06/2016
MSRP: $24.99

The Production: 3.5/5

Snoopy may be America’s most beloved beagle, but he’s in for some rude awakenings during his various misadventures in Bill Melendez’s Snoopy, Come Home. The second of the animated Peanuts features, this one plops the enterprising pup front and center in a story of loss and renewal in which the regular gang serves as decidedly supporting characters as Snoopy and buddy Woodstock must make some crucial decisions concerning his life and his future.

Feeling unquestionably unappreciated after taking a tongue-lashing from Charlie Brown (Chad Webber), getting in a bitter tussle with Linus (Stephen Shea) about his blanket, and having poor loser Lucy (Robin Kohn) seek revenge after he bests her in a boxing match, Snoopy (noises by director Bill Melendez) takes an opportunity to visit his first owner Lila (Johanna Baer) in the hospital after he receives a loving letter from her. After he’s gone, the gang all feels guilty for not letting Snoopy know how much he is valued by them, but Snoopy himself has a major decision to make about whom he wants as his owner.

Charles Schulz made a conscious decision that he wanted this second feature film to be completely different from the first one and from the TV specials. So, that meant no Vince Guaraldi jazz score, no Schroder (David Carey) Beethoven sonatas, no baseball game, no football (non) kicking, no psychiatrist booth, no Red Baron: just the characters (mostly Snoopy and Woodstock) front and center. But what we learn from this experiment is that Snoopy functions better as a scene stealer of other people’s stories rather than the central character in his own tale. His picaresque is filled with (for him) high adventure: rafting, camping out, even abduction by a smothering little girl (Linda Ercoli) who bathes him frequently, dresses him in women’s clothes for her tea parties, and keeps him roped up in the backyard. But these embarrassments aren’t especially amusing. And for songs, the Sherman brothers Richard and Robert were enlisted to provide commentary tunes to reflect the events and emotions on screen: “At the Beach” when Snoopy and Peppermint Patty (Chris De Faria) connect, “No Dogs Allowed” which haunts the pup throughout the movie as he comes to understand the many places dogs aren’t welcome, “Me and You” celebrating the bromance between the pooch and the bird, “Fundamental Friend Ability” as he endures the torturous temporary ownership of Clara, and “Changes” which heightens Charlie Brown’s sad realization that Snoopy has gone. Lila has the one song which puts the score closest to that of a real musical “Don’t You Remember Me?” but in the main, the tunes, while perfectly pleasant and fitting for the scenes where they appear, subtract the one thing that the Peanuts TV specials have in spades: the cool factor.

The new voices used for the Peanuts crew are all serviceable without being definitive. Stephen Shea comes closest to matching his brother’s previous cadences as Linus, and Robin Kohn is an agreeably brusque Lucy, but Chad Webber’s Charlie Brown seems less neurotic than other Charlies in the past. After playing Pig Pen in the previous movie, Chris De Faria does just fine as Peppermint Patty, and new characters Lila and Clara are appropriately voiced by Johanna Baer and Linda Ercoli.

Video: 4/5

3D Rating: NA

Once again, CBS has given us an open matte 4:3 presentation on video in 1080p resolution using the AVC codec. Incomprehensibly, however, the opening and closing credits are windowboxed making for a peculiar looking rectangle surrounded by black to open and close the film. (The image zooms just fine to 1.66:1, by the way.) A great deal cleaner than A Boy Named Charlie Brown, there are only a few dust specks here and there, and no scratches or spotting of note. Color is again quite solid throughout without any blooming, and there is no banding present. Sharpness is usually very fine, but there are occasional scenes where a bit of shimmer or softness is present. The movie has been divided into 12 chapters.

Audio: 4.5/5

The disc offers both DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound mixes. As with A Boy Named Charlie Brown, the lossy Dolby Digital stereo mix gives a better audio experience with fuller presentation and a more balanced mix between voices, the Sherman Brothers’ songs, and the occasional sound effect. The lossless surround mix doesn’t pay much attention to the rear channels.

Special Features: 0/5

There are no bonus features on the disc.

Overall: 3.5/5

Snoopy, Come Home offers a singular opportunity for Snoopy to be the top-billed star of a Peanuts movie, but while the experiment is unquestionably entertaining, many of the familiar tropes are missed, and there’s a feeling throughout that something vital to the otherworldly charm of these beloved characters is somewhat lacking this time out.

Published by

Matt Hough

administrator

16 Comments

  1. This is one of my favorite movies, so I'm glad to hear that it's presented fairly well here. I don't mind the open matte presentation and in fact tend to subscribe to the thought that this is how it should be presented.

    Particularly given how most viewers have the ability to zoom in and basically replicate the 16:9 presentation as on the older DVD, this is the best compromise (Although given the short length of this and the earlier movie, there's no reason why both options shouldn't of just been offered, which would please everyone).

