The third of the classic animated Christmas TV specials (after Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol in 1962 and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1964), Charles Schulz converted his popular Peanuts comic strip into a wonderful Christmas special that is perhaps the best of the lot for its humor, its message, and its innovative production.
The ne’er-do-well Charlie Brown is directing the gang’s annual Christmas show, but it isn’t going well. Looking to pick a Christmas tree for the production, he picks a puny runt of a tree and is disparaged by everyone for his choice, until they realize the true meaning of Christmas and miraculously turn it into a beautiful tree.
NEW YORK CONNECTION
The only notable connection I found among the credits of the voice actors was for Tracy Stafford, who plays Lucy Van Pelt. Earlier in 1965, she appeared in the “Girls Will Be Boys” episode (Season 4, Episode 23) of The Dick Van Dyke Show, as the friend of Ritchie who shows that she loves him by beating him up.
WHY WE LOVE THIS MOVIE
Linus’s reading of St. Luke’s Gospel and the endearing jazz music of Vince Guaraldi: is there any other mainstream TV showing that includes those two lovely things these days?