tek's rating: ½

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!, on CBS
BCDB; IMDb; Peanuts Wiki; Wikipedia

The thirtieth "Peanuts" special, which first aired in 1986. I'm sure I saw it sometime in my youth, probably when it originally aired. And possibly for a few years following that, but I'm not sure. Anyway, I went many years without seeing it before finally watching it again in 2014. Charlie Brown gets assigned to read "War and Peace" over Christmas break, and write a report. It seems pretty ridiculous to me that a kid his age would be given an assignment like that, and really be expected to finish it in such a short time, especially since it's such a busy time of year for everyone. It's also odd that no one else was worried about the assignment, including Linus, who was clearly in the same class, and must have had to do the same assignment. (Though he did seem to already know a lot about the book, so maybe he'd read it before. But there's no indication that he was writing a report or anything.)

Anyway, we don't actually hear anything about Christmas in this special, it's just about New Year's Eve, when Peppermint Patty is throwing a party. (At least I think she was the one throwing it, but if so, it's a bit odd that she wanted Chuck to invite her to it. But I guess that was just about wanting him as a date, and this was a backwards era when girls couldn't just come out and ask boys, apparently.) Charlie Brown keeps telling everyone, including Patty, that he can't go to the party, because he has to spend his whole vacation reading the book. But he does eventually decide to invite "the Little Red-Haired Girl" to the party, which greatly annoys Patty. Um... I feel like this special might be the first time I'd ever heard of that girl. Then again, I might have previously heard of her in comic strips, I'm not sure. But we do learn that her name is Heather, which apparently Charlie knew the whole time, but for some reason he and everyone else always call her "the Little Red-Haired Girl," which seems strange to me. Anyway, she didn't respond to his invitation. But on New Year's Eve, he's sitting home reading, then decides to go to the party anyway. And he joins the others in a game of Musical Chairs, before going outside to read some more. (It's frickin' cold out, being December and all, so it's really strange that he'd want to read while sitting outside.) But anyway, he falls asleep.

Well, I've left some things out. And I don't want to say how it ends, but there's a twist that always upset me. And um... I dunno what else to say. It's not a great special, but I liked it better than some of the few that I've seen, and I find it a bit more memorable than some. So it was fun to see it again.

Peanuts specials
specials index