    Thanks for the review.

  2. Wow more poor treatment of the peanuts by Warner.  It sounds like they at least didn't use  the old vhs master like a boy named charlie brown but no OAR is always no sale. Definitely a case to stick with the superior DVD.

    This is a Paramount release. Paramount controls the movie releases, Warner controls the TV releases.

  3. Randy, I suspect you're aware of this already, but just in case, unlike the old pan & scan days that thankfully seem largely past (Or butchering 4:3 content for 16:9 proportions like sadly sometimes happens now), you're actually not losing anything picture wise here, just gaining by the open matte presentation. 

    These were some of the oddities that were prepared with future full-screen tv presentations in mind during the creation process, rather than adapted for such viewing after the fact. So there are areas animated at the top and bottom of the frame that weren't seen by theater goers but are there intentionally for tv viewings. So one could argue that these classic Peanuts films actually have two original aspect ratios, although most can't see it both ways like I can and insist it should be shown one way or the other.

    Like Matt said in his review, zooming in didn't hurt his viewing of it any to enable a widescreen presentation at the viewer's end if they desire. And I bet it will be framed extremely close to how the earlier DVD was when done so. But I can understand avoiding this Blu-Ray when you don't have to do anything manually on the earlier DVD to basically fix it like you must do here if you want 16:9.

    Sad that more effort wasn't expended in preparing modern transfers and cleaning these two movies up (And for these ~90 minute movies, both open matte 4:3 and original theater aspect ratio options should be present since we're talking a short film devoid of extras, leaving compression a non-issue).

  4. Actually Leo the way open matte film is transferred to a video format is it crops a very small amount of film information from all 4 sides the information on the top and bottom is not important since there is already protected dead space we are getting on the top and bottom but we are losing  a small amount on the sides that we were intended to see. The Disney 60's and 70's films are a great example for this.  The many adventures of Winnie the pooh widescreen blu revealed noticeable information on the sides that was not there on the open matte. So zooming in is not an acceptable solution besides losing resolution and defeating the purpose of upgrading from dvd it won't restore the information on the sides the open matte is trimming. In the days of hd tvs releasing any film non oar is a disgrace and the fact that they used an old vhs master for a boy named charlie brown is further proof that they put no effort into these releases.  I can't justify supporting these releases at all especially when the dvd s are far superior.

  5. Over at the Blu-Ray.com forum, someone put this together for A Boy Named Charlie Brown. The widescreen shot is the DVD.

    http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/183702/picture:0

    The Blu-Ray shot doesn't even look open matte to me. Looks more like pan & scan.

    I think that's also why the compromise presentation for the openings and closing credits, also present on the old DVD where the widescreen 16:9 ratio they went with would've resulted in lost information (i.e., it wasn't the original theatrical aspect ratio if that was necessary), is maintained here.

    Minus what Randy said where a little bit around the edges is lost during the transfer process, we should still be gaining significant space vertically and most of the side information should be maintained. So I think they just took that already cropped 16:9 transfer and lopped the sides off.

    Assuming that screenshot comparison of the original movie is representative of this one as well, I sure wouldn't want to zoom in.

    Edit: Scratch all that.


    Apparently the DVD Talk review for the Blu-Ray release where this person sourced the screenshot they thought was of the Blu-Ray, isn't actually a screenshot taken from the Blu-Ray.


    It's just an image the DVD Talk reviewer located to break up the text with something from the movie…

  6. Here's a confirmed Blu-Ray screenshot, taken from the Blu-Ray.com review.

    Here's approximately the same shot on the old DVD that I just took at my PC (It's a few frames too early, but the overall view isn't shifting any and it's the borders we're concerned about anyways rather than Snoopy and Woodstock's exact position).

    Ignore the slight black bars at the top and bottom. I'm viewing this letterboxed on a 4:3 CRT monitor and I wanted to ensure that I didn't cut anything off as I cropped it just now in Microsoft Paint, so I didn't get it as close as I could've.

    Gives an idea of what's gained and what, if anything, is lost.

  7. Here's a confirmed Blu-Ray screenshot, taken from the Blu-Ray.com review.

    Here's approximately the same shot on the old DVD that I just took at my PC (It's a few frames too early, but the overall view isn't shifting any and it's the borders we're concerned about anyways rather than Snoopy and Woodstock's exact position).

    Ignore the slight black bars at the top and bottom. I'm viewing this letterboxed on a 4:3 CRT monitor and I wanted to ensure that I didn't cut anything off as I cropped it just now in Microsoft Paint, so I didn't get it as close as I could've.

    Gives an idea of what's gained and what, if anything, is lost.

    Strange choices by paramount….

  8. Here's a confirmed Blu-Ray screenshot, taken from the Blu-Ray.com review.

    Here's approximately the same shot on the old DVD that I just took at my PC (It's a few frames too early, but the overall view isn't shifting any and it's the borders we're concerned about anyways rather than Snoopy and Woodstock's exact position).

    Ignore the slight black bars at the top and bottom. I'm viewing this letterboxed on a 4:3 CRT monitor and I wanted to ensure that I didn't cut anything off as I cropped it just now in Microsoft Paint, so I didn't get it as close as I could've.

    Gives an idea of what's gained and what, if anything, is lost.

    However, it's not really a question of what is gained vs lost. It's about the theatrical ratio. There is a legit demand to have the proper theatrical dimensions regardless of how the actual animation was done. I think in this case the proper thing to do would have been to include both versions.

  9. Strange choices by paramount….

    They've decided to go with the "as created" aspect ratio rather than the theatrical ratio.  Disney actually made the same decision back in the 1990s with the first DVD releases of all their animated features, but eventually they changed their mind and began releasing some of them in their theatrical ratio, and most recently have settled for a sort of "in-between" compromise of 1.66:1.

  10. Just out of plain curiosity, what's your opinion on shifting the frame for these two?

    As was discussed in the other thread, the widescreen DVD's shifted the picture vertically at certain times in order to better frame the image, where as theatergoers got a static center crop with less than ideal framing at those moments.

    They were also full-screen 16:9, which meant that the aspect ratio was 1.78:1 rather than the original theatrical ratio of  1.85:1. It's an admittedly small change, but still a change. And for some, just the fact that it's not strictly original is undesirable, if for nothing else the principle of the deal.

    Strictly original theater aspect ratio and framing, or did you prefer how it was handled earlier on DVD where some slight liberties were taken to provide an arguably superior theatrical style presentation?

  11. On home video people constantly play with these 3 ratios with different releases of the same film sometimes in different ratios: 1.66, 1.78 and 1.85 This is unfortunate. The difference between 1.78 and 1.85 however is very minor and can be overlooked since its par for the course in Home Video.

    I never noticed the adjusted ratio before and after scanning through the films again I noticed that it was very rarely used and when used it was not used very long. This also should not have been done it should have been the static ratio but again it was so rarely used. The reviewer was obviously manipulating this info to prove his argument.

    Something that has been pointed out many times in these forums by industry experts and others is never use screen caps to determine picture quality or aspect ratio as neither represent what the film actually looks like in motion.

    I looked for the scene on the bus and had to go through it 3 times and finally on slow motion to find the scene. There was no reason to adjust the screen like that. Nearly all  screen caps trying to show something cutoff in a scene last for about a second and this is no exception. The scene on the bus is constantly shifting all around to different views and angles. So like any of these type of scenes if you are watching the movie they are not noticeable. You have to be looking for them specifically.

    Nearly every movie made in 2.35 or wider and nearly every movie, tv show, animated cartoon in 1.33 has instances where a head or something else is briefly cutoff. This is normal cinema practice and was how the scene was intended to be filmed and nobody questions this. But strangely after people who grew up watching 1.66, 1.75 and 1.85 widescreen films open matte or zoomed in discovered that the film makers applied mattes while filming the movies or animated movies they start looking for heads cutoff or other things cutoff briefly thinking that this is incorrect. They even go as far as calling the mattes cropping which is an insult to the filmmakers and/or animators as it implies that they don't know what they are doing and that their art or how they intended for scenes to look is not correct. There is no rule in film making that says all heads and everything else must never be cutoff even for less than a second.

    A perfect example is a boy named Charlie brown when they are on the small hill. The scene is representing a small hill in a small town park. When viewed in the proper widescreen that is how it looks. But in open matte with all the unintended dead space revealed it now appears to be a giant mountain and looks ridiculous as no small town park would have a mountain in the middle of it. The scene always distracted me and felt wrong even as a kid watching it on tv and after finally seeing it in the proper widescreen I understand why.

    With all that said there is certainly nothing wrong watching a widescreen film open matte if that's how the viewer prefers it. These type of widescreen animated theatrical movies and theatrical shorts should only be released in 1 of 2 ways to make the majority of customers happy: 1.) Present both the widescreen version and the open matte version on the same release but I think this is more expensive than some realize because it requires them to make 2 new HD transfers instead of 1 or option# 2.) Do what Disney has done and offer a compromise at 1.66:1 this allows any extra side information to be seen if there is any while preservering an intended widescreen look. At the same time it also allows a lot of extra head room compared to 1.78 or 1.85 for those who prefer it. If either of these were done for these releases I would have purchased them in a heartbeat.

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